When will the work on Big Ben be done and how long has the clock tower had scaffolding around it?

1 June 2019, 09:01 | Updated: 1 June 2019, 11:55

The works on Big Ben started in 2017 and are expected to take four years
The works on Big Ben started in 2017 and are expected to take four years. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

All you need to know about the famous time-keeping monument

Standing tall at the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the London monument, and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. 

How the famous Clock Tower looked before the renovations started
How the famous Clock Tower looked before the renovations started. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

The official name of the tower in which Big Ben is located was originally called the Clock Tower – it was built by Augustus Pugin in a neo-Gothic style and completed in 1859 – but in 2012, it was renamed the Elizabeth Tower, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. 

Technically, Big Ben is the name given to the bell inside the clock tower, which weighs more than 13 tons (13,760 kg).  

Big Ben’s chimes were silenced at noon on 21 August 2017, before refurbishment work started to take place on the Elizabeth Tower and the famous clock. The structure was covered in scaffolding in 2017, ready for the renovations, which are expected to take four years.

Essential maintenance is being carried out on one of London's most iconic landmarks
Essential maintenance is being carried out on one of London's most iconic landmarks. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Essential maintenance is being carried out on the clock, with striking only taking place for important events such as New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday.

The works will include repairs and conservation to the tower, an upgrade of facilities, the clock faces replanted and regilded and the installation of a lift, all of which will ensure Big Ben’s integrity for future generations.

The renovation is expected to cost £61 million and the clock will resume tolling once again in 2021.

To find out more about how long Big Ben will be silenced for, click here