After five years, the bells of the Elizabeth Tower have returned to regular service.

Visitors to Westminster are now able to hear Big Ben striking the hour, with the quarter bells sounding every 15 minutes.

The bells returned to service after 4 days of tests prior to Remembrance Sunday on the 13th November 2022.

To mark Remembrance Sunday, the Elizabeth Tower was also lit up with a display of falling poppies. Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the illumination to thank the Armed Forces for their service ‘was a fitting end to a “Week of Remembrance” in Parliament in a particularly sad and poignant year’. You can watch a video of the display here.

Photo credit: UK Parliament

Work to the exterior is now complete and the majority of works inside the Tower are close to conclusion. The Ayrton Light has now been reconnected and is shining whenever either House is sitting.  Soon, power supplies will be activated and fire safety works completed. The principal contractor will remain on site until December 2022 to ensure works have been completed to a satisfactory standard, supporting the handover to teams delivering the visitor offer.

Parliament expects to welcome its first visitors back inside the Elizabeth Tower in 2023, following the installation and testing of new exhibition spaces, workshops and tour routes. More information on the visitor offer will be provided in the coming months.

To find out more about the restoration process that took place click here.


Competition

To mark the return of Big Ben, UK Parliament is asking UK residents aged between 7 and 12 years old to design their very own tower.

Entrants can use any medium they wish – matchsticks, building blocks, clay or even cake!

Entries are open to individuals and groups (of up to 5) aged from 7-9 and 10-12. Prizes include a VIP trip to the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye and a voucher for a family tour of the Elizabeth Tower.  The competition closes on the 30th January 2023.

For full details, further inspiration, FAQs and terms and conditions visit the website.


Source: UK Parliament

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