Big Ben

Big Ben is a bell in the clock tower at the Palace of Westminster in London. There are two versions of the origin of the name of the tower. The first version says that Big Ben was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who ran the casting of the bell. Another says that the heaviest bell at the moment (13.7 tons) got its name after Benjamin County, a very famous boxer in the heavyweight division at the time.

The tower was built on the design of English architect Augustus Pugin in 1858. For the first time the clock was wound on May 21, 1859. Officially, the tower was named as "The Clock Tower of Westminster Palace".

When the clock on the tower rush or lag (the error is small - only 1.5-2 seconds) an old English penny is placed on the pendulum. Putting or a coin the superintendent manages to get the precision of the machinery. Now Big Ben is one of the most famous constructions of the UK.


The political centre of London is Westminster. It is the part of London where there are a lot of offices. If you go down Whitehall from Trafalgar Square on the right you will see a small street where the British Prime Minister lives. He lives at number 10, Downing Street. Whitehall is a wide street leading to Parliament Square. This square is very large. On the left you can see a long grey building with towers which are the Houses of Parliament.

The Thames is behind the Houses of Parliament and the bridge across it is a Westminster Bridge.

On the other side of Parliament Square is Westminster Abbey. It is one the most famous and beautiful churches in London. It is very old too. It is more than nine hundred years old. There are so many monuments and statues there. Many English kings and queens are buried there. Westminster Abbey is famous for its Poet's Corner too. Many great writers are buried there: for example, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling. The Queen of England lives in Buckingham Palace. It is a wonderful building with a monument in front of it which is the Queen Victoria Memorial. It takes twenty minutes to get from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace.