Big Ben is one of the most iconic landmarks in London, England, and the world. This
clock tower, which is officially known as the Elizabeth Tower, stands at a height of 315
feet (96 metres) and has four clock faces that are over 23 feet (7 metres) in diameter.
The minute hands are 14 feet (4.2 metres) long and weigh about 100kg, including counterweights.
The numbers are approximately 23 inches (60cm) long.
And there are 312 pieces of glass in each clock dial.
But have you ever wondered how this impressive tower was constructed?
The answer lies in scaffolding. When Big Ben was erected in the mid-19th century,
scaffolding was an essential tool in the construction process. The tower was built from
a combination of brick, iron, and stone, and scaffolding was used to support the
workers and materials as they worked at such a great height.
The construction of Big Ben began in 1843, and the scaffolding was erected around the
tower as the work progressed. The scaffolding consisted of wooden planks and beams
that were supported by a series of iron poles. As the tower grew taller, the scaffolding
had to be raised higher and higher to keep pace.
One of the biggest challenges of building Big Ben was getting the clock faces in place.
These faces are made of cast iron and weigh over 13 tons each. To install them, the
workers had to climb up the scaffolding and carefully manoeuvre the heavy pieces into
place. It took several attempts to get the clock faces correctly aligned, but eventually,
they were secured to the tower.
As the construction of Big Ben neared completion, the scaffolding was gradually
dismantled. The workers used a series of pulleys and cranes to lower the scaffolding
down to the ground, where it was disassembled and reused for other projects.
Today, Big Ben still stands as a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the workers who
built it. And although scaffolding may not be as visible as the tower itself, it played a
crucial role in making this iconic landmark a reality.
The construction of Big Ben is a prime example of how scaffolding was used in the past
to build monumental structures. Without the support and stability provided by
scaffolding, it would have been impossible to construct such a tall and intricate tower.
And although the scaffolding used to build Big Ben has long since been dismantled, it
remains an essential tool in construction and continues to play a vital role in building
the structures of the future.
Image by luxstorm from Pixabay