Big Ben Crowned Britain’s Greatest Landmark

Dale Potts
Despite being over 100 years old Big Ben still chimes with the nation, a poll to find Britain’s greatest landmark has shown.

Commissioned by Faithful+Gould, part of the Atkins Group, voters from across Britain were asked to name their favourite man-made or natural landmark to mark famous engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s birthday (9th April).

London dominated the poll taking six of the top slots; Scotland received only one entry with Edinburgh Castle coming in 4th place, but Wales failed to make it into the top ten.

Despite being commissioned to celebrate Brunel’s birthday on 9th April, no famous Brunel landmarks made it into the top ten. However, one of his structures, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, came out on top amongst those surveyed in the West of England.

The poll showed that man-made landmarks are closer to Brits' hearts with no natural landmarks, such as the White Cliffs of Dover, or Ben Nevis making the top ten.

Men chose political powerhouse the Houses of Parliament as their favourite landmark, where as it didn’t even feature in women’s top ten. For women, Big Ben was the structure of their preference.

Unexpectedly, the poll did not always fall inline with regional loyalties. People in Yorkshire crowned the London Eye as their favourite landmark, with York Minister only coming in sixth place. However, people in Lancashire felt more passionate about the Blackpool Tower than they did Big Ben.

Faithful+Gould also conducted a separate survey of its clients to find out if “insiders” working within the construction industry rated different landmarks**. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, man-made landmarks dominated the list; however London Eye came first followed by the Angel of the North.

Donald Lawson, Chief Operating Office at Faithful+Gould said: "Like Brunel, people in Britain are extremely passionate about the buildings and structures around them. The poll really brings home the impact that the built environment has on has our nation’s consciousness – buildings at their best can leave a legacy for generations to come. The Angel of the North is just one example of how new structures can have a big impact on how people feel about an area – it is great to see it has made the top ten."

The Nation’s Favourite Landmarks

  • 1. Big Ben
  • 2. Stonehenge
  • 3. London Eye
  • 4. Edinburgh Castle
  • 5. Blackpool Tower
  • 6. Houses of Parliament
  • 7. The Angel of the North
  • 8. The Tower of London
  • 9. Buckingham Palace
  • 10. Tower Bridge

Construction “Insiders” Top Five Favourite Landmarks

  • 1. London Eye
  • 2. The Angel of the North
  • 3. Edinburgh Castle
  • 4. Houses of Parliament
  • 5. Big Ben

* Research carried out by YouGov on behalf of Faithful+Gould. 2053 adults, 18+ were polled between 6th and 8th February 2008 in England, Wales and Scotland. Results were weighted in order to be nationally representative.

** Research carried out by JGMRC Ltd on behalf of Faithful+Gould. 252 people were polled from Faithful+Gould client base between July and August 2007.

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