Today I visited Big Ben to see the progress of the Big Ben repair works. Check out my visit and the progress so far in this video –
The Elizabeth Tower
It is important to ensure that the worlds most famous clock continues to keep good time. So a specialist team carry out regular maintenance and adjustments to the Great Clock. However the clock running limits the scope of the work. The last significant conservation work completed in 1983-85. So now it’s over 31 years since the last extensive works were carried out to maintain the Elizabeth Tower.
This year a three year programme of essential works to conserve Big Ben began. The Elizabeth Tower, the Great Clock and the Great Bell known as Big Ben will get attention during the works.
Big Ben repair
Big Ben repairs will ensure that the UK’s most famous clock continues to keep time. Experts closely monitor the mechanism and carry out adjustments on a daily basis. Approximately 12,000 people visit the Elizabeth Tower each year. So the tower requires careful conservation using Parliament’s specialist heritage team. However Big Ben now requires significant work and 29 million pounds investment. Essential work to ensure Big Ben remains in good condition. Also safeguarding future generations access to Big Ben.
The Tower is 96 metres tall. So scaffolding will enable workers to reach high levels safely. Scaffolding will be dismantled as the work is completed from the top. And at least one clock dial will be on show at all times. Big Ben is a Grade I listed building within a UNESCO World Heritage site. So the 160-year-old Tower is subject to listed building consent. This programme of works requires careful planning in consultation with Historic England.
Stop the clock
The clock will need to stop at times during the work. And the clocks hands will also require removing. The plan is to have one dial visible at all times and the clock running on important events. However the scaffolding will obscure views of the tower. So limiting photo opportunities with Big Ben from late 2017 and probably the whole of 2018.
Big Ben is the focus of New Year celebrations here in London, check out my visit here
Visit UK Parliaments official Big Ben website for a full history here
To find out more about the conservation work you can visit Parliaments website here
Finnaly you can watch the video about summer in London I visited Big Ben to film here