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Big Ben Clock Tower Leaning a Bit
October 10, 2011

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Big Ben has tilted to one side.

One of the world's most famous clocks, and the big tower that houses it, are leaning a tiny bit to one side, according to surveyors in the United Kingdom. The tower, which is more than 315 feet high, has sunk a bit into the ground and is now leaning at an angle of 0.26 degrees. That's now a whole lot, but it is visible to the senior researchers in charge of doing the surveying around the famous London clock tower.

The researchers say that the tower is sinking a bit more quickly on the north side than on the south side. However, they say not to worry because at the current rate, it would take the tower 4,000 years to tilt at the angle of the Tower of Pisa, which leans by nearly 4 degrees.

The tower is sinking in part because of construction in and around the base of the clock tower complex, which was completed in 1858.

The tower houses the famous bell, which is actually the thing that is called Big Ben. The tower is often mistakenly referred to as Big Ben.

Researchers noticed the tilt during their normal surveying, but tourists taking photographs have also pointed out the tilt.



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