The Class of 1892 Bells and its History

In 1926, the Class of 1892 began searching for a gift to the University in honor of its 35th reunion. One class member suggested giving a carillon, like the ones heard in the Low Countries of Europe. The instrument, he asserted, was a fitting choice, "at once noble yet different from all other gifts." The carillon of 35 bells was installed in the Graduate College's Cleveland Tower during the spring of 1927. Anton Brees, later carillonneur at the famous Bok Tower in Florida, played the dedication recital on June 17.

Fun Facts About the Carillon

  • Grover Cleveland Tower is 173 feet to the roof
  • The carillon contains 67 bells, concert pitch
  • The largest bell, the Bourdon sounding G2, weighs 12,880 pounds
  • The smallest bell weighs 14 pounds
  • The first 35 bells were cast and installed in 1927 by Gillet & Johnson (England). Subsequent additions to the instrument occurred in 1943, 1966, 1968 and 1993 with bells from the Paccard Foundry (France) and Petit & Fristen Foundry (The Netherlands).
  • The carillon was renovated and rededicated on June 13, 1993
  • There are over 180 carillons in the U.S.
  • There are three other carillons in New Jersey:
    • St. Georges-by-the-River, Rumson - 26 bells cast in 1934 by Taylor
    • St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Morristown - 47 bells cast 1924, 1952 by Taylor, Paccard
    • Grace Church Carillon, Plainfield, NJ - 47 bells cast 1923 by Gillet & Johnston

Visit the Carillon

The Carillon at Princeton UniversityThe Carillon is located in the Cleveland Tower at The Graduate College located at 88 College Road West, Princeton, NJ 08544

Directions and Parking

Visit the Porter’s Lodge for details on how to ascend the tower.





Schedule and Events

The Carillon tower bells at Princeton University

See, hear, experience the carillon bells:

  • Every Sunday at 1:00pm by University Carillonneur Lisa Lonie(Carillon is silent during exams)
  • Tuesday and Thursdays, 11:30am - 12:30pm
  • Saturday, 11:30M - 12:30PM

Summer Concerts

A short statement about the concert series.

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