Bells to toll across England for Notre-Dame

The bells of Westminster Abbey, pictured here, will be rung in solidarity with France.

Church bells will toll across England on Thursday in "solidarity" with France and its people as they mourn the Notre-Dame blaze, Prime Minister Theresa May said.

The bells of Westminster Abbey, the church opposite parliament where kings and queens have been crowned since 1066, will be rung on Tuesday at 1643 GMT -- the time that Monday's fire broke out, May said.

"Notre-Dame is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world -- a symbol of France and the French people, and cherished across the globe," May said in a statement.

"The images of destruction we saw last night were truly heart-rending."

Bells will then be rung across the country on Maundy Thursday, three days before Easter.

As world leaders expressed their shock and sorrow at the fire, May tweeted on Monday saying her "thoughts are with the people of France" and emergency workers "fighting the terrible blaze".

Her statement on Tuesday paid tribute to the "swift and heroic action of the first responders, France has huge professionalism in dealing with emergencies of this kind".

"When it comes to the task of rebuilding, French craftsmen and women are among the finest in the world," said the British leader.

"We stand ready to offer any UK experience and expertise that could be helpful in the work that lies ahead to restore this magnificent cathedral."