The Clock Tower is a turret clock structure at the north-eastern end of the Houses of Parliament building in Westminster, London, England. It is popularly known as Big Ben, but this name actually belongs to the clock's main bell. The tower has also been referred to as St. Stephen's Tower or The Tower of Big Ben, in reference to its bell.
The clock faces were once large enough to allow the Clock Tower to be the largest four-faced clock in the world, but have since been outdone by the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The builders of the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower did not add chimes to the clock, so the Great Clock of Westminster still holds the title of the "world's largest four-faced chiming clock." The clock mechanism itself was completed by 1854, but the tower was not fully constructed until four years later in 1858.
The clock and dials were designed by Augustus Pugin. The clock faces are set in an iron framework 21 feet (7 metres) in diameter, supporting 576 pieces of opal glass, rather like a stained glass window. Some of the glass pieces may be removed for inspection of the hands. The surround of the dials is heavily gilded. At the base of each clock face in gilt letters is the Latin inscription 'DOMINE SALVAM FAC REGINAM NOSTRAM VICTORIAM PRIMAM' meaning 'O Lord, keep safe our queen Victoria the First'.
The clock became operational on 7 September 1859.
The clock is famous for its reliability. This is due to the skill of its designer, the lawyer and amateur horologist Edmund Beckett Denison, later Lord Grimthorpe.
You can read yet more interesting facts on the Clock Tower in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock_Tower,_Palace_of_Westminster
About my picture: I've cut the sky on the right side, but otherwise it's the original take.
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- Copyright: Zita Kalman (kalmanzita) (24)
- Genre: Lieux
- Medium: Couleur
- Date Taken: 2005-11-16
- Categories: Architecture
- Exposition: f/4.5, 1/280 secondes
- More Photo Info: view
- Versions: version originale
- Thème(s): Watch/Clock [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-03-04 8:21