Doncaster stone used as £80 million restoration project of Big Ben nears completion
Stone quarried from Doncaster has been used in the £80 million refurbishment of Big Ben as its restoration nears completion.
Blocks of limestone from Cadeby have been used in restoring the iconic London landmark which is nearing the end of a huge multi-million makeover.
Stone from Cadeby Quarry was transported to the capital for work on the Elizabeth Tower, but which is more commonly referred to as Big Ben around the globe.
Durability of the stone was a major factor in its choice, along with it being a close match for the original Anston limestone.
During the work, dozens of architects, clients and processors visited Cadeby to select stone for use in the renovation.
Scaffolding on the famous clock tower is slowly coming down – meaning tourists will once again be able to pose for selfies.
Each of the 3,433 cast iron roof tiles has been replaced and the massive clock has been removed and reconditioned piece by piece - with 324 pieces of lovingly-made glass installed in accordance with the original design.
New pictures reveal the painstaking level of detail that has gone into the five-year refurbishment of the famous bell and tower in which it is housed.
Those passing over Westminster Bridge can now spot a colour-scheme change, along with the restoration of the decorative symbols of the UK which adorn the clock tower.
For decades, the clock dials and the stonework surrounding them were painted in many layers of black paint that became synonymous with Big Ben.
This is the most extensive programme of conservation ever carried out to the Tower, which is due for completion in 2022.
The restored clock hands, which have been painted to match the original Prussian Blue colour scheme on the clock dials, have been installed.
Experts believe the colour scheme was chosen in the 1930s to mask the effects of pollution but, returning to the original vision by Parliament’s architects Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Pugin, the clock has since been updated.
Following restoration off-site, the clock hands have been painted to match the original Prussian Blue colour scheme on the clock dials, with the hands reattached over the summer.
Other key details have also returned to Barry’s original design, such as the row of six shields above each dial that displays St George’s red cross on a white background.
Work is due to be completed in 2022 – a year later than expected, with delays caused by the pandemic.
Standing at 315 feet high, the tower is the focal point of the Grade I-listed Palace of Westminster, which forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Completed in 1856, the tower was designed by architects Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Pugin and took 13 years to build.
It began telling time on May 31, 1859.
The name Big Ben refers to the 14-tonne Great Bell – but has also come to be the recognised name for the clock and clock tower.
Big Ben’s chimes were silenced in August 2017 to allow work to be carried out on the tower, but has since chimed for Brexit and New Year.