The Elizabeth Tower, London

Christine Smith

Grovedale, Australia

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FEATURED in Your Country’s Best 20-03-2013
FEATURED in A World of EOS 01-04-2013
CHALLENGE WINNER in the Absolute Clarity – Outside Lamp Challenge 01-07-2013

Camera: Canon EOS 50D, Lens: @ 28mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: f10, Shutter: 1/125

Taken from the Westminster Bridge in London. The Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s Church was inscribed as a cultural World Heritage Site in 1987. The Elizabeth Tower, part of the Palace of Westminster and previously called St Stephen’s Tower, was renamed in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in her Diamond Jubilee year. It was raised as a part of Charles Barry’s design for a new palace, after the old Palace of Westminster was largely destroyed by fire on the night of 16 October 1834. Although Barry was the chief architect of the Palace, he turned to Augustus Pugin for the design of the clock tower. The design for the Elizabeth Tower was Pugin’s last design before his final descent into madness and death, and Pugin himself wrote, at the time of Barry’s last visit to him to collect the drawings: “I never worked so hard in my life for Mr Barry for tomorrow I render all the designs for finishing his bell tower & it is beautiful.” The tower, completed in 1858, holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and is the third-tallest free-standing clock tower standing at at 96 metres (315 feet) high. The clock dials are set in an iron frame 7 metres (23 feet) in diameter, supporting 312 pieces of opal glass, rather like a stained-glass window. Some of the glass pieces may be removed for inspection of the hands. The surround of the dials is gilded. At the base of each clock dial in gilt letters is the Latin inscription: “DOMINE SALVAM FAC REGINAM NOSTRAM VICTORIAM PRIMAM”, which means O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First. There are 334 limestone stairs to the top. Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock, and is often extended to refer to the clock and the clock tower itself.

Artwork Comments

  • Ray Clarke
  • Christine Smith
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  • Dave Godden
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