Big Ben

Note: Big Ben is undergoing repairs until 2021. It is covered in scafolding and there will also be no chimes. We don't know why it takes so long (4 years) - bad for tourism. Should be able to do better.

Big Ben is one of London's most famous landmarks and tourist attraction. Millions of tourists visit the London attraction every year. This popular London attraction is also known as the Great Clock of Westminster. Big Ben, and its famous chimes are known worldwide.

Many people refer to the whole tower as Big Ben, but the name refers not to the clock tower, but to the 13.5-ton bell within. Big Ben is the largest of the five bells. The bell originally came from the Old Palace of Westminster.

The clock tower, now renamed the Elizabeth Tower in honour of The Queen's Diamond 60 year reign, is at the north-eastern end of the building, the home of the English Houses of Parliament, and contains the famous striking clock and bell. Fantastic overhead views can be seen from the London Eye.

big ben westminster with london bus

The clock in the tower was once the largest in the world and is famous for its accuracy. Big Ben chimes on the hour to the accuracy of one second. The clock mechanism dates back to 1854, with St. Stephen's Tower (now Elizabeth Tower) being completed four years later.

There are four clock faces, which are set in an iron framework, 7 metres (23ft) in diameter with each diameter supporting 312 pieces of opal glass. This gives a luminous stained glass effect to the clock face. The hour hand is 2.7 metres (9ft) and the minute hand is 4.3 metres (14ft). This is truly the Great Clock of Westminster.

big ben clockface




To this day placing old pennies on the pendulum to slow the mechanism down controls the accuracy of the movement of the pendulum. By adding or subtracting pennies the clock maintains its accuracy.

The mechanism was designed by Edmund Beckett Denison and the clockmaker Edward John Dent created the mechanism to Denison's specifications. Augustus Pugin designed the clock faces and dials. A partnership of great design and innovation inspiring visitors world wide.

Nearest Tube: Westminster