LONDON — For five years, the most famous clock tower in Britain was hidden behind an ugly fortress of scaffolding, and its hourly bong was rendered mute.
But the restoration work is done, and this summer, a sound familiar to Londoners for more than a century and a half will again ring out across the British capital — Big Ben is back.
The clock tower — officially known as the Elizabeth Tower since 2012 when it was renamed in honor of the queen’s diamond jubilee — stands tall over the Palace of Westminster, which houses the British Parliament and is one of the world’s most instantly recognized constructions. But it is the nickname of the biggest bell in the belfry that draws the most name recognition: Big Ben.
started ticking in 1859. More than 3,500 parts were removed from the 316-foot tower, including much of its iron roof.
Brexit supporters fought in vain to return it to service to mark the country’s exit from the European Union.