A blog about life in London

The Icon Big Ben | London Titbits

The Icon Big Ben | London Titbits

You can’t come to London as a tourist and not visit Big Ben. It is quite probably the most famous sight in all of London. Show anybody, anywhere in the world a picture of Big Ben and they will be able to tell you its name and what city it is in.

Back in January of this year, I had the good fortune to get myself onto the Tour of Big Ben and experience this amazing icon close up. In fact I got to watch the the bell chime 10 times and believe me I needed those ear plugs they provided us with, because it is a tad bit on the loud side. I can honestly say it was a real buzz to be inside such a famous and iconic building.

In my humble opinion Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are quite probably the most magnificent looking buildings in all of London. Big Ben is the heartbeat of London and Westminster Palace is the heart.

Big Ben | London Titbits

  1. The official name of the tower that you probably call Big Ben, is actually ‘Clock Tower’. Big Ben is actually the name of the ‘Great Bell’ which tourists get so excited about when they hear it chime. But lets be honest Big Ben has a much better ring to it than ‘Clock Tower’.
  2. Big Ben or if you prefer the ‘Great Bell’ weighs 14.5 tonnes and believe me it is fucking huge when you see it for real.
  3. To actually get your beady little eyes on Big Ben you must first climb 334 steps to the Belfry where the ‘Great Bell’ sits.
  4. Did you know that Big Ben is the largest four faced chiming clock in the world, well you do now.
  5. Big Ben was designed by Charles Barry.
  6. The clock and its dials were designed by Augustus Pugin.
  7. The Clock Tower is 61 meters tall.
  8. The clock face is 55 meters from the ground and when you go on the tour your really do get to walk around them, what a buzz…
  9. The clock first started to work on the 7th September 1859
  10. At the base of each clock face is a Latin inscription, in gilt letters. It reads – DOMINE SALVAM FAC REGINAM NOSTRAM VICTORIAM PRIMAM, which means “O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First”

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the tidbits! I learned a lot. 🙂
    I could recall way back in junior high when one of our classmates raised a trivia question what’s the name of the chiming clock in London. The answer was “Big Ben”.

    When you speak of London, Big Ben immediately comes into your mind and vice-versa. 😀
    .-= June Zach´s last blog ..June 2010 EC Advertisers =-.