Big Ben's 150th anniversary year

The Big Ben anniversary team

2009 saw the 150th anniversary of the Elizabeth Tower, the Great Clock and the Great Bell, also known as Big Ben. Here are some highlights from the year's celebrations.

The Big Ben anniversary team

The Big Ben Christmas card competition attracted entries from over 400 children from 100 constituencies. National winners visited Parliament and were presented with prizes at a reception. The overall winning design was one of the Speaker's official Christmas cards for 2009.

Christmas card competition winners and their designs at Speaker€™s House

400 clock and bell fans from all over the UK were welcomed for tours of the Elizabeth Tower during the Enthusiasts' Weekend in July. The anniversary of Big Ben's first strike on 11 July was marked with a light projection.

'Parliament's Clock: Big Ben at 150' opened in Portcullis House with almost 3000 members of the public visiting the exhibition during Open House Weekend.

Clockmakers€™ display at Open House Weekend, with Big Ben sugar sculpture

€˜Sir Benjamin Hall MP€™ engages with Open House visitors at the Big Ben exhibition

Big Ben's anniversary year recieved extensive media coverage at home and abroad, connecting Big Ben with a wide range of audiences it included features on Blue Peter and The Paul O'Grady Show.

Race Against Chime

Big Ben's clock dial needs a good clean in time for its 150th anniversary party. Can you swing to the rescue?

Play this addictive game by Parliament's Education Service, produced for Big Ben's 150th anniversary in 2009.