When I used to think about London, the first place on my list to see was Big Ben.
The tower is smaller than I imagined, however it is the most amazing clock in the world, which has been London’s timekeeper for more than 150 years! It is reliable, you can always set your watch by it.
Big Ben got its name thanks to Londoners, who started calling the tower ‘Big Ben’ and the name stuck. Originally Big Ben was really the nickname of the bell inside the tower. However the original of this nickname is still a subject of some debate.
The building is officially called St Stephen’s Tower, however after the Queen Jubilee the clock tower was renamed Elizabeth tower.
Big Ben was cast at Whitechapel Bell Foundry, great pride of East London. They transported the bell on a horse carriage! Londoners lined the route and cheered as the bell went past.
The company that looks after Big Ben has staff on call at all times to fix the clock if needed. Workers wind up the clock three times a week to keep it ticking along. The best bonging experience is at midday so you can hear twelve bongs in a row.
Did you know you can download Big Ben ringtones? To find out more: Big Ben
Apparently heavy snow once caused Big Ben to ring in the New Year 10 minutes late.
With the snow like today maybe we can expect that again..