Saturday, July 11, 2009

Big Ben Celebrates 150th Anniversary

An excellent new website created by Parliament commemorates the 150th anniversary of its famous Clock Tower, Great Clock, and Great Bell ("Big Ben").

Construction on the clock tower began in September 1843; the clock first kept time on 31 May 1859.

The website offers a wealth of facts and figures about the clock tower, historical and contemporary images, a virtual tour, links to YouTube and Flickr resources, animations, and (of course) downloadable ringtones, banners, and wallpapers. There's even an online game for kids called "Race Against Chime" that requires players to clean the clock's face while dangling on a rope and dodging birds and gusts of wind.

UK residents (only) can arrange a tour of the clock tower through their local MP.

Shown above: "New Palace of Westminster," c. 1858, colour lithograph on paper, in Parliament's Works of Art Collection.


Nicolas Holzapfel said...

Happy birthday Ben.

To think William Morris thought the Palace of Westminister was ugly that enlightened future generations would turn it into a storehouse for manure. I just don't understand.

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