Located next to the entrance to the monument, the watchtower of Chillon CastleTM houses a 16th century bell at its top. It used to work in conjunction with a nearby clock. Not having undergone any recent restoration, the instrument was examined by a specialist in 2013.
With a diameter of 42 centimetres and a height of 45 centimetres, the bell gives a note of G. Created in 1583, it bears no trace of the name of its founder. It was designed a year before a violent earthquake that hit the Chablais region and Chillon Castle hard. After this disaster, the watchtower underwent numerous repairs. Therefore, we do not know if the bell is in its original location or in a chosen location during this work. It is decorated with a frieze that is often found as a decorative motif on the bells of French-speaking Switzerland in the 15th and 16th centuries. A text written in red paint covers it in part: "FELIX BERARD 1896" which probably corresponds to the name of a roofer or carpenter who worked during this period in the tower. The bell ringing system is provided by a damper lever and a hammer that hits the bell at its base. Although still on site, the device no longer works and requires restoration. It is one of the few bells in the canton of Vaud that was not equipped with a ball bearing during the 20th century but has kept its original fixing system, which gives it an important heritage value.
Pictures ©Rémy Gindroz