Britain’s Big Ben will fall silent for four years from next week as conservation work is carried out on the 19th century bell in a clock tower next to the Houses of Parliament. It will be the longest period that Big Ben has been silent in its 157-year history.
The Great Bell popularly called Big Ben weighs 13.7 tonnes and strikes every hour to the note of E. Four smaller bells also chime every 15 minutes. The bongs of Big Ben are familiar to people around the world because of their use in many radio and television broadcasts.
The clock will tell time silently until 2021 and the chimes will continue to be rung on important occasions and celebrations of prime importance such as New Year’s Eve.