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Big Ben
Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is usually extended to refer to both

View Wikipedia Article

For other uses, see Big Ben (disambiguation).

Elizabeth Tower Alternative names Big BenGeneral informationType Clock towerArchitectural style Gothic RevivalLocation Westminster, London, England, UKCoordinates 51°30′03″N 0°07′28″W / 51.5007°N 0.1245°W / 51.5007; -0.1245Coordinates: 51°30′03″N 0°07′28″W / 51.5007°N 0.1245°W / 51.5007; -0.1245Completed 31 May 1859; 159 years ago (31 May 1859)Height 96 metres (315 ft)Technical detailsFloor count 11Design and constructionArchitect Augustus Pugin

Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London[1] and is usually extended to refer to both the clock and the clock tower.[2][3] The official name of the tower in which Big Ben is located was originally the Clock Tower, but it was renamed Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

The tower was designed by Augustus Pugin in a neo-gothic style. When completed in 1859, its clock was the largest and most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock in the world.[4] The tower stands 315 feet (96 m) tall, and the climb from ground level to the belfry is 334 steps. Its base is square, measuring 39 feet (12 m) on each side. Dials of the clock are 23 feet (7.0 m) in diameter. On 31 May 2009, celebrations were held to mark the tower's 150th anniversary.[5]

Big Ben is the largest of five bells and weighs 13.5 long tons (13.7 tonnes; 15.1 short tons).[1] It was the largest bell in the United Kingdom for 23 years. The origin of the bell's nickname is open to question; it may be named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw its installation, or heavyweight boxing champion Benjamin Caunt. Four quarter bells chime at 15, 30 and 45 minutes past the hour and just before Big Ben tolls on the hour. The clock uses its original Victorian mechanism, but an electric motor can be used as a backup.

The tower is a British cultural icon recognised all over the world. It is one of the most prominent symbols of the United Kingdom and parliamentary democracy,[6] and it is often used in the establishing shot of films set in London.[7] The clock tower has been part of a Grade I listed building since 1970 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

On 21 August 2017, a four-year schedule of renovation works began on the tower, which are to include the addition of a lift. There are also plans to re-glaze and repaint the clock dials. With a few exceptions, such as New Year's Eve and Remembrance Sunday, the bells are to be silent until the work has been completed in the 2020s.

  • 1 Tower
    • 1.1 Origin
    • 1.2 Design
    • 1.3 Name
  • 2 Clock
    • 2.1 Dials
    • 2.2 Movement
    • 2.3 Breakdowns and other incidents
      • 2.3.1 19th century
      • 2.3.2 20th century
      • 2.3.3 21st century
  • 3 Bells
    • 3.1 Great Bell
    • 3.2 Chimes
  • 4 Nickname
  • 5 Cultural significance
  • 6 2017 renovation
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links
    • 9.1 Videos
Tower Origin Audio description of the tower by Gary O'Donoghue

Elizabeth Tower, previously called the Clock Tower but more popularly known as Big Ben,[3][5] was raised as a part of Charles Barry's design for a new palace, after the old Palace of Westminster was largely destroyed by fire on the night of 16 October 1834.[8][9] The new parliament was built in a neo-gothic style. Although Barry was the chief architect of the palace, he turned to Augustus Pugin for the design of the clock tower, which resembles earlier Pugin designs, including one for Scarisbrick Hall in Lancashire. The design for the tower was Pugin's last design before his final descent into madness and death, and Pugin himself wrote, at the time of Barry's last visit to him to collect the drawings: "I never worked so hard in my life for Mr Barry for tomorrow I render all the designs for finishing his bell tower & it is beautiful."[10]


The tower is designed in Pugin's celebrated Gothic Revival style, and is 315 feet (96.0 m) high.[11] The bottom 200 feet (61.0 m) of the tower's structure consists of brickwork with sand-coloured Anston limestone cladding. The remainder of the tower's height is a framed spire of cast iron. The tower is founded on a 50 feet (15.2 m) square raft, made of 10 feet (3.0 m) thick concrete, at a depth of 13 feet (4.0 m) below ground level. The four clock dials are 180 feet (54.9 m) above ground. The interior volume of the tower is 164,200 cubic feet (4,650 cubic metres).

