The world’s most celebrated clock is also a pedant’s dream. Big Ben is just the main bell, not the tower – we all know that. But then the über-pedants insist that the edifice isn’t even called St Stephen’s Tower, as the regular pedants hold, but is officially The Clock Tower. Designed by architect Charles Barry as part of the Palace of Westminster, The Clock Tower was completed in 1859. The Great Clock started on 31 May that year, with the Great Bell's strikes heard for the first time on 11 July and the quarter bells first chimed on 7 September. The clock still keeps surprising accuracy, thanks to a counterweight that relies on the stacking of old pennies. UK residents can arrange a tour of the Clock Tower through their local MP or member of the House of Lords.
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