Big-Ben.JPG (18715 bytes)Big Ben: would have to be the best known and most recognizable clock in the world. The clock tower is situated on the east side of the Houses of Parliament on the Thames. You know when Parliament is in session because a light shines above the clock face. The four clock dials have an area of 23 square feet; the figures are two feet high and the minute hand fourteen feet long. Big Ben is an excellent timekeeper and has kept exact time almost continuously since 1859. The mechanism is minutely regulated with stacks of coins placed on the huge pendulum.
The name, Big Ben, actually refers to the 13-ton bell that hangs inside and is named after Sir Benjamin Hall who was the first Commissioner of Works in the mid 1800ís.
The BBC first broadcast from Big Ben in December 1923. A microphone, within the tower, is connected to the BBC.
During World War 2, in 1941, Big Ben escaped damage from an incendiary bomb that destroyed the Commons Chamber of the Houses of Parliament.
We first saw Big Ben from the other side of the Thames during a walk along this historic waterway in April 2002.