The Palace of Westminster, Big Ben and Westminster Bridge

Despite being one of the world's most famous tourist attractions, the interior of the tower is not open to overseas visitors, though United Kingdom residents were able to arrange tours (well in advance) through their Member of Parliament before the current repair works.[12] However, the tower currently has no lift, though one is being installed, so those escorted had to climb the 334 limestone stairs to the top.[11]

Due to changes in ground conditions since construction, the tower leans slightly to the north-west, by roughly 230 millimetres (9.1 in) over 55 m height, giving an inclination of approximately ​1⁄240. This includes a planned maximum of 22 mm increased tilt due to tunnelling for the Jubilee line extension.[13] It leans by about 500 millimetres (20 in) at the finial. Experts believe the tower's lean will not be a problem for another 4,000 to 10,000 years.[14] Due to thermal effects it oscillates annually by a few millimetres east and west.

Name London skyline with Big Ben and environs, including the London Eye, Portcullis House, Parliament Square, and St Margaret's Church

Journalists during Queen Victoria's reign called it St Stephen's Tower. As MPs originally sat at St Stephen's Hall, these journalists referred to anything related to the House of Commons as news from "St. Stephens" (the Palace of Westminster contains a feature called St Stephen's Tower, a smaller tower over the public entrance).[8] The usage persists in Welsh, where the Westminster district, and Parliament by extension, is known as San Steffan.

On 2 June 2012, The Daily Telegraph reported that 331 Members of Parliament, including senior members of all three main parties, supported a proposal to change the name from Clock Tower to Elizabeth Tower in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in her diamond jubilee year. This was thought to be appropriate because the large west tower now known as Victoria Tower was renamed in tribute to Queen Victoria on her diamond jubilee.[15] On 26 June 2012, the House of Commons confirmed that the name change could go ahead.[16] The Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced the change of name on 12 September 2012 at the start of Prime Minister's Questions.[17] The change was marked by a naming ceremony in which the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, unveiled a name plaque attached to the tower on the adjoining Speaker's Green.[18]

Clock Dials The dial of the Great Clock of Westminster. The hour hand is 9 feet (2.7 m) long and the minute hand is 14 feet (4.3 m) long.

The clock and dials were designed by Augustus Pugin. The clock dials are set in an iron frame 23 feet (7.0 m) in diameter, supporting 312 pieces of opal glass, rather like a stained-glass window. Some of the glass pieces may be removed for inspection of the hands. The surround of the dials is gilded. At the base of each clock dial in gilt letters is the Latin inscription:

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Which means O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First.

Unlike most other Roman numeral clock dials, which show the '4' position as 'IIII', the Great Clock faces depict '4' as 'IV'.

Movement The rear of the clock face

The clock's movement is famous for its reliability. The designers were the lawyer and amateur horologist Edmund Beckett Denison, and George Airy, the Astronomer Royal. Construction was entrusted to clockmaker Edward John Dent; after his death in 1853 his stepson Frederick Dent completed the work, in 1854.[19] As the tower was not complete until 1859, Denison had time to experiment: instead of using the deadbeat escapement and remontoire as originally designed, Denison invented the double three-legged gravity escapement. This escapement provides the best separation between pendulum and clock mechanism. The pendulum is installed within an enclosed windproof box beneath the clockroom. It is 13 feet (4.0 m) long, weighs 660 pounds (300 kg), suspended on a strip of spring steel ​1⁄64 inch in thickness, and beats every two seconds. The clockwork mechanism in a room below weighs five tons.

