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Big Ben, London
Big Ben, London and Britain's Timepiece
Westminster - Waterloo - MAP
Big Ben, London is the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster / The Houses of Parliament. At just over 97.5 meters the 320 foot high clock tower is named after its largest bell, that weighs a massive 13 tons / 13.2 tonnes.
The Big Ben minute hands are about 14 feet / 4.25m long and the figures are about 2 feet / 60cm high.
The Big Ben bell was cast in 1858 by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in the east end of London. To this day Big Ben is one of the largest bells they have ever cast. Each of Big Ben's clock faces is over 23 feet / 7 meters in diameter.
The nickname Big Ben is the subject of some debate. 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 boxing's English Heavyweight Champion Benjamin Caunt. Now Big Ben is used to refer to the clock, the tower and the bell collectively, although the nickname is not universally accepted as referring to the clock and tower. 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.