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London England   Houses of Parliament

Travel To London To See Big Ben Clock

One of the largest mechanical timepieces in the world is the Big Ben clock in Westminster, England. The interesting thing about this magnificent timepiece is that it is one of the most accurate ones as well. The bell rings within seconds of the actual time which is quite remarkable for such an old instrument. To see and to hear Big Ben Clock is a reason enough to travel to London.

The Big Ben clock by most accounts was named after Sir Benjamin Hall. This gentleman was the Commissioner of works while the huge timepiece was being constructed. Oddly enough, they used his name to name a bell on the Big Ben clock. The popular nickname did not refer to the entire structure as it does today.

Other accounts suggest that the bell in the structure was named after Benjamin Caunt. Benjamin Caunt was a famous boxer during that same era. Both Caunt and Hall were very large in stature which makes the argument suitable for either gentleman. Either way, the bell’s nickname gradually became the Big Ben clock we know from the city of Westminster.

The original name for the timepiece was the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster. That is a mouthful. Later it became known as the Great Clock of Westminster but the catchy nickname for its bell took hold of the world and gradually the whole tower became knows as the Big Ben clock.

The bell that was given the nickname is nine feet in diameter making it a sizeable bell. This element can not be seen from outside. The four faces of the Big Ben clock surround it and the tower walls conceal it as well. There are four smaller bells that accompany the hourly chime of the large bell.

Interestingly enough, the original bell created for the Big Ben clock was bigger than the one that replaced it and is still housed in the tower today. The larger bell cracked and was melted down as raw material for a second bell. The second bell went under rigorous testing and was installed.

The second bell cracked as well but instead of melting it down the citizens of Westminster decided to repair it instead. Originally the bell sounded quite different. The patchwork changed the sound the bell makes. Its tone and pitch were altered with the repairs.

If you ever have the chance to visit the beautiful city of Westminster make sure that you visit the Big Ben clock. You can only imagine what it originally sounded like but I’m sure that its new tone and pitch are quite lovely as well.  

 

 

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