Cape Town, Castle of Good Hope
Format Extent14 colour photographs
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Photographs and information on the bell of the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. As far as we know, this is the second oldest bell in South Africa. It is preceded only by one of the bells of the Rhenish Church in Stellenbosch. It was cast in 1697 by Claude Fremy, the city's bell founder in Amsterdam, by order of the VOC, the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie. Claude Fremy was born in Winterswijk around 1646. He was the successor of the brothers Hemony as canon and bell founder of the city. Fremy has been considered a poor carillon maker; still carillons from his hand can be found in the Loreta church in Prague and in one of the Kremlin towers in Moscow. He died in 1699 and his widow married Jan Albert De Grave who made one of the bells in the Groote Kerk in Cape Town. Outside the bell tower hangs a panel with explanations of the use of the bell. The bell is slightly mutilated and locally patched up. The bell weighs 303 kg, has diameter of 74 cm and thickness 56 mm. The bell has both a clapper and a hammer. It is still used as an hour clock. The decorations on the bell are easily discovered thanks to the easy accessibility of the bell. At the top one moulding wire followed by a Hemony band and another moulding wire. Then as text CLAUDE FREMI ME FECIT AMSTELLODAMI ANNO 1697 BENEDICAT TERRA DOMINUM: LAUDET ET SUPEREXALTET EUM IN SAECULA. Below this a decorative band followed by 4 and 3 moulding wires on the soundbow.