Final Big Ben Chimes for Now – they rang out at midday Monday 21 August – take a listen
This is the moment Big Ben chimed for the last time before major restoration work starts.
The clock won’t chime again until 2021, except on special occasions.
A budget of £29m has been set aside for the programme of renovation. But concerns have been raised over the plan to silence the bell for such a long period.
However, workmen need to be protected while doing the essential repairs. Loud bongs from a 13-tonne bell could cause them to fall or suffer an injury.
A toilet and kitchen will be built to improve the condition of the tower.
A Commons Commission is to review the timescale after complaints were raised. Theresa May wants the programme to be re-thought.
Large crowd packed Parliament Square and lined along Westminster Bridge to hear the final bongs.
The Great Bell, the official name for Big Ben, traditionally rings every hour to the note of E, accompanied by four quarter bells that chime every 15 minutes.
This is not the first time the bells have fallen silent. They were stopped for maintenance in 2007, and between 1983 and 1985.
video BBC production
— YourNewsUKtv (@YourNewsUKtv) August 21, 2017
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