Bell Types

You heard a bell (or several), but what kind of bell is it? How is it rung? Check out the different types of bells to determine what you heard.

To locate the source of the bell you heard, you’ll need to do a little sleuthing.

Locate yourself on an online map (like Google). Do you see any churches, or perhaps a university tower, within ½ mile? Farther if the bells are faint, closer if the bells are louder.

Look at a picture of the church or tall university building online (or do the old-fashioned thing and walk to it). Does it have a tower? Can you see inside the tower (no slats covering openings)? If so, do you see bells? Slats (we call them louvers) covering tower windows is a good indicator that there are bells inside. 

All Saints St. Anthony Catholic Church, Chicago, IL
Twin church towers with open belfries. I see bells!
Church of the Redeemer, Highwood, IL
A tower belfry covered with slats (louvers).

If you have found a tower with visible openings, covered with slats or not, this may be the source of the bells you heard. Go to the webpage of the church or institution and search for “bell.” There may be a webpage detailing the bells they own. Often, though, bells are unmentioned, so just because you can’t find “bell” on their website doesn’t mean they don’t have bells.

If your sleuthing so far has turned up nothing, try listening again in the area at the same time the next day, following the sound to see if you can get closer to it. This will narrow down your search area.