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Tower housing Big Ben gets a new name

Tower housing Big Ben gets a new name

September 13th, 2012 in News

LONDON (AP) - The iconic Clock Tower of Britain's Parliament was officially renamed Wednesday in honor of Queen Elizabeth II.

The 315-foot-high structure - widely, though incorrectly, known as Big Ben - is one of Britain's most recognizable landmarks.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow unveiled a new name plaque designating the structure the Elizabeth Tower.

The renaming ceremony is the culmination of a campaign by lawmakers to mark the monarch's 60 years on the throne.

The tower was completed in 1858. It houses a four-faced chiming clock and the famed 13.5 ton Big Ben bell. Over the years, people began calling the whole tower Big Ben - and likely will continue to do so.

"There's not one chance in 10,000 that visitors, that people in this country, will think of this tower as anything but Big Ben," Labour Party lawmaker Paul Flynn said.