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?