For anyone who had been missing the resonant tones of the Elizabeth Tower's biggest bell – it's back. Big Ben resumed its bonging at 9am this morning, just in time for the festive period.
The bells of Westminster Palace had been silenced in August, as renovations got underway in the clock tower. They did chime shortly to mark Armistice Day in November, but the iconic Big Ben will now be ringing until 1pm on New Year's Day.
As part of the conservation project of the Elizabeth Tower, the bells have been silenced for four years.
"The joyful striking of Big Ben will ring in the festive season for Londoners, visitors, and the millions of viewers who use it as a focal point to celebrate the New Year," said Steve Jaggs, keeper of the Great Clock.
"Big Ben falling silent has been a significant milestone in this crucial conservation project, but it has always been planned that its chimes would ring out across Whitehall for special occasions, where possible."
In early 2018, the 158-year-old Great Clock is set to be dismantled piece by piece with each cog examined and restored. Whilst the clock mechanism is out of action, a modern electric motor will drive the hands.