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big clock tower
big clock tower

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On top of the pendulum is a small stack of old penny coins; these are to adjust the time of the clock. [2][60][61][62] Some authors of works about the tower, clock and bell sidestep the issue by using the words Big Ben first in the title, then going on to clarify that the subject of the book is the clock and tower as well as the bell.[33][63]. [7] The clock tower has been part of a Grade I listed building since 1970 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

[48], Since the tower was not yet finished, the bell was mounted in New Palace Yard but, during testing, it cracked beyond repair and a replacement had to be made. Big Ben is a focal point of New Year celebrations in the United Kingdom, with radio and television stations airing its chimes to welcome the start of the New Year. The clock tower has undergone several restorations over the years, including major renovations that began in 1752, 1857, and 1996. Zuan Carlo Rainieri designed the Astronomical Clock, which displays the time as well as the signs of the zodiac and the phases of the moon. Bearings in the clock's chime train and the "great bell" striker were replaced, for the first time since installation. [75], At the close of the polls for the 2010 general election the results of the national exit poll were projected onto the south side of the tower.

[78] The striking and tolling of the bells for important occasions, such as New Year's Eve and Remembrance Sunday, will be handled via an electric motor; and at least one of the four clock faces will remain visible during the restoration. [81], The aim of the renovation is to repair and conserve the tower, upgrading facilities as necessary, and ensuring the tower's integrity for future generations.
While the clock and the tower are now known as Big Ben, the name originally referred to just the Great Bell inside the clock tower. [76] On 27 July 2012, starting at 8:12 a.m, Big Ben chimed 30 times, to welcome the Games of the 30th Olympiad, which officially began that day, to London. The nickname was applied first to the Great Bell; it may have been named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the installation of the Great Bell, or after English heavyweight boxing champion Benjamin Caunt. A restoration project began in 2017 and is due to be completed in 2021. The Great Clock was shut down for a total of 26 days over nine months – it was reactivated on 9 May 1977. The tower was renamed Elizabeth Tower … Its base is square, measuring 39 feet (12 m) on each side. [26], 28 January 1947: The rubber bushings on the quarter bell hammers again froze before the clock sounded midnight, muting the chimes, though the problem was resolved by the morning.

[79] In February 2020 it was confirmed that the renovations had revealed that the Elizabeth Tower had sustained greater damage than originally thought in the May 1941 bombing raid that destroyed the adjacent House of Commons. All rights reserved. This is possible because the electronically transmitted chimes arrive virtually instantaneously, while the "live" sound is delayed travelling through the air since the speed of sound is relatively slow. The clock uses its original Victorian mechanism, but an electric motor can be used as a backup.


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