Creative Images - Stock Photo Library / London-004

Welcome to my LONDON/MISCELLANEOUS SECTION. I had great pleasure in photographing this mixture of views and subjects. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I had such a wonderful time creating them - All images may be purchased directly from me - Please go to home page and click on the relevant link for purchase procedure. Contact me for any info . . . Enjoy!

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Westminster bridge

Westminster Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames between Westminster and Lambeth, in London. The current bridge, opened in 1862, is the second on the site and replaced an earlier stone bridge that had opened in 1750, but which was subsiding badly and expensive to maintain. Westminster Bridge is a seven-arch wrought iron bridge, which has gothic detailing by Charles Barry (the architect of the Palace of Westminster). It is the only bridge over the Thames that spans seven arches and is the oldest bridge in the central area of the river Thames.

The bridge is predominantly green, the same colour as the leather seats in the House of Commons which is on the side of the Palace of Westminster nearest the bridge. This is in contrast to Lambeth Bridge, which is red, the same colour as the seats in the House of Lords and is on the opposite side of the Houses of Parliament. It links the Palace of Westminster on the west side of the river with County Hall and the London Eye on the east and was the finishing point during the early years of the London Marathon.

The Clock Tower, Palace of Westminster is the world's largest four-faced, chiming turret clock. It is often mistakenly called "Big Ben" which is actually the main bell housed within the Clock Tower.The tower was raised as a part of Charles Barry's design for a new palace, after the old Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire. The tower is designed in the Victorian Gothic style, and is 96.3 metres (315.9 ft) high. The first 61 metres (200 ft) of the structure is the Clock Tower, consisting of brickwork with stone cladding; the remainder of the tower's height is a framed spire of cast iron. Due to ground conditions present since construction, the tower leans slightly to the northwest, by roughly 220 millimetres (8.66 in) at the clock face. Due to thermal effects it oscillates annually by a few millimetres east and west.

The Great Clock of Westminster still holds the title of the "world's largest four-faced chiming clock." The clock mechanism itself was completed by 1854, but the tower was not fully constructed until four years later in 1858. The clock became operational on 7th September 1859. Augustus Pugin designed the clock and dials. The clock faces are set in an iron framework supporting 312 pieces of opal glass, rather like a stained glass window. Some of the glass pieces may be removed for inspection of the hands. The surround of the dials is heavily gilded. At the base of each clock face in gilt letters is the Latin inscription: "DOMINE SALVAM FAC REGINAM NOSTRAM VICTORIAM PRIMAM", which means 'O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First'.

The main bell, officially known as the Great Bell, is the largest bell in the tower and part of the Great Clock of Westminster. The bell is better known by the nickname "Big Ben" which is often mistakenly applied to the Clock Tower. The clock is famous for its reliability. This is due to the skill of its designer, the lawyer and amateur horologist Edmund Beckett Denison, later Lord Grimthorpe. Denison invented the double three-legged gravity escapement. Despite heavy bombing the clock ran accurately throughout the Blitz. On 29 October 2005, the mechanism was stopped for approximately 33 hours; it was the lengthiest maintenance shutdown in 22 years.

On August 11, 2007, "Big Ben" went silent and temporarily also stopped keeping time for maintenance that is scheduled to last approximately 1 month. The bearings that help sound the chime on each hour will be replaced, for the first time since installation.

Copyright ©2004 John Reali