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Big Ben : The Great Clock and the Bells at the Palace of Westminster - Chris McKay

Big Ben

The Great Clock and the Bells at the Palace of Westminster

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`Big Ben', the great clock and bells at Westminster, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Britain. From the origins of Westminster as the seat of government right up to the celebrations of the Great Clock's 150th anniversary in 2009, this book tells the story of the clock, bells, and tower.

The reader is first taken step-by-step through a typical visit to the Clock Tower, and then the history of the Palace of Westminster is told, covering the fire of 1834, the building of the new Houses of Parliament and the development of the clock and the bells, going into fascinating detail on their design and installation. The book covers the famous cracking of the current bell, Big Ben, in 1859, with sketches of all the characters involved, the two World Wars, and the disaster of 1976. The book ends with a detailed technical description of the clock mechanism.

The book is richly illustrated, and will appeal not only to clockmakers and horologists, but to bell enthusiasts, and those with an interest in our rich Victorian heritage.

Industry Reviews

Chris McKay is to be congratulated on writing what must be the definitive book on the origin and history of this much loved icon of the British people. Well produced, profusely illustrated and clearly written, the book describes the mechanical detail and history of the great clock and bells in a manner that will enlighten expert and layman alike. If you only ever buy one book on clocks, this should most definitely be it. * The Ringing World *
Chris McKay tells you everything you could possibly want to know about the clock and its bells ... he knows his stuff. * Keith Richmond, Government Gazette *
As with all the best historical object biographies, McKay's book invites us - no forces us - to look at a familiar artefact with entirely fresh and searching eyes. Details we may have previously overlooked now, with McKay's patient guidance, become startlingly apparent, and these revelations are much needed if we are to understand fully the role of technology in our everyday lives. * David Rooney, Antiquarian Horology *
A very good book [...], a work which holds the interest of the reader whilst imparting knowledge of both the history and technology of the clock, the tower, and bells; an impressive feat. It is also a book which tells enough to stimulate interest while not being too heavy. If you have only one book on turret clocks, it should probably be this one. * Colin Fergusson, Horological Journal *
It is a well presented book, with a wealth of interesting facts and figures, and well worth a place on any bookshelf. * Jill Hadfield, Horological Journal *

Foreword Introduction 1: Big Ben: a Brief History 2: A Visit to the Clock Tower 3: The Palace of Westminster to 1834 4: The Great Fire of 1834 5: A New Palace: 1835 Onwards 6: Plans and Specifications for the Great Clock: 1844 - 1852 7: The Great Clock is Built: 1852-1854 8: The Bells: 1856-1858 9: The Dials 10: The Development of the Gravity Escapement 11: The Great Clock is Installed and Set Going 12: Big Ben Cracks: 1859 - 1863 13: The Clock Ticks On: 1863 - 1900 14: Through Two World Wars: 1900 - 2000 15: The Disaster of 1976 16: The Restoration in 2007 17: The Great Clock-- A Complete Description 18: Miscellaneous 19: The 150th Anniversary Celebration 20: Postscript

ISBN: 9780199585694
ISBN-10: 0199585695
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 17th June 2010
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 25.3 x 19.1  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.86