Cathedral Carillon

In 1916, Most Rev. Dr Robert Browne, Bishop of Cloyne from 1894 until his death in 1935, commissioned a 42-bell carillon form the bell-founders John Taylor and Son of Loughborough (England) to be the crowning glory of his magnificent new St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh, County Cork. This erudite and cultured man thus established, for the first time in Ireland, the Continental tradition of carillon playing.

There have been two major renovations of the Carillon since it was originally installed. The Cobh Carillon now boasts 49 bells, including the heaviest bell in Ireland at 3.6 tons, with a total weight of over 26 tons, and is the largest carillon in Ireland and Britain in terms of the number of bells.

The carillon is located in the magnificent St. Colman’s Cathedral overlooking Cobh town and Cork Harbour. This beautiful setting is appropriate for an instrument that is considered one of the best examples of its genre. The 49-bell Carillon of St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh is the only such instrument in this country and is the largest in Ireland and Britain. It also includes Ireland’s largest bell, named St. Colman (3.6 tons). The carillon is played from a console within the belfry, consisting of a keyboard and a pedalboard. The action is completely mechanical and there is no artificial assist.



Annual Summer Recital Season strong>

Free hour-long recitals take place on Sundays at 4.30 p.m. from May to September and are usually given by Adrian Gebruers KSG, Cathedral Carillonneur.

As always, there are a number of guest recitals presented by leading international carillonneurs.

The Gathering

“With thunderous greeting in heavens o’er meeting

The bells of St Colman’s are calling me home.”

- Bryan MacMahon (1909-1998)



Full programme details available at the Cathedral at time of recitals. A closed-circuit system is in operation showing the carillonneur playing the instrument. This can be viewed inside the Cathedral at the base of the tower – turn right as you enter through the main door.


Grant aided by the Arts Council, Cork County Council and the Cobh Town Council.


Log on to:-

The Cobh Carillon website at:

The World Carillon Federation website at:


Guided tours of the Cathedral take place on Sunday afternoons and at other times by arrangement. Please call 021-4813222 during office hours for details.




For more information please visit the website Cathedral Carillon

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