8 Pretty Cool Facts You Never Knew About Big Ben

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Big Ben is undoubtedly one of the most famous landmarks in the UK and is recognisable throughout the world. But how much do you know about it? We’ve rounded up 8 pretty cool facts about it for you right here…

  1. While many assume the name ‘Big Ben’ refers to the entire 320-foot-high clock tower, it actually just refers to the huge 13.4-ton bell at the top of it

via Bbc.co.uk
via Bbc.co.uk
  1. The clock tower was named The Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee; before this, it was known as just ‘The Clock Tower’

via Traveldigg.com
via Traveldigg.com

3. The bell rings very 15 minutes and can be heard from as far as five miles away; you can just about hear it in the Houses of Parliament, though you’ll hear it much better if you’re outside

via Getyourguide.co.uk
via Getyourguide.co.uk

4. The four clock faces are cleaned once every five years using just soap and water

via Metro.co.uk
via Metro.co.uk

5. During World War II, the clock tower’s lights were all dimmed so that German bombers couldn’t use it as a point of reference

via Uk.pinterest.com
via Uk.pinterest.com

6. It takes five hours to turn the four clocks’ hands back

via Neilwaving.com
via Neilwaving.com

7. If it’s discovered that the clocks are going too fast or slow, British pennies are added to or removed from the pendulum to set them right

via Reddit.com
via Reddit.com

8. The clock tower was completed in 1859; a fire destroyed the Palace of Westminster in 1834 and it was then decided in 1844 that a clock tower would be built as part of the new parliament buildings

via Aboutbritain.com
via Aboutbritain.com