If visiting London, England is on your bucket list for any time in the next four years, you will be able to see Big Ben, but you will not be able to hear the chimes coming from the famous 19th-century clock. That's because it will be silent for the next four years as it goes through a major renovation starting next week.

The official announcement was made on Monday, August 14 by Steve Jaggs, the Keeper of the Great Clock. The work is necessary not just for the clock but also for the tower on which it is located. The tower will get a major update which will include an elevator, a toilet, and a kitchen.

While the work is being done, the entire building will be made energy efficient.

Other names

Most people know Big Ben is the nickname for the clock located at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London. However, it is also referred to as the Great Bell. The clock is located on the Elizabeth Tower that was renamed in 2012 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. Big Ben is the name of the clock and not the building even though some people refer to the entire structure as Big Ben.

The clock is so famous that it is often used in movies that are set in London. It is one of the most recognizable symbols of the United Kingdom located on one of the most photographed buildings in Britain.

Why clock will be silent for so long

It will take four years to complete all the necessary work on the clock and the tower. This will be the longest time there will be no sound from the clock in 157 years. The last sound will be at 12 noon on Monday, August 21. People will surely miss the tone that has been heard by millions of people around the world.

Those in the area had become accustomed to the sound that has been heard on the hour with smaller bells heard every 15 minutes.

Even though the clock will not sound during its renovation, it will still show the correct time. Only one of the faces will be left uncovered so people can still see the time. Then, in 2021 it will begin sounding again on a regular basis.

In the meantime, Big Ben will be programmed to be rung on special occasions such as New Year's Eve and Remembrance Sunday, which is the second Sunday in November.

In order for the clock to be refurbished, some parts of the famous clock will be completely removed piece by piece, cleaned and repaired before they are replaced. An electric motor will allow the clock to keep the correct time while the pieces are not in place.

All will not be lost during the major work on the clock and tower because BBC Radio 4 has announced it will broadcast a recording while the clock is silent.