Looking for Great Tom


According to an article in today’s Observer a planed excavation of Westminster might uncover Great Tom, Big Ben’s renowned medieval predecessor.

The article notes that ‘the original tower was built around 1288 during the reign of Edward I, a little further from the river than the current tower, which was built in 1859 and is officially called the Elizabeth Tower – though in the public imagination it is firmly identified with its 16-tonne bell. Parliament officials have granted permission for the small-scale dig on the old site in a bid to “determine features and locations of the old palace” and, in particular, that of the first tower or its immediate successor, built in 1367. The bell in the first tower was named Great Edward after the king – although some say it was named after Edward the Confessor – but was known colloquially as Great Tom.’

Read the full piece here.