Big Ben is The Clock Tower of Palace of Westminster and it is officially called the Saint Stephen’s Tower but Big Ben is its common name. This tower is one of the most famous landmarks in London. When installed during mid nineteenth century, it was the largest clock in the world. Actually, the term Big Ben is used in reference to the hour bell of the clock and it is the largest one of the five bells found at the clock. The other four bells are simply used just as quarter bells.
The history behind the Big Ben in the City of Westminster is very interesting and something that you will be thrilled to learn about. Initially, there used to be two bells that were cast as the clock hour bell of the tower. In 1856, John Warner and Sons cast the first bell at the place weighing sixteen tones. And since completion of the clock was not yet, they temporarily hung the bell at the Palace Yard. A few years later, the bell cracked which promoted it to be recast in 1858 at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The new bell now weighed 13.5 Tones. But unfortunately, after placing of the new bell in July 1859 at the belfry, it also cracked as well.
Rather than another new bell being installed, they decided to repair it and didn’t need to recast the bell. They used a lighter hammer for preventing any more cracks. It is probably believed that the hour bell was named after the First Commissioner of Works by the name Benjamin Hall. However, some other sources say that the bell was actually named after a popular heavy weight boxing champion known as Benjamin Caunt. The Clock was at one time the largest of its kind in the world and it still remains as the largest clock in Britain. The faces of the clock have a total diameter of 7.5 meters with the minute hand and hour hand measuring 14 ft/ 4.25 m long and 9ft/ 2.7 meters long respectively.
Most people adore the Big Ben Clock largely because of its unique reliability and despite its unbelievable long life span, it has failed rarely. Even after the destruction of the House of Commons nearby during World War II by bombing, the clock stood firm and it continues chiming. Edmund Beckett Denison designed the mechanism of the clock and is known for its remarkable accuracy. To adjust the rate of the clock, some small pennies are added on the pendulum shoulder. The Tower was itself constructed from 1843 to 1858 serving as clock tower of palace of Westminster. Now, the palace is best known as Houses of Parliament.
The clock has a height of 96 meters. Unfortunately, the public is not allowed to access the clock. However, if you want to catch some stunning views over it, you can do so at the Shard and the London Eye which are the best options currently.