Happy 160th birthday Big Ben!

Last updated at 05:20
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Have you ever been to visit Big Ben in London? Well, today marks the 160th anniversary of Big Ben (the giant bell in the tower) first striking the hour!

Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell inside the Elizabeth Tower, which stands at the north end of the Houses of Parliament.

The Tower was completed in 1859. The Great Clock started on 31 May and Big Ben's strikes were heard for the first time on 11 July.

To celebrate, we've taken a look at the history of one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.

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WATCH: Big Ben in 60 seconds

The Elizabeth Tower was originally called the Clock Tower but was renamed in honour of the Queen's diamond jubilee in 2012.

Big Ben doesn't swing like normal bells, instead it is fixed in place and struck by a hammer.

The BBC first broadcast Big Ben's chimes to mark the new year in 1923.

The landmark was originally designed by Charles Barry and A.W. Pugin and the chimes marked each hour almost unbroken for over 150 years.

But currently, the Elizabeth Tower, home to the Great Clock and the Great Bell, is in the middle of conservation work, so Big Ben's bongs have been silenced to make it safe for the people working on it.

Those famous chimes will return once more in 2021, when the works are expected to be complete!

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