Big Ben

On my recent travels, I went to London and sailed up the River Thames to the Houses of Parliament. The great building was designed by Charles Barry…… but how many people would recognize his name? He won the competition  to rebuild Parliament from 96 other  applicants. The previous building was destroyed by a fire during 1834. After considerable work, most of the new building was completed in 1852 and contains over 1100 rooms, with decorations by Augustus Pugin.

The name that most people know is Big Ben. This is the clock tower designed by an amateur horologist Edmund Denison and built by Edward Dent and his staff. The Palace of Westminster is the formal title given to the whole building. Many amazing people have graced the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which are the two debating chambers, where famous people like Gladstone, Bevan. Lloyd George and Churchill spoke with spell binding force.

On my visit, I met Danise, a remarkable teacher, who had taken her students on a tour of London. I was interested to hear how she had developed the visit around the theme of amazing people. Her students studied what famous people had contributed to the city. Then, they went to the places, such as Parliament and other locations, to capture an understanding of the situation.

The book Amazing People of London provides further information on the people and places who made great contributions to the city.