7 Things to Know About the Big Ben

Posted on Jun 1, 2022 by Questo Team

People visit London for various reasons, such as architecture, fashion, food, football, historical places, vibrant nightlife, picturesque sceneries, etc. But do you know Big Ben is one of the reasons people from different parts of the world visit London? Yes, this is true! 

Big Ben is a popular attraction in London. The tourist site is located on the grounds of the Palace of Westminster. Big Ben was initially called the Clock Tower, but after 2012 it became known as the Elizabeth Tower. 

The local bell was the heaviest in England during construction, weighing 13.7 tons. There is a story that the building was named after the construction manager Benjamin Hall. Anyway, here are a few exciting things to know about Big Ben. 

  • Different Theories about the Big Ben's Name 

The "Big" part is more than evident. We will only tell you that the bell weighs 16 tons and is more than two meters high. Two theories explain the meaning of "Ben." The first and most likely says that it is in honor of Benjamin Hall. 

Benjamin was the Commissioner of Public Works from 1855 to 1858, in the final stage of construction. In fact, the bell bears his name engraved on it. Another more popular theory says that it is a tribute to Ben Caunt, the British heavyweight champion in 1850.

  • A Problematic Initial History 

There were a lot of problems during the construction of Big Ben. The materials arrived late, and the budget did not add up. Once the bureaucratic issues were fixed, they realized that the tower was too small for the size of the clock. 

In fact, the bell was broken the day after the first test. To top it off, they had to change the minute hand twice because it was too heavy to move appropriately. So, Big Ben's story did not start well. 

  • It is the Symbol of the British Order 

Big Ben is one of the favorite tourist attractions in England. However, it is also a symbol of the British Order and the Political Clout of the nation. Comings and goings on politics in England connected to the history of the Elizabeth Tower, the gigantic bell, and the Houses of Parliament. 

Besides, Big Ben is more than a symbol for British Nation and Her Majesty's loyal subjects because the lock inspires people worldwide. Bear in mind that England is the home of Greenwich Mean Time. It is the central focus of all time zones in the world. 

The administration has kept Big Ben's clock accurate, and it is also a symbol of peace, reliability, and leadership for people worldwide. Big Ben has played a significant role as a guide to timekeeping efforts worldwide. 

  • Many People Call it Elizbeth Tower 

Many people with knowledge of this magnificent structure understand that Big Ben is actually the Elizabeth Tower. It has a massive bell inside called Big Ben. People call it Big Ben because it is enormous, and the bell weighs more than 13 tons. 

In 2012, the British Government renamed it the "Elizbeth Tower" to honor the Queen. No one knows why people call this tower Big Ben. We have already mentioned the two theories about it. However, there is a need for more research. 

  • It is Taller than the Statue of Liberty 

Another interesting fact or thing to know about Big Ben is that it is taller than the Statue of Liberty. The restoration of Big Ben has made it taller than the famous structure in New York City. It has 334 stone steps, allowing people to reach the belfry. 

The administration has also installed a world-class elevator system for visitors who can't take the stairs. The important thing to know is that British citizens can tour Big Ben and explore its internal structure. 

Although this is pretty unfortunate, tourists can stroll past Big Ben and explore the clock tower from outside. You can also take a virtual tour to see Big Ben and learn about its structure and history. 

  • Tourists Enjoy Viewing it from the top of the London Eye 

Because tourists can't explore Big Ben from the outside, it is wise to view it from the top of the London Eye. We recommend viewing it in the daytime and at night. The purpose is to enjoy a unique view at different times. 

You will love viewing Big Ben from the top of the London Eye, taking photos/videos, and creating memorable experiences. On the other hand, you can stop to take pictures of this beautiful structure from the ground. 

We recommend visiting the Westminster Bridge to view the structure and take photos. We recommend getting beneath the bridge if you want to enjoy a more direct view. Remember, you should do this on the other side of the River Thames. 

  • People are Curious About the Inside of the Clock 

British citizens have the privilege to view Big Ben from the inside. Unfortunately, foreigners and tourists can't explore the interior. However, if you are curious about what's inside the clock, let us tell you that the bell announces every hour with four quarter bells and clocks that announce every quarter-hour. 

The fantastic thing about the lock is that it has 20 Cambridge chimes, creating mesmerizing experiences for locals and tourists. There is a unique composition for every quarter-hour. For instance, chimes 1-4 are for the first fifteen minutes, 5-12 for a half-hour and 13-20 chimes play at 45 minutes. 

Final Words 

Big Ben is one of the most beautiful structures in London. It symbolizes British history, politics, integrity, peace, and prosperity. Viewing the place from Westminster Bridge, beneath the bridge on the other side of the River Thames, or London Eye, will give you mesmerizing experience and complete your trip.

If you want to keep yourself engaged and find beautiful places near Big Ben, we recommend using the Questo App. The app allows people to solve clues, discover new places, and get information about them. Until Next Time!