Play media Winding the clock mechanism

On top of the pendulum is a small stack of old penny coins; these are to adjust the time of the clock. Adding a coin has the effect of minutely lifting the position of the pendulum's centre of mass, reducing the effective length of the pendulum rod and hence increasing the rate at which the pendulum swings. Adding or removing a penny will change the clock's speed by 0.4 seconds per day.[20] The clock is hand wound (taking about 1.5 hours)[21] three times a week.[22]

On 10 May 1941, a German bombing raid damaged two of the clock's dials and sections of the tower's stepped roof and destroyed the House of Commons chamber. Architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott designed a new five-floor block. Two floors are occupied by the current chamber, which was used for the first time on 26 October 1950. The clock ran accurately and chimed throughout the Blitz.[23]

Breakdowns and other incidents 19th century

February 1900: The heavy build-up of snow on a clock face impeded the progress of the hour hand, causing the clock to stop for about eight hours.[24]

20th century

1916: For two years during World War I, the bells were silenced and the clock faces were not illuminated at night to avoid guiding attacking German Zeppelins.[11]

Winter 1928: Heavy snow stopped the clock for several hours.[24]

23 September 1936: A painter painting the inside of the clock room placed a ladder against a shaft driving the hands, stopping the clock from 8:47 to 10 a.m.[24]

1 September 1939: Although the bells continued to ring, the clock faces were not illuminated at night throughout World War II to avoid guiding bomber pilots during the Blitz.[11]

10 May 1941: A German bombing raid damaged two of the clock's dials.

3–4 June 1941: The clock stopped from 10:13 p.m. until 10:13 the following morning, after a workman repairing air-raid damage to the clock face left a hammer too close to the mechanism.[25][24]

25-26 January 1945: Extremely cold temperatures froze the rubber bushings on the quarter-bell hammers, preventing the chimes sounding from 9 p.m. on the 25th to 9 p.m. the following evening; the BBC broadcast the pips in the interval.[24]

28 January 1947: The rubber bushings on the quarter bell hammers again froze before the clock sounded midnight, muting the chimes, though the problem was resolved by the morning.[24]

12 August 1949: The clock slowed by four and a half minutes after a flock of starlings perched on the minute hand.[26][24]

13 January 1955: The clock stopped at 3:24 a.m. due to drifts of snow forming on the north and east dials. Small electric heaters were placed just inside these two dials which faced the full fury of the winter's blast, and this measure has helped to reduce instances of freezing in recent years.[24]

18 July 1955: The rope operating the striking hammer broke, silencing the clock from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.[24]

New Year's Eve 1962: The clock slowed due to heavy snow and ice on the hands, causing the pendulum to detach from the clockwork, as it is designed to do in such circumstances, to avoid serious damage elsewhere in the mechanism – the pendulum continuing to swing freely. Thus, it chimed-in the 1963 new year nine minutes late.[27]

30 January 1965: The bells were silenced during the funeral of statesman and former prime minister Winston Churchill.[28]

9 January 1968: Snow buildup on the clock faces blocked the hands from moving, stopping the clock from 6:28 to 10:10 a.m.[24]

5 August 1976: First and only major breakdown. The air brake speed regulator of the chiming mechanism broke from torsional fatigue after more than 100 years of use, causing the fully wound 4-ton weight to spin the winding drum out of the movement, causing much damage. The Great Clock was shut down for a total of 26 days over nine months – it was reactivated on 9 May 1977. This was the longest break in operation since its construction. During this time BBC Radio 4 broadcast the pips instead.[29] Although there were minor stoppages from 1977 to 2002, when maintenance of the clock was carried out by the old firm of clockmakers Thwaites & Reed, these were often repaired within the permitted two-hour downtime and not recorded as stoppages. Before 1970, maintenance was carried out by the original firm of Dents; since 2002, by parliamentary staff.

