Gerberding Tower
The Gordon Stuart Peek Foundation Memorial Bells
(installed 2008 in Gerberding Hall)

Tower Captain: Rebecca Woodgate  Tel: 206-221-3268

Vice Captain: Lizzie Wratten
Teaching Masters: Rachel Pusey, Alexander Holroyd & Melissa Cheng
Tower Secretary: Carol Wiesenbach
Steeple Keeper:  Patrick Ma, Matt Bayley

Red Square in snow
** Re the UW Carillon (the bells on the top of Kane Hall) - see here

Are you interested in potentially becoming a UW ringer?  - email Rebecca ( to find out more.

Ringing Events
- Ringing times
- Practice times
- How to find us
- Ringing Calendar

The UW Bells
- Details of our bells (from Dove)
- Ringing records
- Photo album
- UK trip
- Ringing Resources
- Notes from Theory Discussions
What is Change Ringing?
- History and theory of change ringing
- North American Guild of Change Ringers
- Ringing links

Want to know more?
- Learning to ring
- Video of the Dedication
(by International Artists Cresendo!)
- Ringing Links
      In early summer 2008, the first set of change ringing bells on the west coast of the USA were installed on the University of Washington's Seattle campus. The installation is a gift of the Gordon Stuart Peek Foundation. The set of 8 bells, cast by Royal Eisjbouts Bell Foundry in the Netherlands, tenor weight  6 cwt, tenor note B, are hung for full-circle "change" ringing in the tower of Gerberding Hall, on the UW's Red Square.  Change ringing - in which a trained team of ringers (the "band") ring the bells in continuously varying patterns (not tunes) - originated in the UK in the 17th century.  There are now over 5000 ringing towers in the UK, but only about 40 in the USA (and 8 in Canada), with our nearest ringing neighbours being Vancouver and Victoria in Canada, and Chicago and Abilene (TX) in the USA. 
      The UW bells will be rung (see here for dates and times) to celebrate university, state and national events by a band of volunteer ringers from the UW and the Seattle area.  Ringers who are visiting (or have moved to) Seattle are always welcome.  If you are ringer, but want to learn to ring, read on and contact us.  

Ringing Times
 Generally, the bells may be heard on Friday evenings between 8:30 - 9pm Out of term, the bells may also ring on Monday evenings between 8:30 -9pm.
Also, check the calendar, as we sometimes ring quarter peals on Saturdays or Sundays, usually between 10am and 1pm.

Upcoming Open Ringing

For UW Commencement:
Saturday 8th June 2024
For our regular practices, see calendar
We also ring for special events. Upcoming events will be listed here and on the calendar.

Red Square is an excellent location from which to hear the bells. 
Throughout the year, the bells will be rung to celebrate university, state, and national events.  To request ringing for an event, please contact the Tower Captain.
Practice Times
Our usual practice times are:
       Mondays and Fridays  7-9 pm
Most of that practice is using a simulator system and is not audible outside the tower, but typically on Friday evenings (and on some Monday evenings out of term), we ring the bells open from 8:30-9pm.

If you are already a ringer, you are very welcome to ring with us - please contact the tower captain in advance (at both email addresses above).  Sometimes extra practices can be arranged.

Except in special circumstances, unfortunately practices are not generally open to non-ringing visitors, but if you are interested in learning to ring, see below.

Finding us
Gerberding Hall is on the south side of UW's Red Square in the central UW campus, just next to Suzzallo Library.
See here for map. 

We meet at the southeast corner of Red Square before practices.  Visiting ringers, please note the building is locked, so please contact us before hand so we don't miss you.

Travel to UW:
UW is well served by local METRO buses to NE Campus Parkway, the HUB, and Montlake, and the Link Light Rail from Capitol Hill, Downtown and Sea-Tac.   (Google maps is a good way of finding out about transportation options). Click here for walking routes from the bus stops to the tower. If you drive, Pay-parking is available from UW, or on meters on local streets (free in some areas after certain times - read the notices carefully).  For more details about getting to the tower, see here.

