Elizabeth Tower ‘Big Ben’ Refurbishment

For nearly 5 years the Elizabeth Tower has been clad in scaffolding as it has undergone a major refurbishment; most people commonly refer to the tower as ‘Big Ben’!

The tower started construction on 28th September 1845 and since then has been restored in the 1930’s, 1950’s and 1980’s and now, a major overhaul has been planned.

The work started on Monday 21st of August 2017 at noon, with a budget of £29 million. However, by September 2017 they soon realised that the initial cost was far too conservative as the extent of the conservation work became apparent, hidden asbestos, more Health and Safety requirements and other challenges meant that initial costs had nearly doubled. By the time it came to finishing the project, the costs had risen to just under £80 million.

Elizabeth Tower Big Ben Scaffolding Refurbishment Phase

Big Ben Bell Tower – Hopton-Wood Stone

This was the largest restoration project it had undergone and it required exact specifications for the refurbishment. The flooring stone required for the Bell Tower, was Hopton-Wood Stone and that is where we come in.

We were asked to provide natural Hopton-Wood Stone to cover the Bell Tower flooring, cut to size to accurately fill the space. In addition, there is a large spiral staircase taking you to the Bell Tower, comprising 334 steps, and these had to be constructed using Hopton-Wood Stone as well. We were able to supply the stone required, to the dimensions and finish specified, so it would look as original as the day it was originally laid.

We are proud to be part of the supply chain for this restoration project; one of the world’s most famous and iconic buildings, was returned to it’s beautiful, majestic and original specifications.

As a bonus, in this ‘behind the scenes video’ you get to see our own John Graham being interviewed. During the interview you can see a large rough piece of Hopton-Wood Stone, so you can see much work is required to get them to a finished product.

To learn a bit more about Hopton-Wood Stone, CLICK HERE

Excerpts from the video showing John Graham at our stone yard, Hopton-Wood stone being finished, the bell tower staircase in Hopton-Wood stone and the floor of the bell tower in Hopton-Wood stone – click to enlarge.

Buxton Architectural Stone John Graham Hopton Wood for Elizabeth Tower Big Ben
Buxton Architectural Stone Hopton Wood Stone Preparation
Elizabeth Tower 334 Hopton Wood Stone Steps To The Bell Tower
Elizabeth Tower Big Ben Bell Tower Flooring Hopton Wood Stone

The BBC Video Showing Our Stoneyard & What We Contributed To The Refurbishment!

If you know of a project that requires professional, sympathetic and conservation specific work, then contact us. We have a access to a wide range of natural stone, craftsmen as well as high end CNC stone cutting machinery for total control and accuracy. To see our cutting processes, click here.