The Neo-Gothic Parliament Building was constructed during the Victorian Era, but Westminster Hall dates back to 1097, when it was part of the original Palace of Westminster. On a tour of this great building you will see the Central Library with its ceiling of rich mosaics; the Commons Chamber, where the Government and the Opposition are separated by the Speaker; and the Royal Gallery, which the Queen passes through at the State Opening. You will also see the House of Lords and the Lords’ Chamber. Your tour might even allow you to listen in during Question Time.
Big Ben is not the name of the famous clock in the 320-foot (106 m) tower that rises above the Houses of Parliament. It is actually the name of the 14 ton bell on which the hours are struck. Big Ben was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who was Chief Commissioner of Works when the bell was installed in 1858. One of the most recognized features of London, the Big Ben clock is still the largest clock in the United Kingdom. It has kept the exact time, more or less continuously, since 1859.
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