Parliament launches Big Ben photograph competition on Twitter

The winner of the UK Parliament's Big Ben photograph competition on Twitter will be attending their tour of the Elizabeth Tower before it closes for conservation works in January 2017.

For one week, UK residents had the opportunity to tweet in their favourite photographs of Big Ben to @UKParliament using #BigBenPhoto. A panel of judges selected two finalists, which they scored the most original and visually appealing images. They were then put to the public vote on Friday 6 May. The winning photo was selected and will shortly receive a number of prizes including a tour of the Elizabeth Tower before it closes for conservation work in 2017 and the opportunity to have their photograph displayed in an exhibition in the Palace of Westminster. The competition opened on Wednesday 27 April and the winner was announced on Monday 9 May.

Elizabeth Tower conservation works

On Tuesday 26 April 2016, UK Parliament announced a three-year programme of essential works to refurbish and repair the Elizabeth Tower, the Great Clock and the Great Bell, also known as Big Ben.

These works will:

  • Repair problems identified with the Great Clock and the Elizabeth Tower
  • Restore the Tower to its original design, as set out by architects Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin
  • Renovate the interior and improve health and safety and fire prevention measures
  • Increase energy efficiency to reduce the Tower’s environmental impact

To ensure that the UK’s most famous clock continues to keep time, specialist clock mechanics carry out adjustments on a regular basis. The Elizabeth Tower, which is visited by around 13,000 people each year, is carefully maintained by Parliament’s heritage team. However, as extensive conservation works were last carried out more than 30 years ago (1983-1985), significant work and an investment of £29m is now required to ensure it remains in good condition and is safeguarded for future generations. The Tower is 96 metres tall, and in order to carry out renovation at height, scaffolding is required to enable workers to reach high levels safely. Scaffolding will be dismantled as the work is completed, and at least one clock face will be on show at all times. As part of a Grade I listed building and UNESCO Heritage site, the 156-year-old Tower is subject to listed building consent. This programme of works has been carefully planned to meet Historic England’s requirements. 

Further information