Westminster Abbey’s current building was begun by Henry III in 1245. The Gothic architecture was the work of master masons Henry of Reyns, John of Glucester, and Robert of Beverley. The towers were unfinished for centuries.
Although the tower did not yet look like this, the clock on the North West Tower was made and installed by John Seddon in 1738 before the towers were completed. The clock originally had only an hour hand, which was quite common for tower clocks during that time. Christopher Wren took up the case for completing the towers, which were of different heights, but he died prior to being able to carry it through. Nicholas Hawksmoor designed the last phase of the Abbey, the West Towers of Portland Stone.
The clock movement was replaced in 1861, but the dials and single hour hand retained. The exterior of the building has been restored and re-faced with different stone several times over the years, with the most recent in 1973-1995.
Coronations of kings and queens have been held here, and many well-known people are buried here. It was interesting to me to learn it is the final resting place of Stephen Hawking, the British theoretical physicist. There is also a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a section of the church dedicated to the “modern martyrs.”
Source for information: Westminster Abbey, About the Abbey, History/architecture.