Big Ben is the name of the bell inside St Stephen’s clock tower attached to the Houses of Parliament and is one of the best-known landmarks of London.
The Big Ben is a thirteen ton bell hung into the clock tower that strikes the hours and was named after the first commissioner of works, Sir Benjamin Hall.
The bell was brought from the old Palace of Westminster and given to the Dean of St. Paul’s by William III. Before the bell was placed in the tower, it was mounted in the New Palace Yard but the bell cracked under the striking hammer, and its metal was recast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1858. After the refashioned was carried to the tower that now homes it.
During the second world war in 1941, an incendiary bomb destroyed the Commons chamber of the Houses of Parliament, but the clock tower continued being intact and Big Ben continued to keep time and strike away the hours and became a symbol of hope.
Every year The BBC broadcast the New Year’s Eve chimes of the bells since 1924 to thousands of listeners.
The best time to see Big Ben may be at night, when the clock faces are illuminated, as is the facade of the Palace of Westminster facing the Thames. The effect from Westminster Bridge or the far bank of the Thames can be breathtaking.
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