(Photo courtesy of AP Images)
Last week, we took a look at London’s iconic sporting venue, Wembley Stadium, the place where the Rams and Patriots will play on Oct. 28.
If you’re traveling to London, that’s obviously the place you’ll be spending Sunday evening but what about the rest of the time?
Stlouisrams.com continues its Learning about London series with a look at another iconic location in London and perhaps the world’s most famous clock, Big Ben.
Below is some information on Big Ben, courtesy of www.visitlondon.com :
The Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower, commonly called Big Ben, are among London's most iconic landmarks.
Technically, Big Ben is the massive bell inside the clock tower, which weighs more than 13 tons (13,760 kg).
Big Ben: London's Clock Tower
The clock tower looks spectacular at night when the four clock faces are illuminated.
Each dial is 7 meters in diameter
The minute hands are 4.2 meters long and weigh about 100kg (including counterweights)
The numbers are approximately 60cm long
There are 312 pieces of glass in each clock dial
A special light above the clock faces is also illuminated, letting the public know when parliament is in session.
Big Ben's timekeeping is strictly regulated by a stack of coins placed on the huge pendulum. Big Ben has rarely stopped. Even after a bomb destroyed the Commons chamber during the Second World War, the clock tower survived and Big Ben continued to strike the hours.
The chimes of Big Ben were first broadcast by the BBC on 31 December 1923, a tradition that continues to this day.
In June 2012 the House of Commons announced that the clock tower was to be renamed the Elizabeth Tower in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
The History of Big Ben
The Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire in 1834. In 1844, it was decided the new buildings for the Houses of Parliament should include a tower and a clock.
A massive bell was required and the first attempt (made by John Warner & Sons at Stockton-on-Tees) cracked irreparably. The metal was melted down and the bell recast in Whitechapel in 1858. Big Ben first rang across Westminster on 31 May 1859.
A short time later, in September 1859, Big Ben cracked. A lighter hammer was fitted and the bell rotated to present an undamaged section to the hammer. This is the bell as we hear it today.
You can visit the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and discover more about Big Ben's origins.
London's Favorite Landmark: Why Ben?
The origin of the name Big Ben is not known, although two different theories exist.
The first is that is was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the first commissioner of works, a large man who was known affectionately in the house as "Big Ben".
The second theory is that it was named after a heavyweight boxing champion at that time, Benjamin Caunt. Also known as "Big Ben", this nickname was commonly bestowed in society to anything that was the heaviest in its class.
This is the second installment of some popular London landmarks and attractions for fans making the trip to watch the Rams and Patriots play at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 28.