Big Ben's Loftiest Light is Getting Switched Off

By Dave Meikleham on at

It's been some week for Westminster's Great Bell. First, loads of people lost their shit when it was announced the gigantic timekeeper is to be silenced for four years. The clock-watching bad news didn't end there, either. Now it's been confirmed Big Ben's Ayrton Light is getting turned off. Oh the humanity!

Image: NDTV

The bell, which was first installed in 1885, has to be dismantled due to wear and tear. While it's getting fixed by a (presumably 150ft tall) horologist, a temporary light will replace it.

Image: Parliament UK

The fact the light is being turned off, even temporarily, is kinda a big deal. Previously, it's only been dimmed during the two World Wars.

Named after a politician called Acton Smeen Ayrton, the bell has quite the royal link: it was installed at Queen Victoria's request so the monarch could see where the members of the House of Commons/Lords were sitting when night drew in.

We're sure Victoria would be none too pleased with the notion of a temporarily dim/eerily silent Big Ben.