Big Ben To Fall Silent For Months

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 31 months ago
Big Ben To Fall Silent For Months
Photo by Robert Coxwell in the Londonist Flickr pool

Soak up the peals of Big Ben while you can. The world's most famous bell/clock/tower/whatever you want to call it will fall silent as part of a three-year programme of essential works on the Palace of Westminster.

Repairs will begin in early 2017, with major work carried out on the Elizabeth Tower, the Great Clock and the Great Bell — also known as Big Ben.

Due to the nature of repairs, the clock will have to be stopped, although officials have not said for how much of the three-year programme this will be necessary.

Though the clock — designed by Edmund Beckett Denison, and installed in April 1859 —  will be obscured by scaffolding for much of the repairs, Parliament has said that at least one of the four famous faces will be on the display at any one time.

The Elizabeth Tower might look in fine fettle from the outside, but it's suffering from serious condensation, leading to problems with damp, cracked plasterwork and rust. The clock, meanwhile, has become worn, and if repairs are left much longer, it risks failing altogether.

Added in the 1980s, the clock's gold and black colour scheme, will also be returned to the original gold and green.

The last major repairs were carried out on Big Ben more than 30 years ago from 1983-1985.

Here's a video we made last year all about those famous Big Ben bongs:

Last Updated 27 April 2016