[Bell Historians] Big Ben

Anne Willis zen16073 at WUIrdB8mCs0aOXM2SwDwslHrfVx1cc6Pkq7rv5Eg0TJNwFPxLIWs_Q7QfA830cC6z2emhw49At11WZ0i.yahoo.invalid
Fri Jan 18 11:45:40 GMT 2008

From: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com [mailto:bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of Richard Offen
Sent: 18 January 2008 01:29
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Bell Historians] Big Ben

I have an engraving, taken from the Illustrated London News, showing 
the first Big Ben being carted, in procession, across Westminster 
Bridge towards the Palace of Westminster. The bell depicted was 
cast by John Warner & Sons on 6th August, 1856 at their foundry in 
Stockton-on-Tees and brought to London by sea. On arrival it was 
taken to Warner's Cripplegate Foundry for initial testing and then 
set up in Palace Yard, Westminster, where the over-heavy hammer 
specified by Denison caused its eventual destruction.

Given that both the Cripplegate Foundry and the Palace of Westminster 
are on the North side of the River Thames, and assuming that the 
engraving is not just artistic licence, why was it decided that such 
a heavy load would take a much more torturous route over two river 

In his recent book on the history of the great clock in the Palace of 
Westminster, Peter McDonald also states that the first Big Ben was 
carried in procession across Westminster Bridge, but I would be 
interested to know what contemporary reports, apart from the 
engraving, confirm this route?


Peter Ferriday's biography of Lord Grimthorpe (John Murray, 1957) includes a
chapter on Big Ben. According to Ferriday 'the bell [after its eventful
journey from West Hartlepool to Maudsley's Wharf] was conveyed over
Westminster Bridge to palace Yard on a truck drawn by 16 white horses.
....In the afternoon the bell was raised o to the massive frame at the foot
of the bell tower, tested and then propped up with timbers to take the
strain off the chains.'  Nothing is mentioned about a diversion to to



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