Bell Plates are one of the many attempts to recreate the sound of massive, deep church bells. The result isn’t a perfect simulacrum, but they are an interesting and useful sound in and of themselves.
Depending on the maker, Bell Plates will come in many different sizes. Chromatic sets are preferred. I have seen them advertised in up to four-octave sets going down to C2 (the C below the bass clef).
The sound of Bell Plates will last a long time after they are struck (up to a minute or more). Care should be taken to notate the exact duration of the ring.
Different mallets can be used from a rawhide Chimes beater, to a timpani stick, to a bass drum/gong beater, to yarn mallets. Each will produce a strikingly different result.