It’s a Big Clock


Big Ben

Whenever I come to London I inevitably am drawn to Big Ben. After all it is a massive clock that you can see from many points across the city. It struck me as I walked back from dinner tonight, staring at the clock, that I know very little about it. As such, I embarked on research journey that can surely be defined as the acme of scholarship. Or demonstrates the ability to Google. But that is neither here nor there. From my point of view these are some of the most interesting facts.


  • The first clock was erected in 1289.
  • The current clock began ticking on May 31, 1859.


The Mechanism
  • It is the third tallest free standing clock in the world measuring in at 93.6 meters tall.
  • Each dial is 7m in diameter, is made from cast iron, and contains 312 separate pieces of pot opal glass.


The Dial



  • There are 393 steps to the top of the lantern.


A Few Stairs


  • The clock is not open to the public, however, citizens of the United Kingdom can arrange tours through their parliament minister. In addition, well known bloggers also receive invitation. I am sure mine is just delayed in the Royal Mail.


Inside Ben


  • It contains the largest bell ever cast in England weighing in at 13.7 tonnes, measuring 2.2m tall, with a diameter of 2.7m. The musical note heard when it is struck is E. The hammer weights 200kg.


The Largest Bell Ever Cast in England


  • There are five total bells in the clock: The Great Bell and four Quarter Bells.


The Great Bell




A Quarter Bell

In connection with my great Google fact finding mission I discovered the official Big Ben website if you prefer to perform incremental research. But let’s be honest, I have provided a very thorough review and it’s highly unlikely you need to find more.   Stay Classy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s