London's Big Ben is not the tower, but the bell in the tower, that forms part of our Houses of Parliament.
Officially called the Palace of Westminster, there was a royal palace here in the middle ages. Henry VIII gave it over to government. A fire almost completely destroyed the old palace in 1834. The present building was built in the distinctive Victorian Gothis between 1840 and 1860 by Sir Charles Barry and A W Pugin
The great bell is named after the first Commissioner of Works, Sir Benjamin Hall. Also in the clock tower is a prison cell for MPs who transgress against Parliamentary privilage - it was last used in 1880 for this purpose
|And for a good hotel to stay at in the capital, London hotels|
|London Information London Information front page|
Big Ben, London