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Big Ben's History

On October 16th 1834, Charles Barry, an architect, saw the tower catch fire. On May 31st 1859, the Clock Tower bells were heard across London. It stayed standing after a dozen attacks from the Germans in World War II.

In 1949, the minute hand was slowed down by 4.5 minutes. This was caused by a flock of birds that rested on the hand. In 1962, the snow caused the clock to ring 10 minutes late. Mechanical problems stopped the clock in 1976 and twice in 1997. The bell has cracked a few times. This was the cause of a heavy hammer. The Clock Tower went out of order for three years.

In 1844, the Parliament decided they should have a clock tower beside it. It was never at risk of tipping over.