BIG BANG BONG: Big Ben to chime again after 5 year restoration
From next year, the famous London attraction will chime again as work on Parliament’s Elizabeth Tower comes to an end.
Six monarchs and 41 prime ministers have come and gone since the bells first struck, with the bells of Big Ben having rung for over 160 years.
Due to the pandemic, the refurb - originally due to finish this year - was subsequently delayed, whilst the cost of the project has soared to over £80m.
Shrouded in scaffolding since 2017, the Elizabeth Tower is being repaired from the gilt cross and orb at its tip, to the bottom of its 334-step staircase.
This is the largest and most complex conservation project in the Tower’s history.
Parliament is restoring the clock tower to its former glory, as well as modernising and upgrading facilities to make it fit for the 21st century. This is vital to ensure that this iconic building, situated on a UNESCO World Heritage site, is safeguarded for future generations to visit and enjoy.
The 13.7-tonne Great Bell has emitted its trademark bongs since it was first sounded in 1859, although there have been some breaks for repairs over the years. The current restoration has seen it out of action for the longest time in its history.
Talking about the refurb, UK Parliament authorities said: "Following years of painstaking conservation work, the clock hands, now resplendent in their original Victorian colour scheme, will be added to the clock dials, with the restored mechanism returning to the [Elizabeth] Tower later in the year."
The spokesperson added: "Early next year the bells, including Big Ben, will be reconnected to the original Victorian clock mechanism and will ring out across Westminster once again.
"Then the gantry, which has protected the Palace of Westminster throughout the works and supported the complex scaffolding structure, will be removed before the site is fully cleared ahead of summer next year."
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