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London 2012 Opening Ceremony Bell to return to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

London 2012 Opening Ceremony Bell to return to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Press Release 13/08/2015

  • Famous bell will be installed near the Stadium
  • The iconic bell was rung by Sir Bradley Wiggins in the London 2012 Opening Ceremony
  • The bell is the largest harmonically-tuned bell in the world and the second heaviest bell in Europe.


In celebration of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a new landscaped area of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will become a permanent home to the iconic bell rung by Sir Bradley Wiggins to mark the start of the Games.

Commissioned in September 2011 for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, the bell is cast in bronze, is two metres high, has a diameter of over three metres and weighs almost 23 tonnes. It is inscribed with the words ‘London 2012’ and a line from The Tempest spoken by Sir Kenneth Branagh during the ceremony – ‘Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises’. 

David Goldstone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: 

“It was a momentous occasion when Sir Bradley Wiggins rang the bell to signify the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games and it is only right that such a classic piece of London 2012 history should have pride of place in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”  

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said: 

“Having the bell back in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park so close to the Stadium illustrates our commitment to respecting the legacy of the 2012 Games.”
Visitors will be able to view the bell up close from 2016 as part of a new landscaped area to the north of the Stadium. 

Facts about the bell

  • The bell’s note is a B which makes it the lowest tone of any bell in the world.
  • The bell is 30 centimetres wider than Britain’s previous largest bell, ‘Great Paul’ at St Paul’s Cathedral. 
  • The Whitechapel Bell Foundry completed the design, profile, lettering and tuning of the bell and Royal Eijsbouts of the Netherlands cast the bell.
  • The bell was installed and tested in the Stadium on 1 June 2012.
  • Sir Bradley Wiggins had the honour of ringing the bell to signify the start of the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. It also rang out again ahead of Sir Paul McCartney signing Hey Jude.
  • The bell stayed in the Stadium during the Opening Ceremony before it was moved to the Park during the Games. 

-Ends -

For more information contact the Press Office at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on +44 (0) 20 3734 9010 or email press@QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk

Notes to Editors
London’s newest visitor destination, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is a place unlike any other. Visitors to the Park are able to enjoy beautiful parklands and waterways, world-famous sporting venues, arts and events and spectacular views from the ArcelorMittal Orbit. As a new heart for east London, the Park will also provide new homes, jobs and a cultural and education quarter.

The London Legacy Development Corporation promotes and delivers physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area, in particular by maximising the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

For more information visit QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk, follow us on Twitter @noordinarypark and like us on Facebook facebook.com/QueenElizabethOlympicPark