- 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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Hotels near Big Ben
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Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 | 6 minutes from Big Ben
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Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 | 7 minutes from Big Ben
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London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
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London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
St Margaret's Church, Westminster, London SW1P | 2 minutes from Big Ben
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London > Events > Theatre Dates: 27th January to 22nd February 2014
Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A | 9 minutes from Big Ben
This solo comic parody from impressionist Luke Kempner, star of YouTube hit Downstairs At Downton, was a sell-out success at the Edinburgh festival and now comes ...More
London > Events > Theatre Dates: 25th September 2013 to 2nd January 2014
National Theatre: Lyttelton Theatre, South Bank, South Bank, London SE1 | 13 minutes from Big Ben
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Entertainment near Big Ben
London > Shopping > Books
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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 > Business > Venue Hire
Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P | 4 minutes from Big Ben
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Near Big Ben
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Hotels near Big Ben
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