HKO Big Ben01 NPC Dear Daniel02

Of course you can find the Hello-Kitty-version of the Big Ben in the HKO-version of London. You cannot get in at first, but will have to discover the key foremost. Dear Daniel is sleeping inside the Big Ben - and has something he wants you to do as soon as he is awake of course.

Big Ben is the clocktower in London. It is in Central London.


Daniel inside of Big Ben

The "real" Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London - as well as for the clock tower and its clock (the Great Clock of Westminster). Big Ben was the largest four-faced clock in the world for a very long time. Now it is only the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world, since the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower in Milwaukee doesn't have chimes.

The tower was built after the old Palace of Westminster (1288) was destroyed by fire on October 16th in 1834. The clock tower was a prison in old times, and it is not open to "overseas" visitors. Only UK-residents will get a tour and can climb the 334 limestone stairs to the top of the 96,3 m tall tower. The first 61 m are made of brickstones clad with limestone, the top is made from iron. The architectural style is called "Gothic revival". The tower leans a bit to the north-west because the ground has changed afer tunneling.

The clocks first ticking started on May 31th 1859. The name "Big Ben" could originate either from Sir Benjamin Hall (he watched over the installation of the Great Bell) or Benjamin Caunt (an English boxing Champion). The hour hand of the clock is 2,7 m long and the minute hand 4,3 m.

Charles Barry was the chief architect of the Palace and August Pugin the designer of the clock and dials (it was Pugins last work before his death). The clock faces are made of 312 pieces of opal glass framed in iron, 7 m in diameter. The latin words for "Oh Lord, keep our Queen Victoria I. safe" can be read at the base of each clock face.

The main bell (the Great Bell) was originally a 16-ton hour bell, cast on August 6th 1856 in Stockton-on-Tees. The bell was then transported drawn by 16 horses. But it cracked while being tested and had to be recast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, as a 13-ton bell now. It is 2,2 m tall x 2,9 m wide. It first chimed in July 1859. But it cracked as well only two months later. Maybe because the hammer that was used had more than twice the fitting weight for the bell.

Three years later the bell was "repaired" by chipping out a piece and letting the new hammer strike it at a different place. Big Ben still has its crack and therefore chimes with an odd twang. Its sound is also called "The Voice of Britain". Until 1881 Big Ben was the largest bell on the British Isles.

There are also four quarter bells in the tower that chime the Cambridge Chimes, perhaps a variation of Händel's "Messiah". Their words go: "all through this hour, Lord be my guide, and by thy power, no foot shall slide". This is also written on a plaque on the wall of the clock room.

The clock is famous for its reliability. The clockwork mechanism weighs 5 tons. There is a small stack of old pennys (coins) on top of the pendulum which adjust the time. Adding or removing a penny will change the clocks speed.

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