- Visitor Information
Sir Charles Barry sought advice from Benjamin Lewis Vuillamy - clockmaker to the Queen - and Augustus Pugin when it came to designing the clock tower that is affectionately known as Big Ben today. The most famous clock tower in the wiorld, attached to the Houses of Parliament, has become a familiar and much loved landmark, its great bell chiming on the hour (and every quarter of an hour too) keeping time with Greenwich meantime. The name Big Ben was initially given to the Great Bell which was created at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and first struck in 1859. The most likely explanation of the name it that it comes from Sir Benjamin Hall, First Commissioner for Works from 1855-1858 whose name is inscribed on the bell. Now the moniker is the accepted name for the whole of the Clock Tower - albeit begrudgingly by some. Weighing in at 13.7 tonnes, at the time of its casting Big Ben was the largest bell in the British Isles and the clock face the second largest in the country (after the Liver Building in Liverpool). UK residents can arrange a free tour of Big Ben through their local MP but space is extremely limited and you'll need to book three to six months in advance. Overseas visitors cannot currently visit the tower.
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Location map of Big Ben
Further articles featuring Big Ben on LondonTown.com
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Hotels near Big Ben
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel Double/Twin Room - Iconic Views: 0% off from £429
Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 | 6 minutes from Big Ben
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22-28 Broadway, SW1H | 7 minutes from Big Ben
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Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 | 7 minutes from Big Ben
The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge is a modern, design-led hotel a short walk from some of the city's most iconic attractions, such as Big Ben and ...More
London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
Parliament Square, St Margaret's Street, Westminster, London SW1A | Same location as Big Ben
Now more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament, the Palace of Westminster began life in 1042 as a royal residence under Edward the Confessor. The ...More
London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
St Margaret's Church, Westminster, London SW1P | 2 minutes from Big Ben
Standing between Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, St Margaret's Church is commonly called "the parish church of the House of Commons". A fine 16th ...More
London > Events > Theatre Dates: 4th May to 3rd August 2013
Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A | 9 minutes from Big Ben
Simon Russell Beale and John Simm (currently appearing in BBC TV series The Village) star in Harold Pinter's tragicomedy The Hothouse, Jamie Lloyd's second production at ...More
London > Events > Theatre Dates: 8th March to 25th May 2013
Old Vic Theatre, 103 The Cut, South Bank, London SE1 | 13 minutes from Big Ben
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London > Events > Exhibitions Dates: 11th to 25th May 2013
London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 14 minutes from Big Ben
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Entertainment near Big Ben
London > Shopping > Books
Riverside, Level 1, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, South Bank, London SE1 | 10 minutes from Big Ben
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London > Shopping > Food and Drink Shops
27 Lower Marsh, South Bank, London SE1 | 11 minutes from Big Ben
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London > Education > Professional Training
Elephant & Castle, Elephant and Castle, London SE1 | 21 minutes from Big Ben
From a clutch of excellent courses in London, this is the best and among the premier specialist media courses in the world. Formerly London College of ...More
London > Business > Venue Hire
Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P | 4 minutes from Big Ben
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What's On Today
Near Big Ben
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Book £10 Tablet FREE
Hotels near Big Ben
From cheap budget accommodation to luxury 5 star suites see our deals for Big Ben hotels, including Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel London from 25% off.