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Big Ben Strikes Again | London Tour Guide | London Walks & All

Updated: May 24, 2023

London Tour Guide

At midnight as the clock struck midnight we heard the sound of Big Ben as we stepped into 2022, Since 2017 the bells of Big Ben fell largely quiet, The reason the bells were silenced was to protect the hearing of workers whilst essential work was carried out on the Elizabeth Tower.

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Here are 10+ facts about 'Big Ben'

  1. Big Ben is actually the nickname for the Great Bell of the striking clock. The origins of the nickname are unclear. The main theory is that it was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, a Welsh civil engineer who as First Commissioner of Work oversaw the latter stages of rebuilding of Parliament after it was destroyed by fire in 1834.

2. Originally known as the Clock Tower, in 2012 iw was renamed as the Elizabeth Tower to mark Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee.

3. Big Ben is the largest of the five bells in the tower. The original bell was cast for the tower in 1856. It was taken across Westminster Bridge to much anticipation from an inquisitive public. However it cracked during testing.

4. A replacement bell was cast by George Mears of the Whitechapel Foundry. This also cracked. The issue was however solved by turning the clock a quarter clockwise and using a lighter hammer to chime.

5. Big Ben weighs 13.7 tonnes, stands 2.2 metres tall and has a diameter of 2.7 metres . The four small bells chime on the quarter of the hour. The Elizabeth Tower is 96 metres. The Shard is 309.6 metres

6. The foundation stone for the Tower was laid ion 28th September 1843. The foundations are three metres (!0 feet) deep. The

7. Because of the difference between the speed of light and the speed of sound. If you stand at the base of the tower it will take 1/6th of second longer to hear the chimes compared to if you were hearing it live on TV.

8. The cost of renovating the Elizabeth Tower has risen to over £80million.

($111 million) after the discovery of asbestos and extensive World War Two bomb damage

9. During work on the Elizabeth Tower restorers have discovered that the original colour of the clock was Prussian Blue. It was covered in pollution and workers in the 1930s decided to paint it black. In the last few weeks we have as the scaffolding has been taken down seen all four faces of the cock now in it's original Prussian Blue colour.

10. Each day we seem to see another piece of scaffolding being removed. The Elizabeth tower renovation is set to be completed by the summer when the bells are all connected and the Westminster Chimes (Something we have missed so much) will chime again.


Big Ben Strikes Again | London Tour Guide | London Walks & All

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