As our passion for watches makes us investigate all kind of antique, new, big or small watches, Big Ben caught our eye. Everybody knows a few aspects about the most popular tower watch in the world, but there’s some details only a few know. Because we loved what we found out about this symbol of London, we wabted to share these not so common details about Big Ben with you.
1. Its original and real name is simply “The Clock Tower”. Big Ben is just a nickname received by the largest bell in the tower, also known as “Great Bell“. As the nickname is more recognizable, “Big Ben” is much more commonly used.
2. Big Ben’s first official chime was registered on May 31st, 1859.
3. The Big Ben Tower, a second name for it, it’s sometimes erroneously addressed to as St. Stephen’s Tower, which is another tower situated in the center of the west partof the Houses of Parliament. St. Stephen’s Tower is utilized as a public entrance.
4. Regarding a survey that took place in 2008, Big Ben is the most popular tourist attraction from U.K.
5. There isn’t any certainty about Big Ben’s origin. Some say it was named after Benjamin Hall, a civil engineer and politician who was very tall. Another suposition linked to its name relaes to Benjamin Caunt, an Englishman who won a tournament in the period Big Ben was in the center of great debates in London.
6. At the base of each clock dial you can find a golden inscription written in Latin that reads “Domine Salvam Fac Reginam Nostrum Victoriam Primam”, which means “O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First”.
7. The Union Flag is flown from the tower at every session hold by the Parliment.
8. Have you ever imagined that Big Ben is adjusted with a simple old British penny? Every year, if the clock beats too fast, a penny is addedto the pendulum, or on the contrary, if it’s slow, one is removed.
9. Big Ben chimes can be heard for a radius of 5 miles and it chimes every 15 minutes. We wonder how Englishmen are so calm with so many gongs per hour.
10. We are ending this facts’ list with a bit of history about Big Ben. At the beginning it encountered a lot of problems, from delays in delivery, budget issues to bureaucracy. More than that, it was to small for a mechanical clock. That’s not all, the first bell (weighting 16.25 tonnes) broke the day it was tested, so a replacement was introduced very gentle. Also the minute hand was changed twice, as it was to heavy to spin around the clock’s face.