Celebrate London History Day

    Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Credit: Houses of Parliament ©Parliamentary Archives, FAR/4/1
    Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Credit: Houses of Parliament ©Parliamentary Archives, FAR/4/1
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    Today marks the first ever London History Day, a day to recognise the amazing 1000 year history and heritage of this great city

    An initiative of Historic England, London History Day recognises and highlights the amazing city of London, while encouraging the public to notice, celebrate and speak up for their heritage. The campaign encouraged Londoner’s to take part in a poll to nominate the place that best sums up the capital, selecting a date based on key moments in the city’s history and choosing their favourite historic London hero.

    31 May was chosen as the date that London’s iconic clock, affectionately known as Big Ben, first started keeping time in 1859, with the Houses of Parliament the location that best represents the city.

    A range of celebrations and events will be taking place around the city based today on the theme ‘1,000 years of history…where history is still being written’.

    The UK Parliament are offering visitors the chance to attend a special free talk on the Elizabeth Tower by one of the clockmakers, one-off London history-themed guided tours for families, and a look at rarely seen objects from Parliament’s Heritage Collections including the ceremonial silver trowel used to lay the first stone of the Elizabeth Tower and photographs of the damage to the Houses of Parliament during the Blitz. Follow along on social media for a behind-the-scenes look.

    Houses of Parliament, London. Credit: Houses of Parliament ©Parliamentary Archives, FAR/1/2
    Houses of Parliament, London. Credit: Houses of Parliament ©Parliamentary Archives, FAR/1/2

    Other London History Day events are also taking place around the city as over 40 museums and galleries stage special events and rare displays for one day only. To help you get along. Historic England has created this special interactive map to show you what’s happening around town.

    Do you love Britain? Let others know!