Big Ben Fast Facts

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Here’s immoderate inheritance accusation astir Big Ben, the timepiece and doorbell successful Elizabeth Tower astatine the Houses of Parliament successful London.


It is 1 of the astir celebrated landmarks successful England.

The sanction Big Ben primitively referred to conscionable the doorbell but present it encompasses the clock, the operation and the bell.

Big Ben chimes connected the hr and has 4th bells that chime each 15 minutes.

Tours are disposable to lone UK residents by petition done a Member of Parliament oregon a Member of the House of Lords.

Visitors spell done airdrome benignant information checks.

The country is surveilled utilizing CCTV cameras, alarms, and different information technology.


1843 – Construction connected the timepiece operation begins.

February 1852 – Clockmaker Edward John Dent is recruited to plan the clock.

1853 – Dent passes away. His stepson, Frederick Dent takes implicit the project.

1856-1857 – The doorbell is formed successful bluish England and transported to London. It develops a ace and a replacement doorbell is cast.

April 10, 1858 – The replacement bell, 2.5 tons lighter than the original, is formed oregon molded.

1859 – Construction connected the operation is complete.

May 1859 – The timepiece begins keeping time.

July 11, 1859 – Big Ben chimes for the archetypal time.

September 1859 – Big Ben’s large doorbell cracks 2 months aft its archetypal chime and is taken retired of commission. A smaller 4th doorbell chimes connected the hr for 4 years. In 1863, the large doorbell is turned truthful an undamaged information is struck with a smaller hammer.

1923 – Big Ben’s chimes are broadcast by BBC Radio connected New Year’s Eve.

1939-April 1945 – The timepiece dials are unlit owed to wartime blackout regulations.

August 1976 – Nine months of repairs begin.

2007 – Big Ben is soundless for 7 weeks arsenic repairs are made connected the clock.

2009 – Special events each twelvemonth people Big Ben’s 150th anniversary.

2011 – It becomes evident that Big Ben has started to thin to 1 side. It is estimated that determination is simply a alteration of little than 1 millimeter per year.

September 12, 2012 – Big Ben’s Tower is renamed Elizabeth Tower successful grant of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, her 60th day connected the throne.

October 2015 – The British newspapers, the Mail connected Sunday and Sunday Times study that the timepiece is successful request of repair. A parliamentary study notes that Big Ben whitethorn halt moving oregon the clock’s hands could autumn disconnected if it is not refurbished.

2016 – Repairs, costing much than $42 million, are scheduled for aboriginal 2017. The timepiece volition not chime for respective months portion it’s being refurbished. It’s acceptable to beryllium the 3rd clip successful Big Ben’s 157-year past that the timepiece volition beryllium silenced.

August 14, 2017 – Parliament announces that Big Ben volition autumn silent connected August 21 and stay truthful until 2021, erstwhile repairs are expected to beryllium complete. The repairs are estimated to outgo astir £29 million, oregon much than $42 million.

September 29, 2017 – In a statement, the House of Commons announces that the estimated outgo of repairs for Big Ben has much than doubled from £29 cardinal to £61 million.

February 13, 2020 Workers person discovered “extensive” World War II weaponry harm to the Elizabeth Tower, which volition unit the outgo of restoring it to emergence from £61.1m to £79.7m ($79.7m to $104m). Plans are inactive connected way to implicit the restoration successful 2021, according to a statement from the House of Commons.

Bell Characteristics

8 feet, 8 inches successful diameter

7 feet, 2 inches tall

Weighs 13.7 tons

Elizabeth Tower, wherever the doorbell chimes, stands 315 feet (96 meters) tall.

The timepiece weighs astir 5 tons. The hr hands are astir 9 ft agelong and the infinitesimal hands are astir 14 ft. long.

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