January Artwork of the Month: The Elizabeth Tower under construction

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07 January 2019

Did you watch the latest episode of the documentary about the restoration of the Elizabeth Tower (AKA Big Ben) over the festive period? This month’s Artwork of the Month shows the Tower as it neared completion in 1858.

The print depicts Charles Barry’s New Palace of Westminster seventeen years after Mrs Barry laid the foundation stone in 1841.

The building is almost finished, but scaffold is still in place at the top of what was then called the Clock Tower and the four huge clock faces have yet to be finished.

The Tower was finally completed in 1859, and the Great Bell (which was nicknamed Big Ben) first rang out on 11 July.

The current restoration project began in 2017 and is due to be completed in 2021.

Find out more about the Elizabeth Tower conservation on the project’s webpages.

Further information

Watch the Channel 4 Big Ben documentary [external website]

Find out more about the Elizabeth Tower

View more views of the building from the Collection

Image: Detail of 'The New Palace of Westminster, 1858', chromolithograph printed by Vacher & Sons, 1858 (Parliamentary Art Collection, WOA 1656)

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