Top section of scaffolding to be removed on Big Ben

Image shows scaffolding on Big Ben / Elizabeth Tower which the top section is set to be removed

The newly restored roof and spire on London’s iconic Elizabeth Tower will be revealed to the world after two years undercover.

Over the course of five weeks from today (Monday 7 October) an expert team of scaffolders from PHD Modular Access will start to take down the top section of scaffolding surrounding the Elizabeth Tower, known as Big Ben.

The scaffold will only be removed from the very top at this stage as conservation work continues to the rest of the tower.

The Elizabeth Tower is undergoing a major restoration project and while safely covered behind the scaffolding, extensive work has now been completed on the roof.

Around 3,433 cast iron roof tiles were meticulously removed and repaired. The towers’s signature metal cross and orb which sits 96 meters above ground level, has also been repaired. While a team of gilders has spent weeks gilding the ornate details to match the original design from 1859.

The project, which is just over halfway through, began in 2017 and is due for completion in 2021.

Image shows the clock face of Big Ben / Elizabeth Tower
Credit: ©UK Parliament/Mark Duffy

Charlotte Claughton, Senior Project Leader, said: “Removing the scaffolding in stages is part of our commitment to make sure as much as possible of this iconic landmark is visible to the public.

We share the world’s love of the Tower and the Clock and I know the whole team feel so privileged to be part of this project. And now we get to show everyone a bit more of what we have been working on.”

Image shows the clock face of Big Ben / Elizabeth Tower
Credit: ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

UK Parliament has said ‘It’s a significant moment in the Elizabeth Tower conservation project’, it’s the most extensive programme of works ever carried out to the Tower.

“The first section of scaffolding coming down is a key moment in the project,” said Adam Watrobski, Principal Architect on the project.

“It means that we are getting nearer the end and that people can again enjoy this symbol of our nation and of democracy. A lot of hard work and ingenuity has brought us to this point and while there is much work still to be done, it is worth pausing to appreciate how far we have come.”