On this day in 1859: Big Ben chimed for the first time

On this day, (11th July) a staggering 157 years ago in 1859, Big Ben chimed for the very first time in London and today we celebrate the momentous landmark that sits proudly in the memorable London skyline with a brief fact file.

Big Ben is one of the most famous clocks ever to grace the earth, running almost non-stop since 1959, clocking up an incredible sum of over 1,300,000 hours in total! It is the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and provides an ever popular attraction for people from all across the globe.

Originally named the Great Bell, the grand tower’s clock first kicked into action on the 31st May 1859. It’s magnificent bells were then heard for the first time around 2 months later on this very day! Ever since, Big Ben has been a trademark of London situated at the north end of the Palace of Westminster, becoming a stunning central focus for momentous events such as New Year.

In recent years, there has been a lot of speculation over the clock’s slow running of time. Just last year we reported that the clock was running six seconds behind, and work was being carried out on a daily basis to ensure that the clock kept accurate time and was not damaged beyond repair.

However, the decision has now been confirmed that a three-year project will begin early next year to restore the treasured clock to its former glory. This restoration aims to not only repair the clock’s mechanisms, but add improvements to the paint work and facilities. It will also enable better access to the clock faces and bells, preventing further issues and giving the clock a new lease of life. This does mean that the chimes will be silenced for the longest time since the chimes began, although a vital service, we will certainly miss the mesmerising ring of the bells here in London.

If you are inspired by beautifully grand clocks such as Big Ben, we have a range of stunning timepieces that could bring a new lease of life to your home, so take a look at our antique desk clocks today and bring home your very own piece of horological history.