The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster – officially named Saint Stephen’s Tower – is commonly known as the Big Ben. The tower is one of London’s most famous landmarks.
The clock inside the tower was the world’s largest when it was installed in the middle of the nineteenth century. The name Big Ben actually refers to the clock’s hour bell, the largest of the clock’s five bells. The other four are used as quarter bells.
The hour bell was probably named after Benjamin Hall, the First Commissioner of Works. Some sources however claim the bell was named after Benjamin Caunt, a British heavyweight boxing champion.
The clock was the largest in the world and is still the largest in Great-Britain. The clock faces have a diameter of almost 25ft (7.5m). The hour hand is 9ft or 2.7m long and the minute hand measures 14ft (4.25m) long.
The clock is known for its reliability, it has rarely failed during its long life span. Even after the nearby House of Commons was destroyed by bombing during World War II, the clock kept on chiming. The clock’s mechanism, designed by Edmund Beckett Denison, has a remarkable accuracy. The clock’s rate is adjusted by simply adding small pennies on the shoulder of the pendulum.
The tower was constructed between 1843 and 1858 as the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster. The palace is now better known as the Houses of Parliament.
The clock tower rises 316ft high (96m) and consists of a 200ft (61m) high brick shaft topped by a cast iron framed spire. The clock faces are 180ft / 55m above ground level.
HT: A View on Cities
I just have a few more England Trip posts left and good thing because the Christmas/Advent season is here and so many wonderful things happen this time of year. I hope that joy and peace will fill your hearts during your busy days. And in the spirit of this post I hope to fill my “time” with good things. We celebrated our Daughter in Laws birthday today and I’ll share about it on her actual birthday which is December 3rd. I’ve pulled the cards out and have to get busy on our annual letter (I could write a book about 2013). All the Christmas bins are down from the attic. Fun events planned for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I wonder if I can get those cards done by Wednesday morning?? If not there’s always next week…
I’m so excited that it’s snowing on my blog. It happens this time of year without me doing anything. Thanks WordPress!
What is going to fill your time this week?
12 thoughts on “Big Ben”
Fantastic photos of Big Ben and family.. and really great information too!
Great photos, Ellen, and the facts were so interesting. Especially interesting that they adjust the rate of the clock with pennies. have a good week. laurie
What a majestic tower! I am a bit fuzzy on facts, was it renamed the Elizabeth Clock Tower in celebration of the Queen’s diamond jubilee last year? I guess I will have to stop by Prof. Wikipedia after posting the comment. :o)
Have a great week ahead. Mine will be work, and Christmas decorations. We have a very excited 4 year old, who is totally into Christmas. She has talked about Christmas all year long!
Big Ben is one of those structures that is immediately identifiable.
Gorgeous photos of you and your Dear, and your son and daughter-in-law…..and I love the snow on your blog!
Big Ben is so Iconic! Your photos of it and the surrounding buildings are fantastic. Did you ride on the London Eye, too, Ellen?
I like the snow effect on your blog! I was going to ask you how you did that 😉
Pat, we did not ride the “eye” this time around. Dear and I did ride it in 2003…
Such interesting facts about that famous clock! How ever do you remember all those details – amazing! Your pictures of it and of you and your family are so precious.
Interesting…your Big Ben historic facts. I’m planning to do a Big Ben BFTJ in January….mostly about the chimes. So how is it that you have snow on your blog…without ordering it?
I have really enjoyed this series. It’s the next best thing to visiting myself. It is obvious to me that you are an Anglophile!
I’ve heard about Big Ben and seen many photos….but have to say yours are amazing….along with the information….and of course the lovely people in the photos made them the best!
I have been thoroughly enjoying your travel segments! I totally want to go! You guys packed so much into your trip!
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