Today marks the 153rd anniversary of the first ringing of Big Ben in Westminster.
Despite having been born in London and spending most of my life living here (minus about 10 years in the middle when I was living in the country or at university), I don't think I have ever visited the clock tower in Westminster, let alone seen Big Ben in action.
As all Londoners know, the name Big Ben refers to the bell inside the clock tower which stands at the north end of the Palace of Westminster, rather than the tower itself, which is simply known as Clock Tower. Many believe the bell was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the later stages of the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament, including the installation of the Great Bell, which is inscribed with his name.
I didn't know it before today, but Clock Tower is home to the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world, which is pretty neat. This alone makes it yet another London-based activity I need to add to my to-do list for when I fancy being a tourist in my own hometown.
And now that our history lesson is over, let's get on with looking at the pretty things: