HC Deb 08 March 1860 vol 157 c103

said, he would beg to ask the Chief Commissioner of Works, as they had not lately heard the solemn sounds that so often warned the House during the last Session, if he can afford the House any information as to the condition of the Great Bell in the Clock Tower, and if an early expectation may be entertained of its tones being again heard?


said, before the question was answered, he would remind the Chief Commissioner that the question he had put on a former evening relative to the Lions for the pedestal of the Nelson Column had never received any reply?


said, that the Great Bell in the Clock Tower was in the unhappy condition of being cracked in five places— the first crack was twelve inches, and the second nine inches in length. He was not able to state the origin of the cracks, but thought he was safe in saying that either the hammer was too heavy for the tenacity of the Bell, or the Bell was too brittle for the weight of the hammer. He could not hold out any expectation that the wish of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich would be fulfilled, and that we should again in a short time hear the solemn tones of the Bell. As to the Nelson Monument in Trafalgar Square, Sir Edwin Landseer had received the commission for the completion of the Monument some eighteen months ago, and had decided upon the arrangement of the Lions, but he was not prepared to say at what period they would be completed.