From the Priory’s archives we learn that in 1669 masons were constructing the Church’s bell tower. It seems that from the start the bell tower suffered damages, since records show that in 1683 masons were paid for bringing new stone blocks for the bell tower. The bell tower suffered slight damages from the 1693 earthquake and in 1745 it had to be completely dismantled and built anew as it was damaged again in the 1743 earthquake. In 1856, the tower had to be dismantled again due to irreparable damage cause by another earthquake.

The bells date to the late 17th century and the 18th century. The eldest bell dates back to 1680 and was founded in Valletta from an older broken bell. Another bell, Carmela after Our Lady of Mount Carmel, was remoulded by the Ruiz foundery. The largest bell, named after St. Elijah, and the two small bells from 1791 are named after St Alberto and St Angelo, the first two Carmelite saints. These bells were consecrated by Archbishop Labini on April 20th 1791. Tradition has it that Angela was the bell which gave the alarm that triggered the uprising of the Maltese against the French in 1798. Today this bell, severely damaged, is on show in the Priory’s sacristies alongside the “Napoleon’s table”.

The bells have been recently restored.


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Carmelite Priory Villegaignon Street Mdina, Malta
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