March 1986 and January 1987: The problem of the rubber bushings on the quarter bell chimes freezing recurred, muffling the chimes.[24]

30 April 1997: The clock stopped 24 hours before the general election, and stopped again three weeks later.[30]

21st century The south clock face being cleaned on 11 August 2007

27 May 2005: The clock stopped at 10:07 p.m., possibly because of hot weather; temperatures in London had reached an unseasonable 31.8 °C (90 °F). It resumed, but stopped again at 10:20 p.m., and remained still for about 90 minutes before resuming.[30]

29 October 2005: The mechanism was stopped for about 33 hours to allow maintenance work on the clock and its chimes. It was the lengthiest maintenance shutdown in 22 years.[31]

7:00 a.m. 5 June 2006: The clock tower's "Quarter Bells" were taken out of commission for four weeks[32] as a bearing holding one of the quarter bells was worn and needed to be removed for repairs. During this period, BBC Radio 4 broadcast recordings of British bird song followed by the pips in place of the usual chimes.[33]

11 August 2007: Start of 6-week stoppage for maintenance. Bearings in the clock's chime train and the "great bell" striker were replaced, for the first time since installation.[34] During the maintenance the clock was driven by an electric motor.[35] Once again, BBC Radio 4 broadcast the pips during this time. The intention was that the clock should run accurately for a further 200 years before major maintenance is again required; in fact the repairs sufficed for ten years.[36]

17 April 2013: The bells were silenced as a mark of "profound dignity and deep respect" during the funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.[37]

August 2015: The clock was discovered to be running 7 seconds fast, and coins were removed from its pendulum to correct the error, which caused it to run slow for a time.[38]

21 August 2017: Start of 4-year silencing of the chimes during maintenance and repair work to the clock mechanism, and repairs and improvements to the clock tower building. During this time, dials, hands, and lights will be removed for restoration, with at least one dial—with hands driven by an electric motor—left intact, functioning, and visible at any given time. Plans also include installing a lift.[39] The bells, however, will still chime for events such as New Year's Eve and Remembrance Day.[40][41]

Bells Great Bell The second "Big Ben" (centre) and the Quarter Bells from The Illustrated News of the World, 4 December 1858

The main bell, officially known as the Great Bell but better known as Big Ben, is the largest bell in the tower and part of the Great Clock of Westminster.[42] It sounds an E-natural.[43]

The original bell was a 16 ton (16.3-tonne) hour bell, cast on 6 August 1856 in Stockton-on-Tees by John Warner & Sons.[1] The bell was possibly named in honour of Sir Benjamin Hall, and his name is inscribed on it.[44] However, another theory for the origin of the name is that the bell may have been named after a contemporary heavyweight boxer Benjamin Caunt.[45] It is thought that the bell was originally to be called Victoria or Royal Victoria in honour of Queen Victoria, but that an MP suggested the nickname during a Parliamentary debate; the comment is not recorded in Hansard.[46]

Since the tower was not yet finished, the bell was mounted in New Palace Yard but, during testing it cracked beyond repair and a replacement had to be made. The bell was recast on 10 April 1858 at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry as a 13½ ton (13.76-tonne) bell.[1][47] The second bell was transported from the foundry to the tower on a trolley drawn by sixteen horses, with crowds cheering its progress; it was then pulled 200 ft (61.0 m) up to the Clock Tower’s belfry, a feat that took 18 hours. It is 7 feet 6 inches (2.29 m) tall and 9 feet (2.74 m) diameter. This new bell first chimed in July 1859; in September it too cracked under the hammer. According to the foundry's manager, George Mears, the horologist Denison had used a hammer more than twice the maximum weight specified.[1] For three years Big Ben was taken out of commission and the hours were struck on the lowest of the quarter bells until it was repaired. To make the repair, a square piece of metal was chipped out from the rim around the crack, and the bell given an eighth of a turn so the new hammer struck in a different place.[1] Big Ben has chimed with a slightly different tone ever since, and is still in use today with the crack unrepaired. Big Ben was the largest bell in the British Isles until "Great Paul", a 16¾ ton (17 tonne) bell currently hung in St Paul's Cathedral, was cast in 1881.[48]

Chimes Big Ben A recording from the BBC World Service radio station of the Westminster Chimes and the twelve strikes of Big Ben, as broadcast at midnight, New Year's Day 2009.

