“Pray for Big Ben”: How Londoners feel for the leaning tower of Westminster

Big Ben is officially tilting towards the Thames. And the tower is already leaning so much towards the river that it can now be seen with the naked eye.

Londoners feel for their famous city tower and use social media to show their compassion: Tweets such as “PRAY FOR BIG BEN” circulate in the networks and the sinking landmark also has an own twitter page with over 130.000 followers, capturing the tilting with constant “bong bong bong”-tweets.

The top of the clock tower is already leaning one-and-a-half feet off a level position and getting worse each year. If Big Ben would seriously fall, it would crash into the MP’s offices in the Portcullis House. Partly reasons for the tilting are decades of underground excavations, such as an underground car park and the tunnelling for the Jubilee tube line in the 1990s.

However, at the moment Big Ben is leaning at an angle of 0,26 degrees, Pisa leans by around 4 degrees. Therefore it would take about 4,000 years until the tower is as slanted as the leaning tower of Pisa and even longer to hit the tipping-point.

Sightseeing at the Big Ben in 2008, when everything seemed to be straight