Things to Do in London
Image courtesy of Deposit Photos
The famous clock, wrongly (curiously) called Big Ben, affixed to the Elizabeth Tower at Westminster Palace, next to the British Houses of Parliament is a major London icon. But Big Ben is actually a bell, one that strikes on the hours, not a clock. Big Ben lives behind the four clock faces on the Elizabeth Tower, and weighs in at 13,760 kg (13 tons).
The clock, 96 metres (just under 300 feet) above ground, can be seen from numerous locations in London. Its large (7 metres or 21 feet), prominent dial, lit up at night, has been watching over the city since May 31, 1859. In 2012, for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee the tower was renamed in her honour.
The clock, being a working mechanism, is occasionally shut down for maintenance and repairs. Even then, visitors are not able to go inside, behind the clock faces, to visit Big Ben the bell. But it’s a comforting sound, the great gong of Big Ben, heard all around the town; it has rung consistently though its years, even through disasters like The Blitz.