Along with the Great Bell, the belfry houses four quarter bells which play the Westminster Quarters on the quarter hours. The four quarter bells sound G♯, F♯, E, and B. They were cast by John Warner & Sons at their Crescent Foundry in 1857 (G♯, F♯ and B) and 1858 (E). The Foundry was in Jewin Crescent, in what is now known as The Barbican, in the City of London.[49] The bells are sounded by hammers pulled by cables coming from the link room—a low-ceiling space between the clock room and the belfry—where mechanisms translate the movement of the quarter train into the sounding of the individual bells.[50]

The quarter bells play a once-repeating, 20-note sequence of rounds and four changes in the key of E major: 1–4 at quarter past, 5–12 at half past, 13–20 and 1–4 at quarter to, and 5–20 on the hour (which sounds 25 seconds before the main bell tolls the hour). Because the low bell (B) is struck twice in quick succession, there is not enough time to pull a hammer back, and it is supplied with two wrench hammers on opposite sides of the bell. The tune is that of the Cambridge Chimes, first used for the chimes of Great St Mary's church, Cambridge, and supposedly a variation, attributed to William Crotch, based on violin phrases from the air "I know that my Redeemer liveth" in Handel's Messiah.[51][52] The notional words of the chime, again derived from Great St Mary's and in turn an allusion to Psalm 37:23–24, are: "All through this hour/Lord be my guide/And by Thy power/No foot shall slide". They are written on a plaque on the wall of the clock room.[53][54]

One of the requirements for the clock was that the first stroke of the hour bell should be correct to within one second per day. The tolerance is with reference to Greenwich Mean Time (BST in summer).[11][55][56] So, at twelve o'clock, for example, it is the first of the twelve hour-bell strikes that signifies the hour (the New Year on New Year's Eve at midnight). The time signalled by the last of the "six pips" (UTC) may be fractionally different.


The origin of the nickname Big Ben is the subject of some debate. The nickname was applied first to the Great Bell; it may have been named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the installation of the Great Bell, or after English heavyweight boxing champion Benjamin Caunt.[1][42][45] Now Big Ben is often used, by extension, to refer to the clock, the tower and the bell collectively, although the nickname is not universally accepted as referring to the clock and tower.[2][57][58][59] Some authors of works about the tower, clock and bell sidestep the issue by using the words Big Ben first in the title, then going on to clarify that the subject of the book is the clock and tower as well as the bell.[29][60]

In August 2017, satirical news site The Rochdale Herald published a spoof article stating that the bell was to be renamed "Massive Mohammed". Many people mistook this for a genuine news story and were widely ridiculed on social media.[61][62][63] This even inspired the creation of two online petitions.

Cultural significance Double-decker buses frame a busy Whitehall with Big Ben in the background.

The clock has become a cultural symbol of the United Kingdom, particularly in the visual media. When a television or film-maker wishes to indicate a generic location in the country, a popular way to do so is to show an image of the tower, often with a red double-decker bus or black cab in the foreground.[64]

In 2008, a survey of 2,000 people found that the tower was the most popular landmark in the United Kingdom.[65] It has also been named as the most iconic film location in London.[66]

Big Ben's dials and belfry are illuminated at night.

The sound of the clock chiming has also been used this way in audio media, but as the Westminster Quarters are heard from other clocks and other devices, the sound is by no means unique. Big Ben is a focal point of New Year celebrations in the United Kingdom, with radio and television stations airing its chimes to welcome the start of the New Year. To welcome in 2012, the clock tower was lit with fireworks that exploded at every toll of Big Ben.[67] Similarly, on Remembrance Day, the chimes of Big Ben are broadcast to mark the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and the start of the two minutes' silence.[68] Londoners who live an appropriate distance from the tower and Big Ben can, by means of listening to the chimes both live and on analogue radio, hear the bell strike thirteen times. This is possible because the electronically transmitted chimes arrive virtually instantaneously, while the "live" sound is delayed travelling through the air since the speed of sound is relatively slow.[69]

