Big Ben shrouded in darkness as lights are turned off for renovation

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The Elizabeth Tower was cast into darkness today after lighting behind its famous clock face and of its stonework were switched off during renovations.

The latest blow to London’s most recognisable landmark follows the silencing of Big Ben’s hourly bongs and the turning off of the Ayrton Light which glows when MPs are sitting.

Lights on the tower’s clock face and stonework were turned off early on Wednesday morning.

The silencing of Big Ben sparked political furore among MPs, with the famous tower now undergoing a four-year renovation project.

Big Ben was shrouded in darkness as the lights were turned off on Elizabeth Tower. (Jeremy Selwyn)

Prime Minister Theresa May was among those to blast the plans, with officials arguing the noise would pose a health and safety risk to workers during the multi-million pound renovation.

MPs joined Londoners and tourists outside the Elizabeth Tower at noon as the hourly bells chimed for the last time on Monday, August 21.

The lights behind the famous clock-face were shut off on Wednesday morning (Jeremy Selwyn)

The renovation period marks the longest time in the landmark’s 157-year history that it will be silent.

The Aryton Light has only been turned off during the two world wars since it was installed in 1885.

The light needs to be fully dismantled and restored as part of the renovations.

It has since been confirmed that the bells at Big Ben will still chime for New Year’s Eve and other big national events in Britain’s calendar.


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