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National War Memorial Carillon Performances


Sun 1 Apr 2012, 2:30pm–3:15pm
Mon 2 Apr 2012, 12:00pm–12:30pm
Tue 3 Apr 2012, 12:00pm–12:30pm
Wed 4 Apr 2012, 12:00pm–12:30pm
Thu 5 Apr 2012, 12:00pm–12:30pm

Where: Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Buckle St, Mt Cook, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Related Artists:

Listed by: MCH Admin

"Ring out the old, ring in the new
Ring out the false, ring in the true"

The excerpt from Tennyson's 'In Memoriam' is a fitting inscription for one of the largest bells that make up the National War Memorial Carillon. With 74 bells ranging in weight from 10 kilograms to 12.25 tonnes, the carillon's melodies can be heard drifting over Wellington's central suburbs.

Carillon performances are scheduled to take place at the times listed above, and are best heard at the National War Memorial on Buckle Street. Lunchtime concerts are usually held between 12 noon and 12:30pm Monday to Friday, and 2:30pm and 3:15pm on Sundays between the months of September and June (dependant on the availability of the carillonist).

On Christmas day the performance will include a number of Christmas carols. Please note however that the War Memorial will not be open for visits on the day.


The carillon is a large musical instrument housed and played inside the 50 metre high National War Memorial, a monument which commemorate the New Zealanders who died in six conflicts: the South African War, the First and Second World Wars, Korea, Malaya and Vietnam. The National War Memorial Carillon is the third largest carillon by number and combined weight in the world.

An elegant pattern of perforated stonework on the memorial allows the tolling of the carillon's bells to be heard over two kilometres away on a still day. However, in order to enjoy the subtleties of the instrument it is best heard from 50 - 350 metres away, within the National War Memorial's gardens. Performances range from classic, traditional pieces to transcriptions of modern songs.

The carillon is played by National Carillonist of New Zealand Timothy Hurd, an international expert in carillon architecture, composition and performance who studied in Belgium, the Netherlands and at Yale. See his artist profile above.

The carillon's original 49 bells were private donations in memory of World War One casualties. A 1926 invitation by the Wellington War Memorial Carillon Society to purchase bells met with immediate success from the public. Each bell has a name and dedication inscription. One is dedicated to Leslie Beauchamp, brother of writer Katherine Mansfield. Other bells bear the names of military units and specific battles. The British firm, Gillett & Johnston cast the bells in Crydon, England.

Since 1984, the carillon has been substantially rebuilt and enlarged. 20 mid range bells have been replaced and 21 smaller treble bells have been added. To mark the 50th anniversary of the ending of World War Two, the Government donated in 1995 four large bells - Grace (Aroha), Hope (Tumanako), Remembrance (Whakamaharatanga) and Peace (Rangimarie). These bells were cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, England. In addition, Timothy Hurd donated 5 smaller bells.

Restaurants to book near National War Memorial Carillon Performances