Big Ben - Clock Construction letter

Big Ben - Clock Construction letter
  • Title: E B Denison, Queen Anne Street, London to Lord Seymour

  • Date : 12 Jan 1852

  • Catalogue number : Parliamentary Archives, WLS/2/199

  • Description :

    Letter from E B Denison, Queen Anne Street, London to Lord Seymour, 12 Jan 1852. Includes suggestions about the positioning and construction of the clock, pendulum and weights in the Tower of the Houses of Parliament.

    From Parliamentary Archives collection reference WLS - the papers of James Willis, a senior clerk in the Office of Works, 1858-1900.

  • Transcript:

    Houses of Parlt
      42 Queen Anne Street

    W Denison to Ld Seymour.
    Rel to Gt Clock & Bells     12 January 1852
      12 Jan 1852

    My lord,
     I am much obliged to you for the section of the clock tower, which I am sorry to see is nearly the same as that given to the clockmakers in 1846.
     The only way I can see of getting room for the weights to fall as they ought to do, as well as the best position for the pendulum, will be to let the weights go down the air shaft, where I suppose there will be nothing to interfere with them. This will be of great consequence in settling the plan of the clock.
    It is mentioned that the dials are to be of metal. They will be much better cut in the stone; & they must be done under the direction of those who are to be responsible for the clock, except that if Mr Barry has any particular fancy about the shape of the figures it may be gratified, as nobody looks at anything but their position.
     It is very desirable that something should be settled about the bells before the top of the tower is begun. As I understand this plan, their sound will be very much impeded by the building. The place where bells are hung on ought to be nearly all open windows: indeed if there is nothing but corner pillars it is all the better.
     It will be a mere waste of money to get the largest bell in England to put in such a shut up place as this appears to be.

      â€¦ I remain My lord
       Yours very truly
        E B Denison

    The Lord Seymour

Related Information

Find out more about the Parliamentary Archives