The Big Ben tower

   One of the most famous sights in London is a clock tower attached to the Houses of Parliament. In it is a huge bell called Big Ben. It weighs 13½ tons. Members of Parliament named it after Sir Benjamin Hall, a tall, fat man who was Commissioner of Public Works when the bell was installed in 1859. The name "Big Ben" is now used also for the giant clock on the Parliament tower. With its four faces, the clock can be seen over a wide area. The hour hands are 9 feet long, and the minute hands are 14 feet long. Lord Grimthorpe, a lawyer, designed it. The Big Ben clock is usually very accurate. But once it did lose five minutes—when a flock of starlings settled on one of its hands.