Big Ben Fast Facts

Here's some background information about ...

Posted: Jul 24, 2018 4:56 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2018 4:56 PM

Here's some background information about Big Ben, the clock and bell in Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament in London.

Facts:
It is one of the most famous landmarks in England.

The name Big Ben originally referred to just the bell but now it encompasses the clock, the tower and the bell.

Big Ben chimes on the hour and has quarter bells that chime every fifteen minutes.

Tours are available to only UK residents by request through a Member of Parliament or a Member of the House of Lords.

Visitors go through airport style security checks.

The area is surveilled using CCTV cameras, alarms, and other security technology.

Timeline:
1843 - Construction on the clock tower begins.

February 1852 - Clockmaker Edward John Dent is recruited to design the clock.

1853 - Dent passes away. His stepson, Frederick Dent takes over the project.

1856-1857 - The bell is cast in northern England and transported to London. It develops a crack and a replacement bell is cast.

April 10, 1858 - The replacement bell, 2.5 tons lighter than the original, is cast or molded.

1859 - Construction on the tower is complete.

May 1859 - The clock begins keeping time.

July 11, 1859 - Big Ben chimes for the first time.

September 1859 - Big Ben's great bell cracks two months after its first chime and is taken out of commission. A smaller quarter bell chimes on the hour for four years. In 1863, the great bell is turned so an undamaged portion is struck with a smaller hammer.

1923 - Big Ben's chimes are broadcast by BBC Radio on New Year's Eve.

1939-April 1945 - The clock dials are unlit due to wartime blackout regulations.

August 1976 - Nine months of repairs begin.

2007 - Big Ben is silent for seven weeks as repairs are made on the clock.

2009 - Special events all year mark Big Ben's 150th anniversary.

2011 - It becomes apparent that Big Ben has started to lean to one side. It is estimated that there is a change of less than one millimeter per year.

September 12, 2012 - Big Ben's Tower is renamed Elizabeth Tower in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, her 60th anniversary on the throne.

October 2015 - The British newspapers, the Mail on Sunday and Sunday Times report that the clock is in need of repair. A parliamentary report notes that Big Ben may stop working or the clock's hands could fall off if it is not refurbished.

2016 - Repairs, costing more than $42 million, are scheduled for early 2017. The clock will not chime for several months while it's being refurbished. It's set to be the third time in Big Ben's 157-year history that the clock will be silenced.

August 14, 2017 - Parliament announces that Big Ben will fall silent on August 21 and remain so until 2021, when repairs are expected to be complete. The repairs are estimated to cost around -29 million, or more than $42 million.

September 29, 2017 - In a statement, the House of Commons announces that the estimated cost of repairs for Big Ben has more than doubled from -29 million to -61 million.

Bell Characteristics:
8 feet, 8 inches in diameter

7 feet, 2 inches tall

Weighs 13.7 tons

Elizabeth Tower, where the bell chimes, stands 315 feet (96 meters) tall.

The clock weighs about 5 tons. The hour hands are nearly 9 ft long and the minute hands are almost 14 ft. long.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 27900

Reported Deaths: 1082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds215239
DeSoto137316
Madison122234
Jones106949
Neshoba96069
Lauderdale88278
Rankin84112
Forrest81442
Scott75015
Harrison7448
Copiah56615
Leake54819
Jackson53316
Holmes52741
Wayne52112
Washington4969
Lee49316
Oktibbeha48624
Yazoo4736
Leflore47249
Lowndes45311
Warren44317
Lincoln43534
Lamar4197
Grenada3805
Monroe36729
Pike36712
Attala35223
Lafayette3524
Newton3289
Sunflower3066
Covington3025
Bolivar27713
Panola2706
Adams26718
Chickasaw25918
Tate2577
Jasper2506
Marion24811
Pontotoc2476
Noxubee2458
Pearl River24432
Winston2435
Clay24210
Claiborne23610
Simpson2303
Smith20611
Clarke20124
Marshall2013
Coahoma1866
Kemper17614
Union1759
Walthall1724
Yalobusha1617
Carroll16011
Lawrence1591
Itawamba1278
Calhoun1244
Humphreys1239
Tippah12311
Webster12310
Montgomery1222
Hancock12013
Jefferson Davis1064
Tallahatchie1043
Prentiss983
Greene927
Jefferson923
Wilkinson919
Tunica893
Amite822
George743
Choctaw714
Quitman680
Tishomingo681
Perry614
Alcorn561
Stone521
Franklin382
Benton270
Sharkey240
Issaquena71
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 39604

Reported Deaths: 961
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4387142
Montgomery383999
Mobile3697134
Tuscaloosa204938
Marshall153710
Lee118937
Shelby108223
Madison10577
Morgan9813
Walker86723
Franklin85213
Dallas8198
Elmore81314
Baldwin6869
Etowah62513
Butler60427
DeKalb6025
Chambers58127
Tallapoosa56369
Autauga54511
Unassigned52025
Russell4840
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4446
Houston4344
Limestone4090
Cullman4003
Pike3995
Colbert3685
Bullock3629
Coffee3532
Barbour3231
Covington3087
St. Clair3042
Hale29321
Marengo28611
Wilcox2808
Sumter27612
Calhoun2705
Talladega2677
Clarke2665
Escambia2636
Dale2440
Jackson2382
Winston2333
Blount2141
Chilton2112
Pickens2116
Marion20312
Monroe1972
Choctaw19212
Conecuh1804
Bibb1711
Macon1708
Randolph1709
Greene1667
Perry1451
Henry1303
Crenshaw1233
Lawrence1010
Washington1007
Cherokee747
Lamar711
Fayette671
Geneva670
Clay582
Coosa551
Cleburne291
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 86°
Columbus
Few Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 75°
Oxford
Scattered Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 95°
Starkville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather