Home ยป Big Ben

Big Ben

by danize.com@gmail.com

Big Ben is a famous tower clock in London, England. It is located at the north end of the Palace of Westminster, which is the seat of the British Parliament. The name Big Ben actually refers to the largest bell of the clock, which weighs 15.1 tons and chimes every hour. The clock tower was completed in 1859 and is known for its accuracy and Gothic Revival style. The tower was renamed Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to honor Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne.

If you want to visit Big Ben, you need to buy a ticket online or by phone. The tickets are limited and sell out quickly, so you should book well in advance. The tours are only available on Saturdays and some weekdays during parliamentary recesses. The tours last about 90 minutes and include a climb of 334 steps to the belfry, where you can see the clock mechanism and hear Big Ben strike. You also get to visit the Ayrton Light, which signals when Parliament is in session, and enjoy a panoramic view of London from the tower.

There are some things you should know before you go to Big Ben. You need to be at least 11 years old and physically fit to climb the stairs. You cannot bring any bags, cameras, or phones with you, as they are not allowed inside the tower. You need to go through a security check before entering the tower. You should arrive at least 15 minutes before your tour time and check in at the ticket office in Portcullis House. You should also dress appropriately for the weather, as the tower can be cold and windy.

Big Ben is one of the most iconic landmarks of London and a symbol of democracy and national pride. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Grade I listed building. There are many things to see and learn about Big Ben, such as its history, design, function, and role in British culture. Here are some interesting facts about Big Ben:

  • The clock tower is 96 meters (316 feet) tall and has four clock faces that are 7 meters (23 feet) in diameter.
  • The clock tower was designed by Augustus Pugin, who also designed the interior of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.
  • The clock tower was originally called St. Stephen’s Tower, after the chapel that stood on the site before the fire of 1834 that destroyed most of the old palace.
  • The name Big Ben comes from either Sir Benjamin Hall, who supervised the installation of the bell, or Benjamin Caunt, a heavyweight boxer who was nicknamed Big Ben.
  • The clock uses a gravity escapement invented by Edmund Beckett Denison, which makes it very accurate and reliable.
  • The clock is wound three times a week by hand, using a crank that takes over an hour to turn.
  • The clock is adjusted by adding or removing old pennies from the pendulum bob, which changes its weight and speed.
  • The clock has survived two world wars, a bomb blast in 1974, and several mechanical failures and repairs.
  • The clock has been broadcast by the BBC since 1924 as a daily time signal and a symbol of national unity.
  • The clock is currently undergoing a major renovation that started in 2017 and is expected to finish in 2022. During this time, the clock faces are covered with scaffolding and the bells are silenced except for special occasions.

You may also like

Leave a Comment