Taking Inventory: Bell

Going like the clappers

- Who’s there?
- Item of the week!
- Item of the week who?
- Our item of the week – the bell!

Bells are the centre of any Minecraft village – they serve as a meeting point for trade, commerce, and gossip, as well as an alarm signal if the village is being raided. They’ve been part of the game, not coincidentally, since village raids were added in the Village & Pillage update last year.

Ring a bell in the middle of a village, and villagers will rush to their homes – safe(ish) from harm. It also causes any invading mobs to glow, so they can be easily spotted and slaughtered.

Bells aren’t craftable – instead, they’re generated naturally in all village variants, usually pretty close to the middle of the settlement. You’ll need a pickaxe to mine one, otherwise you’ll destroy it.

If you don’t want to deprive poor villagers of their only alarm system, you can also sometimes find one for trade – armourers, toolsmiths, and weaponsmiths occasionally have them in their inventory. Though be warned, they don’t come cheap.

You probably already know what bells are in the real world, so I won’t explain that. But did you know that the oldest known bell dates WAY back to the third millennium BC? Back then, they were made of pottery, by the Yangshao culture of neolithic China. The earliest metal bells showed up not long after – in about 2000 BC.

Today, bells are found all over the world in many cultures. The largest ever made was probably the Great Bell of Dhammazedi, which was stolen by the Portuguese from a temple but then lost in a river. It reportedly weighed about 300 tonnes. The largest still in existence is the Tsar Bell, located inside the Kremlin in Moscow – which is about half the size.

One more fun fact? Oh go on then. The word “bell” probably comes from the Old English word “bellan” – a verb meaning to roar, or make a loud noise. That’s why we describe someone shouting as “bellowing”. So next time you see a horde of pillagers approaching a village, start bellowing. Then slaughter them all.

Written By
Duncan Geere