Say, do you know what this is a photo of?
If you said Parliament or the river Thames you would be correct. However, if you said Big Ben you could be wrong as Big Ben is NOT actually visible in this photo.
You see Big Ben is really the name of the largest bell inside the Elizabeth Tower at Parliament. The bell named Big Ben was made here in London by Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd. This foundry also made the Liberty Bell some years earlier. Both bells cracked the first time they rang. It seems that too large a hammer was used on Big Ben. It was retuned and its crack and subsequent retuning gives it Big Ben the distinctive sound that it has today. The foundry has a history of 500 years and has made many of the world’s most famous bells. You can read more about them here http://www.whitechapelbellfoundry.co.uk/foundry.htm
Also, if you are a UK citizen you may request a tour of the Elizabeth Tower and see Big Ben for free. Click this link to find out how. For the rest of us we will just have to be content with photos of the Great Bell.
We found this all very interesting and greatly enjoyed hearing the Great Bell “Ben” ring and its distinctive tone echo across the River Thames. It is very surreal spending time in a place that you have only read about or seen on television. London is a beautiful city still very old but at the same time very new. London is very welcoming and warm, very international but yet distinctively British. We all have loved London and hope to see this lovely city again one day.