Frequently asked questions: Big Ben and Elizabeth Tower

Here are some of the questions we get asked about Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower:

A. Find out how to tour the Elizabeth Tower  in Parliament's Visiting section.

A. There are three tours each day from Monday to Friday.

A. There are 334 steps to the belfry and a total of 399 to the lantern (the Ayrton Light).

A. The name of the tower is no longer the Clock Tower and is now the Elizabeth Tower. It was called St Stephen's Tower by Victorian journalists. They referred to anything to do with the House of Commons as news from 'St Stephens', as originally MP's used to sit in St Stephen's Hall.

A. The most likely explanation is it was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, First Commissioner for Works, whose name is inscribed on the bell. Another theory is it was named after Ben Caunt, a champion heavyweight boxer.

A. Learn all the steps involved by reading about the time change weekend.

Related information

Climb Big Ben

The Elizabeth Tower is the name of the famous tower of Parliament - more popularly known as Big Ben. Although often referred to as Big Ben, this is actually the nickname of the bell housed within the Elizabeth Tower - and Big Ben's official name is the Great Bell.