October 14th, 2011
07:31 PM ET

London's Clock Tower not quite upright

London’s iconic Clock Tower is tilting.

But as sure as the signature tolling from the four-faced clock rolls over Westminster, there is little to fear that the structure could topple anytime soon. Some jokingly suggest that as long as it doesn’t fall on their heads, all’s well.

The slight lean of 0.26 degrees to the northwest may not be noticeable to the naked eye - and certainly doesn’t compare to the 5-degree angle tilt of the Tower of Pisa in Italy - according to Surveyors of the Parliamentary Estates Department.

Experts believe it would take well over 4,000 years for the listing of Big Ben (as the tower is commonly called, though sticklers will remind you that the name refers to the great bell inside) to compare to the Tower of Pisa’s.

Jonathan Prew, the principal surveyor of the Parliament building, says the tilt has developed due to the varying thickness of the foundation beneath the tower.

“The tower weighs eight-and half thousand tons,” Prew said, “so it’s going to have an effect.”

It takes a total of 334 steps up the spiralling stairway inside the 96-meter (315-foot) tower to reach the clock phase, where the bells are housed.

Completed in 1858, the structure accents the majestic view of Parliament from the river Thames, and has served as the standard “This is London” shot in many famous films, including The “Harry Potter” Series, “V for Vendetta,” “39 Steps” and “Sweeney Todd.”

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Filed under: Travel • Uncategorized • United Kingdom
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Avser Bastian

    WALL STREET PROTESTS...NOT ANTI WALL-STREET AT ALL, BUT INSTEAD RACIALLY MOTIVATED AGAINST WHITES

    THEY WERE MURDERING YOU WITH AND INSIDE OF THEIR CORPORATIONS FOR OVER 66 YEARS !!! THEY HAVE CLOSED DOWN ALMOST EVERY SMALL COMPANY IN UNITES STATES OF AMERICA AND NOW, THEY WANT YOU TO GO OUT THERE AND PROTEST FOR THEM AGAINST WALL STREET(corporations = Wall-street) !!!

    FOR ENTIRE 66 YEARS, ON DAY TO DAY BASES, ALL THEY WERE DOING IS CRIME CONTEMPLATING AGAINST US INSIDE OF THEIR BACK OFFICE CUBICLES(on job torture/bullying/mobbing and forceful unemployment to progress humanity as Obama exclaimed over and over) PER EEOC AND NOW, THEY WANT YOU TO RAISE COMMUNIST FLAG UNDER AMERICAN SKY !!! ONE RACE; RAT RACE(Wall street protesters are Obama's army which spread from London per Zionist Washington DC and communist Moscow) !!!

    WHEN YOU PROTEST(it is much more than just than necessarily), RAISE SIGNS HIGH SO WHOLE WORLD CAN SEE DISPLAYED I CITE, "66 YEARS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE !!!"

    THIS INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED TO YOU BY WHITE AMERICAN REFUGEE !!!

    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec OR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw OR http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xleq3o

    October 15, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      ...for real ??

      October 15, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Andreas Moser

    For a beautiful photo of Big Ben and Westminster Palace at night: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/london-bermondsey-westminster/ I live in that area of London.

    October 16, 2011 at 5:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nyarlathotep

    It will fall 2012 to the West. At the same day a big part of the new stadium will blow up. It´s the part grandma holds in her hand. | A | I read it on the Fnorder iPhone App!

    November 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
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