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Sounds of Charleston


Stolen by the British after the American Revolutionary War, the bells of Charleston’s St. Michael’s Church—which weigh nearly four tons—were eventually recovered in London and returned to a joyous congregation, only to be removed and damaged during the American Civil War. The church shipped the broken bells back to London to be recast at the original foundry using the original molds, but a framing miscalculation hindered the bells from swinging properly for 125 years. In 1993, the bells of St. Michael’s Church, which first rang in 1764, were shipped once more to the original London foundry for repairs. Today, the bells that survived eight transatlantic crossings are much more than a charming way to tell time, they are a triumph of perseverance.