Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster
Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster that was completed in 1858. It holds the title of the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world as well as the third tallest free-standing clock tower.
The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and was first built in the Middle Ages before being demolished and rebuilt in the 1840’s. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament, the Palace is now one of the centre’s of politics in the United Kingdom. The Palace of Westminster has been a Grade 1 listed building since 1970 and it is now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although there is no casual access to the interior of the Palace, UK residents can obtain tickets from an MP for a place in the viewing gallery of the House of Commons. Overseas Visitors and UK residents can also book tickets for tours of the Palace during the summer recess where they can access the state rooms, as well as the chambers of the House of Lords and House of Commons.