Big Ben has rung in its 150th year.
The Great Bell, housed in the Palace of Westminster in London, struck its first hour on the July 11, 1859. A big birthday message has been projected to mark the anniversary. Often used to describe the clock tower, which was completed in 1859 after the old parliament burned down in 1834, the name was originally given to the bell itself. Big Ben’s 150 years have not always run like clockwork. The first bell cracked under testing. Its replacement was short-lived, also cracking after two months. After a series of modifications the right formula was found – giving birth to one of Britain’s most famous sounds.