Plans chime for boutique hotel in former bell foundry


A new boutique hotel is set to be developed at a historic bell foundry where Big Ben was created, after plans were approved by the local council.

The famous Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which has been operating since 1740s, was sold last year by fourth-generation bell-founder Alan and Kathryn Hughes to US investor Raycliff, who will now work on transforming the building into a new luxury hotel.

The proposals will see the refurbishment of part of the Grade II-listed foundry to create new workshops and a cafe, while an unlisted 1980’s extension in the rear will be demolished and replaced with a 103-room hotel.

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The plans were backed by the site’s former owners, but campaigners had called for the foundry to re-open.

Tower Hamlets Council’s development committee has approved the scheme by the chair’s deciding vote.

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry has made some of the world’s most famous bells, including the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, and bells in Westminster Abbey and Big Ben.

The factory closed for business in 2017.

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Zoe Monk

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