Learning to Ring
Ringing requires about as much coordination as riding a bike, and a similar amount of effort as learning a musical instrument.  It is a team activity, producing a musical performance, and a fun and stimulating mental and physical exercise.  It is practised worldwide (here's a list of all change ringing towers in the world) by an eclectic group of volunteers of all ages. See, for example, the North American Guild of Change Ringers.
The tradition dates from ~ 1600 in England, where ringing was/is very much part of the culture. (For a popular example, read the murder-mystery The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy Sayers.)
Physical requirements are mostly an ability to climb steep ladders, exert some force with your arms above your head, and some degree of rhythm.

If you are interested in learning to ring, contact us, and we'll explain more.  We teach ringing when we have the opportunity.  (Teaching is one-to-one and all our teachers are volunteers). UW persons are particularly encouraged.
  (If you have contacted us already and not had any reply, it is likely due to a spam filter - please try again!).
(please contact the tower captain for attendance)
All enquiries about the Bells should be addressed to the Tower Captain:
    Rebecca Woodgate
    2nd Email:
    Tel: 206-221-3268

Ringing Links
To find out more about ringing, visit   for an extensive set of ringing links.

Here are some Seattle related links:

- UW news (10th March 2022) - Gordon Stuart Peek, UW alumnus who donated Gerberding and Kane bells

- Lego bell ringing machine - plain hunt on eight

- Tower Bells at the University of Washington by internationalartists

- UW's UWeek (22nd May 2008) about the upcoming dedication

- UW's UWeek ( 8th May 2008) about the UK bell hanger installing the bells, Bob Smith, of Taylors Eayre and Smith

- UW's UWeek (1st May 2008) with slides of the bells being lifted in to the tower

- UW's UWeek (February 2008) announcing the installation

** BUT WHAT ARE THE BELLS ON KANE HALL?   In March 2018 (a decade after the change-ringing bell installation), the Gordon Stuart Peek Foundation installed a second set of bells at UW - a 47-bell Eisjbouts carillon, placed on a tower on Kane Hall.  Like the change-ringing bells, the carillon is rung by a human person(s), not by a machine.  Unlike the change ringing bells, the carillon is rung by one person (the carillonneur) - the change ringing bells are rung by a team of people (see above).  Another key difference is that the carillon plays melodies typically with harmony, while the change ringing bells ring patterns, with each bell sounding separately.  For more about carillons, see The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America.  For technical information about the UW carillon, see here.

Starting in late January 2019 (although postponed during Covid), the carillon will be performed regularly from:
          11:20-11:30am on Mondays during term.
and you may sometimes hear the carillonneur  practicing, typically on Saturdays between 12:30 and 1pm.
For further information,
check out the carillon's schedule here, or contact the carillon coordinator, Rebecca Woodgate (  

March 2022 - in memory of our donor, Gordon Stuart Peek

Gordon Peek, Spring 2008
(Photo by Sara Voogt, UW)

March 2022:  We are sad to note the passing of our donor and friend, Gordon Stuart Peek, on the 2nd March 2022.  His inspiration and donations - funding handbells, tower bells (in Gerberding Tower) and a carillon (on Kane Hall) - have transformed the soundscape of the UW campus and forged national and international relationships. We will miss his friendship, wisdom, drive, determination, and dry humor.  We hope the bells will ring in his memory for many many decades to come.  In the nearer term, we plan memorial ringing (half muffled) on the change ringing bells (see below), and a bell celebration sometime toward the end of the summer. (UW news announcement)
Left:  Bob Smith(left), bell hanger, supervising Gordon chiming his bell during the bell installation.  Right: Completed bell installation, Spring 2008. (Photos by Sara Voogt, UW)

Gordon Stuart Peek Foundation Memorial Bells
                Seattle pre installation, by Sara Voogt, UW
The Gordon Stuart Peek Foundation Memorial Bells, on the steps of Red Square prior to installation, Spring 2008.
(Photo by Sara Voogt, UW)