Will Big Ben Fall Silent?

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


An iconic piece of London's history for more than 150 years (and a major tourist attraction), the Elizabeth Tower, known to many as Big Ben ('Big Ben' is actually the name of the bell, not the tower itself), may soon fall silent. 

According to news outlets, the bell and mechanisms of the clock (sources are saying that the clock's hands might soon fall off!) are in dire need of repair — 40 million pounds worth!

Apparently the clock has slowed down over the years as well, and caretakers have remedied this by placing old pennies on the pendulum to speed it up or slow it down as needed. But this is just a bandaid on a much larger problem.   

Though there are 7 billion pounds set aside for the restoration of the entire Palace of Westminster (the official name for the stunning London Parliament buildings that Big Ben is attached to) at the end of the decade, it looks like the clock tower won't be able to wait that long. 

Once repairs begin, it could be months or even years before it's running again. 

I once had someone from Europe tell me that they feel a huge responsibility living somewhere that has so much important human history to be maintained. It means that it falls on them to keep their streets, buildings and monuments safe so that they are preserved for the rest of the world and future generations. I expect that those deciding how to go about fixing Big Ben are feeling the same pressure.