ITN's News at Ten opening sequence formerly featured an image of the tower with the sound of Big Ben's chimes punctuating the announcement of the news headlines of the day.[70] The Big Ben chimes (known within ITN as "The Bongs") continue to be used during the headlines and all ITV News bulletins use a graphic based on the Westminster clock dial. Big Ben can also be heard striking the hour before some news bulletins on BBC Radio 4 (6 p.m. and midnight, plus 10 p.m. on Sundays) and the BBC World Service, a practice that began on 31 December 1923. The sound of the chimes is sent live from a microphone permanently installed in the tower and connected by line to Broadcasting House.[71]

At the close of the polls for the 2010 general election the results of the national exit poll were projected onto the south side of the tower.[72] On 27 July 2012, starting at 8:12 a.m, Big Ben chimed 30 times, to welcome the Games of the 30th Olympiad, which officially began that day, to London.[73]

Some Conservative MPs want Big Ben to chime at the moment of Brexit on 29 March 2019.[74]

2017 renovation Scaffolding was put up in 2017.

The tower is undergoing a major renovation which began in August 2017 and is expected to last four years.[75] Big Ben's chimes were silenced at noon on 21 August.[76] Essential maintenance will be carried out on the clock, which will be stopped for several months, during which there will be no chimes. Striking and tolling will be maintained for important events such as New Year's Eve and Remembrance Sunday. Big Ben will resume striking and tolling in 2021.[39]

The aim of the renovation is to repair and conserve the tower, upgrade facilities as necessary, and ensure its integrity for future generations. The last significant renovation work was carried out to the tower in 1983–85. The most significant addition to the tower will be the installation of a lift.[3] The clock faces are to be repainted and re-gilded,[77] and many broken panes of glass are also being replaced on the dials.[78]

Originally, the renovation was estimated to cost between £29 million and £45 million; however, in September 2017, the figure increased to £61 million.[79]

