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Big Ben to resume striking on Remembrance Sunday 2022

1 November 2022

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The Two Minutes of Silence at 11 am on Remembrance Sunday will mark the official return of the Elizabeth Tower’s bells after they were silenced at the beginning of the conservation programme in 2017.

As it has done throughout the works, Big Ben will strike 11 times to mark the start of the Two Minutes of Silence at 11 am on Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday - joining bells across the country and worldwide to commemorate those that lost their lives in the two world wars and later conflicts.

Permanent reconnection of the bells is subject to tests of the mechanism completing to a satisfactory standard, with tests taking place from Tuesday 8th November.

Listening to the bells

Big Ben and the quarter bells will be heard over the following periods:

  • On Tuesday 8th November from 3 pm: testing of Big Ben and the quarter bells will begin, with the bells struck intermittently to begin with. Then, the quarter bells will be played along with Big Ben, at the usual strike rate of the Great Clock. This will continue across the week and into the weekend, with the potential for occasional stoppages, so that operatives can ensure the bells sound correctly for the important moments of reflection later in the week and thereafter.

  • On Friday 11th November – Armistice Day – Big Ben will be struck 11 times at 11 am, preceded by the quarter bells.

  • On Sunday 13th November  - Remembrance Sunday - Big Ben will be struck 11 times at 11 am to mark the start of the Two Minutes Silence, preceded by the quarter bells. This will coordinate with events taking place at the Cenotaph and mark the official moment of permanent reconnection.

Live audio and videos feeds of Big Ben’s strikes streamed on the UK Parliament social media channels.

Remembrance projections

The Elizabeth Tower will play a central role across the Remembrance weekend. In addition to the return of the bells – images of falling poppies will once again be projected onto the Elizabeth Tower to mark the first Remembrance Sunday since the death of The Queen. 

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the illumination to thank the Armed Forces for their service ‘was a fitting end to a “Week of Remembrance” in Parliament in a particularly sad and poignant year’. 

‘We in Parliament hope to do her late Majesty’s memory proud with a week of remembrance - from the planting of a constituency garden of remembrance in New Palace Yard, to Big Ben bonging for the two minutes’ silence at 11 o’clock and the falling poppy projection on the Elizabeth Tower.’ 

Final steps in the conservation

Work to the exterior is now complete and the majority of works inside the Tower are close to conclusion. Soon after the bells have returned to regular service, the Ayrton Light will be reconnected, power supplies activated and fire safety works completed. The principal contractor will remain on site until December 2022 to ensure works have been completed to a satisfactory standard, supporting the handover to teams delivering the visitor offer.

Parliament expects to welcome its first visitors back inside the Elizabeth Tower in 2023, following the installation and testing of new exhibition spaces, workshops and tour routes. More information on the visitor offer will be provided in the coming months.

Big Ben is back. For the latest updates, visit the website or subscribe to the Elizabeth Tower newsletter.

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Image: ©UK Parliament

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