What happened to the Willow Court Bell?


For many years there was a large beautiful old building at the hospital site in New Norfolk, roughly where the Lyprenny Ward building is now, complete with a very majestic looking clock tower.

This building was demolished to make room for Lyprenny. A lot of the material from the building was used to level the site.

The clock tower held the Willow Court Bell which since that time had been stored somewhere on the old hospital site. The bell dates from 1837 which makes it 175 years old.

For some years now the bell has been missing, no-one seemed to know where it was and it was thought that it had probably been stolen.

I have a radio show on the New Norfolk Community Radio Station, Tyga FM which ran from 10 till midnight on Monday nights. (Now Tuesdays 6 till 8pm)

About 6 weeks prior to writing this I turned up to do my show and the presenter before me, Roz pointed me towards a store room and told me to look in one of the corners.

There, amongst the brooms, mops, buckets and other assorted things placed there out of the way was a bell. Closer inspection revealed that it had "1837" cast into the side of it and we quickly realised that we were looking at the missing Willow Court Bell !

It had probably been there for a number of years !

Also, standing next to the bell, was the old Willow Court Siren !

After a short consultation we decided that they were too precious so be left there and a few days later they were returned to the Derwent Valley Council for safe keeping.

Please see the images below :-

The Willow Court Bell

Cast into the body of the bell is the Government mark and the year 1837.

How many peals has this rung out?

The Willow Court Siren.

Usually tested once a week and described by one local person who grew up in New Norfolk as having

a 'horrible' sound.

The siren was activated every time a patient 'escaped'.

Manufactured by"Grifco"

Looking down at the top of the siren.