Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower – a guide

This book gives fascinating behind-the-scenes insights into the little-known story of one of the world’s most iconic buildings, the technological treasures it contains and the extraordinary personalities whose vision brought it about.

The Houses of Parliament published 'Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower' on 31 May 2013 – 154 years to the day on which the Great Clock officially started in 1859. Over 130 images and illustrations bring the story to life and show what is involved in keeping this most famous of clocks ticking.

  • A highly readable account of the tower’s history and heritage as well as that of the Great Clock and famous bell which became known as Big Ben.
  • Many have contributed experience and knowledge to the book, including the dedicated clockmakers who keep the Great Clock ticking.
  • Additional features provide more detail about related subjects.
  • over 130 images, including new photographs and reproductions of works of art from the Parliamentary Art Collection and records from the Parliamentary Archives.
  • a cutaway illustration shows what is inside the tower.
  • information about access to Parliament.

The book is available exclusively in Parliamentary shops and online for £5.00.

Buy 'Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower' guidebook online

"Big Ben and Elizabeth Tower are perhaps the most iconic aspects of the Palace of Westminster. This book provides a wealth of behind-the-scenes insights about the workings, history and heritage of the tower, and I’m sure the fascinating facts and remarkable images will make this a treasured and enjoyable read for visitors and the wider public alike."

Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP
Speaker of the House of Commons

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Contact information

Houses of Parliament Shop
  • 12 Bridge Street, Parliament Square
  • London SW1A 2JX
  • Phone 020 7219 3890
  • Fax 020 7219 3866
  • Email shop@parliament.uk

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