Big Ben Winched into Place

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History on 20th October


Coronation of King George I

First Edition of Sunday Times

Big Ben Winched into Place

Westminster, London The 20th of October 1858 AD

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry which cast the great bell now known as Big Ben knew how to do things in style: in May 1858 the bell, cast the previous month, was transported to the Palace of Westminster amid great scenes.
Sixteen horses were needed to pull the cart carrying the enormous bell, and for show they used 16 white horses. The route from Whitechapel went over the Thames at London Bridge and back over again at Westminster Bridge, its passing an event for many thousands of Londoners who witnessed it.
Planning errors meant some work needed to be done before the bell could be raised in the belfry, but on October 20 1858 the 13.7 tonne monster was hauled more than 200 feet up the tower (sideways, as it could not be manoeuvred otherwise), and put in place, though it would not strike with the clock until July 11 the following year.

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On this day:
George II Fights Battle of Dettingen - 1743, 1st World Championship Bout by Queensbury Rules - 1890, Barclays opens Britains 1st cashpoint - 1967, Tony Blair announces resignation - 2007
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