Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Belfry (French beffroi) is said to be derived not from bell, but from old German words meaning a sheltered place. First applied to a kind of movable tower used in sieges, it was then transferred to a watch tower or alarm bell tower, and then to any tower containing a bell. In Italy (where the name is campanile) church belfries stand detached from the church; and so occasionally in England, as at Beccles in Suffolk, Evesham, and along the Welsh border. Often in England, however, it is reduced to a mere turret or bell-cote placed on the west end of the church. On the Continent belfries are frequently secular, and attached to municipal buildings. The famous belfry of Bruges, commenced 1291, is of this class. It is 353 feet high, and contains a carillon of forty-eight bells.