See also
  • London portal
  • Victoria Tower
  • Big Ben Aden
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  2. ^ a b Fowler, H. W. (1976). The Concise Oxford dictionary of current English. First edited by H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler (Sixth ed.). Clarendon Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-19-861121-8. Big Ben, great bell, clock, and tower, of Houses of Parliament 
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  29. ^ a b Macdonald, Peter G (25 January 2005). Big Ben: The Bell, The Clock And The Tower. Stroud, Gloucestershire. ISBN 978-0-7524-9549-1. 
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  31. ^ "In pictures: Big Ben's big turn off". BBC News. 29 October 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  32. ^ Hutton, Robert (4 June 2006). "Big Ben's Chime Won't Sound the Same to Londoners for a While". Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  33. ^ Rippon, Peter (12 June 2006). "The Editors: Bongs and Birds". BBC News. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  34. ^ "Big Ben silenced for repair work". BBC News. 11 August 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
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  36. ^ Brand, Stewart (2008). The Clock of the Long Now. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-7867-2292-1. 
  37. ^ Watt, Nicholas (15 April 2013). "Margaret Thatcher funeral: Big Ben to be silenced as mark of respect". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  38. ^ Phipps, Claire (25 August 2015). "Clockwatchers ticked off as Big Ben's chimes run seven seconds fast". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
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  43. ^
  44. ^ "Big Ben of Westminster". The Times. London (22505): 5. 22 October 1859. It is proposed to call our king of bells 'Big Ben' in honour of Sir Benjamin Hall, the President of the Board of Works, during whose tenure of office it was cast 
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  47. ^ The actual weight quoted by the founders is 13  tons 10 cwts 3 qtrs 15 lbs.
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  52. ^ Starmer, William Wooding (1910). Quarter Chimes and Chime Tunes. London: Novello. pp. 6–8. 
  53. ^ Milmo, Cahel (5 June 2006). "Bong! A change of tune at Westminster". The Independent. London. Retrieved 8 April 2008. 
  54. ^ Lockyer, Herbert (1 January 1993). A Devotional Commentary on Psalms. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Christian Books. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-8254-9742-1. 
  55. ^ Steve Jaggs, Keeper of the Clock, interviewed on Sky News, 26 April 2016.
  56. ^ "The Story of Big Ben". Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  57. ^ Betts, Jonathan D. (26 November 2008). "Big Ben". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2008. 
  58. ^ "Big Ben". The Columbia Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press. July 2001. Archived from the original on 10 October 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2008. 
  59. ^ "Big Ben". Encarta World English Dictionary . Microsoft Corporation. 2009. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  60. ^ Lockhart, Ann (1997). Big Ben and the Westminster Clock Tower. Stroud, Gloucestershire. ISBN 0853728399. 
  61. ^ Nagesh, Ashitha (17 August 2017). "People actually believed that Big Ben was going to be renamed 'Massive Mohammed'". Metro. London. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  62. ^ "This Fake Story Claiming Big Ben Will Be Renamed For Muslims Is Making A Lot Of People Mad". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  63. ^ "Someone joked that Big Ben would be renamed Massive Mohammed and people were furious". Indy100. 18 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  64. ^ Patterson, John (1 June 2007). "City Light". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2016. 
  65. ^ "Big Ben 'UK's favourite landmark'". BBC News. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  66. ^ "Big Ben most iconic London film location". Metro. London. 21 October 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  67. ^ "Fireworks going off at the London Eye and Big Ben to welcome 2012 in London". BBC One. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  68. ^ "Remembrance Day across the UK". BBC News. 14 November 2004. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  69. ^ "How to make Big Ben's clock strike 13". BBC News. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  70. ^ Robinson, James (22 October 2009). "ITV to drop Big Ben from News at Ten titles". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  71. ^ "Big Ben Microphone". BBC. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  72. ^ "General election results beamed onto Big Ben". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  73. ^ "Big Ben rings in Olympic Morning". ITV News. YouTube. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2018. 
  74. ^ Baynes, Chris (19 August 2017). "Tory MPs want Big Ben to bong us out of the EU at midnight on the day we Brexit". The Independent. 
  75. ^ Reuters Staff (21 August 2017). "Britain's Big Ben falls silent for four years of renovation work". Reuters. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  76. ^ Watson, Leon; McCann, Kate; Horton, Helena (21 August 2017). "Big Ben: Why has Westminster's Great Bell been silenced - and for how long?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  77. ^ "Elizabeth Tower contract awarded". UK Parliament. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2017. 
  78. ^ "Big Ben to be silenced for months by tower and clock repairs". The Guardian. Press Association. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2017. 
  79. ^ "Big Ben tower repair costs double to £61m". BBC News. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
External links Find more aboutBig Benat Wikipedia's sister projects
  • Definitions from Wiktionary
  • Media from Wikimedia Commons
  • Texts from Wikisource
  • Travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Data from Wikidata
  • Official website of Big Ben at UK Parliament
  • The Palace of Westminster at UK Parliament
  • Big Ben at Whitechapel Bell Foundry
  • Big Ben's Clapper at Houghton-le-Spring Heritage Society
  • Interior photos of the tower at UK Parliament's Flickr
  • A tale of Two Towers: Big Ben and Pisa transcript of a lecture by Prof. John Burland
  • The Mechanical Genius of Big Ben (2017) documentary by Discovery
  • Big Ben's a Hundred (1959) newsreel by British Pathé
  • Big Ben's Clean Up (1955) by British Pathé
  • Big Ben (1948) by British Pathé
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LEGO Creator Expert 10253 Big Ben Building Kit
LEGO Creator Expert 10253 Big Ben Building Kit
Recreate one of London's best-known landmarks with the amazing LEGO Creator Expert Big Ben set. This highly-detailed model captures the grandeur of the 96-meter neo-gothic styled Elizabeth Tower with the adjoining east wing of the Palace of Westminster, and features a sculptural facade with windows, statues and shields, the iconic clock tower with its golden spires and intricate detailing, the Ayrton Light, and 4 beautifully crafted clock dials with movable hour and minute hands. Remove the top of the tower and you'll find the Big Ben bell! A grass area, tree and sidewalk depicting the building's location add the finishing touch to this magnificent model. This fun childrens toy makes a great display piece for the home or office.

