By Molly Kalafut
Big Ben is the name of the 14 ton bell (from 1858, named after Sir Benjamin Hall) inside the clock. It is the largest clock in Britain and has kept time since May 1859. Each dial is 23 ft square. The minute hand is 14ft long and made of hollow copper.
Houses of Parliament
This has been the seat of House of Lords and Commons since 1512. Built for Edward the Confessor in 1042; English Monarchs since William the Conqueror have been coronated there. It stopped being a royal residence in 1512 after a fire. Another fire destroyed it in 1834 (except for the Westminster Hall dating from 1097 and the hammer-beam roof dating from 1300s). Current building is mock Gothic, designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1870. Guy Fawkes tried to blow it up in the early 1600s.
The Westminster Abbey has hosted every coronation since 1066. The medieval architecture is from the 1200-1400s. It contains the Confessor’s Shrine, tombs of Kings and Queens and memorials.
Buckingham Palace was built by King George IV in 1837. It has over 600 rooms and a grounds of 45 acres. In front is a memorial built in 1911 to honor Queen Victoria. It stands 82 feet tall.
St. James Palace
Built by Henry VIII in 1532, today the palace is the home to several royals and used for official functions.
Prince Albert Memorial
This was built by Queen Victoria to honor Prince Albert after his death in 1861. It is 175 feet tall.
Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and beyond! By Molly Kalafut