Big Ben Facts That Will Pique Your Interest

Big Ben is the nickname of the great bell in London’s clock tower, which is officially called the Elizabeth Tower. It is one of the most iconic landmarks in London, England. While most people know Big Ben for its impressive size and beautiful architecture, there are many fun facts about this historic landmark that you may not have heard before. In this blog post, we’ll get to know more about this tower and dive into some of the most interesting Big Ben facts.

Big Ben Facts

Big Ben Facts And History

The clock tower, officially known as the Elizabeth Tower, has been a symbol of the city since it was built in 1859. The bell was officially named Big Ben in recognition of Benjamin Hall, who was sergeant of the works during the construction of the tower. Big Ben is often seen as a symbol for London and England as a whole. The clock has four dials, each measuring 2.4 metres (8 feet) across. The clock tower is 96.3 metres (315 feet) high from ground level to the top of its cross spire; this means that if you climb it then you’ll be able to see Westminster Abbey! In total, there are 5 bells that together makeup what we call “Big Ben” – however only one of these bells actually rings out on its own. 

Now that we’ve gone through a little about the popular tower, let’s get to get into the interesting facts about Big Ben.

Fun Facts About Big Ben

The Name

One of the most interesting Big Ben facts is that it’s not actually the name of the clock tower. Big Ben is the name of the bell inside the tower, which weighs over 13 tons. The tower itself was originally called the Clock Tower but was renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Clock

The Clock faces on Big Ben are some of the largest in the world, measuring over 23 feet in diameter. Each face is made up of over 300 pieces of opal glass, which allows the clock to be visible from miles away. The clock is also incredibly accurate, with a margin of error of just a few seconds per day.

The Tower

The Elizabeth Tower stands over 315 feet tall and is made up of over 11,000 pieces of stone. The tower is also home to a spiral staircase with over 340 steps, which leads to the top of the tower where the bell is located. However, visitors are not allowed to climb the staircase and must take the elevator instead.

The Bell

As mentioned earlier, the bell inside the tower is named Big Ben and weighs over 13 tons. The bell was cast in 1858 and took over 30 hours to be lifted to the top of the tower. The bell is also incredibly loud, with a chime that can be heard for miles around. It’s no wonder that Big Ben has become such an iconic symbol of London.

The Illumination

Big Ben has been illuminated in various colours over the years to commemorate different events and holidays. For example, the tower was illuminated in red, white, and blue to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The tower has also been illuminated in green for St. Patrick’s Day and pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Maintenance

Maintaining a historic landmark like Big Ben is no easy feat. In fact, the tower requires extensive maintenance and repairs to ensure that it remains safe and functional. In 2017, the tower underwent a major renovation project that included repairs to the clock faces, the bell, and the tower itself. The project took over four years to complete and cost over £80 million.

The Time Capsule

When the Elizabeth Tower was completed in 1859, a time capsule was placed inside the tower’s foundation stone. The time capsule contains a range of items, including coins, newspapers, and photographs. The time capsule is set to be opened in 2059, which will mark the tower’s 200th anniversary.

The Bongs

One of the most iconic Big Ben facts is the sound of the bell, which is known as the bongs. However, the bongs have been silenced on several occasions over the years, including during World War I and II. The bongs were also silenced for several months in 2017 during the renovation project.

The Inspiration

The design of the Elizabeth Tower was inspired by the Gothic architecture of the Palace of Westminster, which is located next to the tower. The tower was designed by architect Augustus Pugin, who was also responsible for designing the interior of the Palace of Westminster.

The Tourist Attraction

Big Ben is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, with millions of visitors flocking to the tower each year. However, due to ongoing renovations, the tower is currently closed to visitors and is set to reopen in 2022.

In conclusion, Big Ben is a truly iconic landmark that has captured the hearts and imaginations of people all over the world. From the impressive size of the clock faces to the incredible sound of the bell, there are many fun Big Ben facts that make it a fascinating piece of history. Whether you’ve visited the tower before or are planning a trip in the future, there’s no denying that Big Ben is a must-see attraction that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Q1. What was Big Ben famous for?

Ans: Big Ben is one of the most popular clocks in the world and also one of the most Instagrammed locations on the planet due to its familiar silhouette. Since the bells originally rang their now recognisable tune across Westminster, there have been six kings and 41 prime ministers who have come and gone.

Q2. Does Big Ben ring every hour?

Ans: Yes, Big Ben still rings every hour! Big Ben, the clock inside the Palace of Westminster in London, is the Great Bell, and it strikes the hours with its distinctive chime.

Q3. What are the powers of the Big Ben?

Ans: Big Ben’s clock mechanism uses a special type of escapement called a double three-legged gravity escapement. This design was created by Edmund Beckett Denison in 1851 and it greatly improved the accuracy of the clock and its power.

Q4. Does Big Ben stop at night?

Ans: No, the Big Ben does not stop at night. Under normal conditions, the clock chimes throughout the night without interruption. It was not designed to be regularly turned on and off hence it chimes every hour throughout the night.

PS: If there’s anything more you’d like us to know about. Add it to the comments section!

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