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LEGO Architecture London 21034 Skyline Collection Gift
LEGO Architecture London 21034 Skyline Collection Gift
Celebrate the architectural diversity of London with this detailed LEGO. brick model. The LEGO Architecture Skyline Collection offers models suitable for display in the home and office, and has been developed for all with an interest in travel, architectural culture, history and design. Each set is scaled to give an accurate representation of the comparative size of each structure, with true-to-life color depiction. This building blocks set depicts the National Gallery, Nelson’s Column, London Eye, Big Ben (the Elizabeth Tower) and Tower Bridge, and is finished with a decorative “London” nameplate, making it a great gift idea for young and old.

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Nanoblock London Big Ben Building Kit
Nanoblock London Big Ben Building Kit
Big Ben' is the nickname for the great bell that chimes the hour in the landmark clock tower, which is part of the Palace of Westminster - Houses of Parliament - in London. The Clock Tower, completed in 1858, has also adopted the name Big Ben and is a prominent symbol of the city of London. The nanoblock ?Sights to See Collection? takes you to encounter fascinating architectural icons around the world. You can try re-creating the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, Kinkakuji Temple or Moai Statues on Easter Island for all to admire and applaud! nanoblocks are all about the creative construction process with rewarding sculptural results ? the perfect three-dimensional puzzle! The miniature blocks connect securely to create extremely detailed objects of varying size and complexity. nanoblock is continually on the look-out for interesting and challenging subjects with different levels of difficulty. Once the ?Miniature Collection? Series has been mastered, being the easiest with 70-200 pieces, followers can then progress onto the ?Sights to See Collection? with 200-600 pieces. But if that is not enough, they can try the ?Advanced Hobby Series? for the freedom to create anything up 6,000 bricks worth of monumental accomplishment! Packs are marked with a scale from 1-8 bricks (1 being the easiest) to show the level of difficulty.

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CubicFun Great Architectural 3D London Puzzle Toys Model Kits,UK Big Ben 30 Pieces,C094h
CubicFun Great Architectural 3D London Puzzle Toys Model Kits,UK Big Ben 30 Pieces,C094h
Construct a famous landmark with CubicFun interlocking puzzle pieces. With original design, high quality, great color, you can create amazing 3D replicas of well-known architecture around the world without any tools.

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Beistle 54748, 2Piece Jointed Big Ben Cutouts, 71", Multicolored
Beistle 54748, 2Piece Jointed Big Ben Cutouts, 71", Multicolored
Beistle 54748 jointed big Ben cutout. The package contains 2 cutouts. The big Ben cutouts are jointed and printed on both sides of boardstock paper. They measure 71 inches tall. Put these great cutouts on a large wall to decorate for a British or International themed party!

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What On Earth Great Places Table Lamp - London, England Big Ben, Small Accent Light for Desk - 3" x 3" x 14"
What On Earth Great Places Table Lamp - London, England Big Ben, Small Accent Light for Desk - 3" x 3" x 14"
These detailed table lamps are just the right size for accent lighting wherever you need it! Romantic London with the famous watch tower, Big Ben, 14"x 3". Lamp requires one 7-watt bulb (included). On/off switch on 56" cord. Plastic

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Ben 10 Rustbucket Deluxe Vehicle Transforming Playset
Ben 10 Rustbucket Deluxe Vehicle Transforming Playset
On an extended roadtrip, Ben, Gwen and Max travel the country in their motorhome, affectionately known as the Rustbucket, seeing the sights, sticking their foot in it, and beating down the bad guys while always having a blast! As seen on Cartoon Network's animated series, the Rustbucket is a 2-in-1 vehicle that transforms into a giant 3-level playset standing over 2 feet tall! Packed with action features, kids can create their own adventures along with all of the Ben 10 Basic Figures!.

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