How did London’s Big Ben get its name?
“Big Ben” actually refers to the giant bell inside the famous clock tower attached to the Houses of Parliament in London.
There are two theories of how the bell got its name. The first suggests that it was taken from the nickname of a champion heavyweight boxer of the time named Ben Caunt. The second and more probable explanation is that it was named after the bulky Welshman Sir Benjamin Hall, who was the first Parliamentary Commissioner of Works from 1855 to 1858 and whose name was inscribed on the bell.
Big Ben is 9 feet in diameter and almost 8 feet high. The bell was cast on April 10, 1858, and it rang its first chime on May 31, 1859.
The clock tower itself is 316 feet tall.
Source: Parliament’s Web site, www.parliament.uk