Big Ben: The Great Clock and the Bells at the Palace of by Chris McKay

By Chris McKay

Big Ben covers the background of 'Big Ben', the nice clock and bells at Westminster, from the origins of Westminster because the seat of presidency correct as much as the celebrations of the good Clock's a hundred and fiftieth anniversary in 2009. The publication starts by way of taking the reader via a customary stopover at to the Clock Tower, after which starts off the historical past of the palace of Westminster, protecting the hearth of 1834, the development of the hot homes of Parliament and improvement of the clock and the bells, going into aspect on their layout and deploy. The ebook covers the recognized cracking of the present bell massive Ben in 1859, with sketches of the entire characters concerned, the 2 international wars, and the catastrophe of 1976. The ebook ends with a close technical description of the clock mechanism. The e-book is richly illustrated, and should attraction not just to clockmakers and horologists, yet to bell lovers, and people with an curiosity in our wealthy Victorian background.

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Additional resources for Big Ben: The Great Clock and the Bells at the Palace of Westminster

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When New Palace Yard was excavated in 1972–4 to build an underground car park for MPs, the base of the fountain was discovered. It was also determined that the ground of New Palace Yard was once mud flats that had been reclaimed as the river level fell and as cobbles were laid on successive layers of accumulated debris. , to consider affairs of State and, more often, the raising of taxes for the King. 6 A View of Westminster from St James’s Park. From left to right: the Clock Tower, Westminster Hall, the Abbey, and St James’s Palace.

Behind each dial and inside the clock room are sets of motion works; these form the gearings that provide a 12 to 1 reduction to drive the hour hands. A Y-shaped frame with two weights can be seen at the front of each set of motionworks; this is a counterbalance for the minute hand and sets it in perfect balance, so the clock needs minimal force to drive the hands. If there was no counterbalance, the clock would stop at quarter to the hour not having enough power to raise the hand. The hour hands too have counterbalances, but these are rather hidden from view behind the motionwork gearing.

Our private tour concentric tubes of iron and zinc, which together compensate for changes in temperature so effectively that the pendulum stays the same length. Holes in the tube allow air in and this means that if the temperature changes suddenly then the compensation system can respond faster. Having carefully avoided touching the pendulum, we leave the pendulum pit and close the trap behind us. Turning our attention now to the top of the pendulum we see that is suspended by a thin spring that hangs from a massive cast-iron bracket let into the wall of the air shaft.

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