Sunday, 31 May 2009

Big Ben 150 Years old

big ben
Parliaments clock tower usually just referred to as Big Ben, was completed on the 31st May in 1859. The Times have a very good article on the history of the clock tower, what caught my eye is that the tower's building project suffered long delays and spiralling costs before the clock finally began to tick. A expensive government project, shocking.

Built in Queen Victoria's rein, beneath each of the four clock faces is a carved Latin inscription - "Domine salvam fac Reginam nostrum Victoriam primam" which means "O Lord, save our Queen Victoria the First." It's a striking piece of Victorian engineering as Big Ben is completely clockwork, which is incredible given in this technological age you're lucky to buy a washing machine that lasts a year.

So long may Victorian engineering prevail, leaving Big Ben counting and marking the hours for many more years. As it is a wonderful sight to see and hear, one that always leaves me in awe.

For those interested behind the scenes videos can been seen on Parliaments YouTube channel.

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