Gate, or sheep gate, is a reference to Jesus Christ, the Shepherd
of His flock, who welcomes all. The gate is the main point of
entry for those entering the complex from the street.
On the south wall
of the Plaza that borders Temple Street is the Carillon Wall. It contains
36 stationary bells programmed as a musical instrument to ring beautiful
hymns throughout the course of the day and to call people to worship
There are 35 bells
from St. Monica's Church in Santa Monica. When Monsignor Nicholas Connelly
announced plans to build the Church in 1925, Johanna Shanahan, an elderly
Irish-born parishioner who had spent most of her life in the employ
of Senator John P. Jones, founder of Santa Monica, offered to give her
life savings of $11,000 if the pastor would allow a carillon to be built
and installed in the bell tower of the envisioned church.
Monsignor Connelly immediately instructed his architect to make whatever
modifications would be necessary to accommodate the carillon. The bells
were manufactured during several years in the late 1920s by Felix Van
Aerschodt of Louvain, Belgium, partnered with Marcel Michiels of Tournai,
weighing half a ton, is the largest of the group and was engineered
to strike the hours, while a second large bell counted off the half
hours. Unfortunately, Mrs. Shanahan died in October of 1931, and was
unable to see the bells operational.
The carillon was
used only rarely after its dedication in December of 1931, mostly because
of its operational complexity. On at least one occasion, it went off
accidentally during the night and upset the entire neighborhood before
being shut off. Connelly's dream became "Connelly's folly."
During the devastating
earthquake of 1971, the bell tower at St. Monica's Church suffered structural
damage and was judged unsafe to support the massive weight of the carillon.
The bells were taken down and placed in storage at the San Fernando
The 36th bell, the
largest of the set, comes from St. Timothy's Church in Los Angeles.
It was originally one of a set of 48 commissioned by William Randolph
Hearst in 1926 for the bell towers at San Simeon. It was cast in 1929
by Marcel Michiels Jr. Chimes Manufacturer in Tournai, Belgium and delivered
to the Castle by 1932. At the time, however, it was discovered that
only 36 bells could be installed, so the bell was warehoused at San
Simeon until the mid-1950s.
The bell was delivered
to St. Timothy's on September 1, 1956, arranged by an executive at Twentieth
Century Studios. It is 38 3/4 inches, weighs 1200 lb, and is the musical
There are two inscriptions
on the bell, " Ring out the darkness of the land, Ring in the Christ
that is to be" and "Ring in the valiant man and free the larger
heart, the kindlier hand."