Big Ben clock tower and mechanism, illustration

Big Ben clock tower and mechanism, illustration

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Credit: CLAUS LUNAU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Big Ben clock tower and mechanism, illustration. This 96-metre-tall clock tower is part of the Palace of Westminster, London, UK. It houses the bell named 'Big Ben' (the large bell at centre), and was formally named the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Built from 1843 to a design by Augustus Pugin in the Gothic Revival style, the tower was opened in 1859. Its clock, the Great Clock of Westminster, was constructed in the 1850s and has four dials, each 7 metres in diameter. As well as the large main bell, there are four quarter bells that are used to signal quarter hours. The clock mechanism (shown behind the clock face) is a double three-legged gravity escapement, designed by Edmund Beckett Denison and George Airy, and constructed by clockmaker Edward John Dent.

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