Yes you read that right! Big Ben, the infamous bell inside London’s iconic Elizabeth Tower is going silent for the next four years, during which the tower, clock and bells will be getting a refurb.
As part of the renovations, the tower will be getting a lift installed as well as toilets and a kitchen. The Great Clock will be dismantled so that its mechanism can be cleaned and restored piece by piece and any damaged parts can be repaired. The bells will also get a new protective coating.
While the repairs are taking place, one face of the clock will always be working, running on an electric motor and the bells themselves will still chime on important events like Remembrance Day and New Year’s Eve, but will otherwise remain silent for the duration of the repair works. This marks one of the greatest conservation efforts in the 157 years that the clock and bell have been running.
To hear the Big Ben’s last chimes before the repairs begin, the Houses of Parliament are inviting Londoners to listen on Monday 21st of August at noon, when the bells will sound for the last time until 2021 (except for the times mentioned above).