The Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire in 1834. In 1844, it was decided the new buildings for the Houses of Parliament should include a tower and a clock. A massive bell was required and the first attempt (made by John Warner & Sons at Stockton-on-Tees) cracked irreparably. The Elizabeth Tower is the name of the famous tower of Parliament – more popularly known as Big Ben. Although often referred to as Big Ben, this is actually the nickname of the bell housed within the Elizabeth Tower – and Big Ben’s official name is the Great Bell. Nickname. The origin of the nickname Big Ben is the subject of some debate. The nickname was applied first to the Great Bell; it may have been named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the installation of the Great Bell, or after English heavyweight boxing champion Benjamin Caunt. This Is Why London’s Big Ben Is About to Go Silent for 4 Years. After next Monday, Londoners and tourists won’t be able to hear Big Ben until 2021. The bell that rings from The Elizabeth Tower in London will be under construction for the next four years, according to a statement from Parliament’s website. Satellite view is showing the Palace of Westminster with Big Ben, the Clock Tower (since 2012 named Elizabeth Tower), the palace is also known as the Houses of Parliament, the seat of the House of Lords (upper house) and the House of Commons (lower house), the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Big Ben weighs 13.7 tonnes, stands 7.2ft (2.2 metres) tall and has a diameter of 8.9ft (2.7 metres).