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Iconic- Big Ben tops list of Britain’s National Treasures

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Classic British red telephone box

Big Ben, Dr Who and the Rich Tea Biscuit have been hailed as some of Britain’s greatest national treasures.

A study of 2,000 adults found James Bond, The Red Cross and The Beefeaters all featured high in the list, as did Stonehenge, The Beatles and the Spitfire.

Big Ben  took the number one spot  just days after the clock tower was renamed the ‘Elizabeth Tower’, in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Iconic British symbols like the humble red phone box and the post box finished surprisingly higher than The Queen herself, who came fifth.

Winston Churchill clearly remains an inspirational character, appearing at seventh on the list.

The research, which was commissioned by Habitat, demonstrated the love of many of our great landmarks, from The Tower of London and Buckingham Palace to Stonehenge and the Royal Albert Hall – all appear inside the top 20.

Following their summer heroics, Olympic athletes Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Sir Chris Hoy worked their way into the nation’s hearts and find themselves included in the list of most-treasured people.

As the brand launches a selection of products into Homebase stores, a spokesperson for Habitat said:

“Many of the things listed are true British icons reflecting the natural flair the British public has for style and design.

“From Big Ben to the black London cab or the red of our phone and post boxes and buses – these are instantly recognisable as true symbols of Britain and are clearly treasured.

“The list shows a fine mixture of our greatest designs and achievements in architecture alongside some of the institutions and people who help make this small country one that has had such a huge impression on the world.”

Some of our biggest engineering feats are officially recognised as national treasures, with the Spitfire (15), Morris Minor (26) and Concorde (28) all placing.

Our ability to entertain is also recognised all over the world – Doctor Who (32), Monty Python (37), Harry Potter (41) and Mr Bean (45) all make an appearance.

Prince William gets the better of his brother Prince Harry, as they appear at 39th and 42nd respectively.

Brits’ minds are never far from a good cup of tea and something to dunk – the Rich Tea biscuit makes our top 50 national treasures at number 42.

Talent, being easy to relate to and the amount of work done for charities are the three top aspects of becoming a living national treasure.

The country is in good spirit; two thirds of Brits are proud to be British and over half say the Olympics has increased their national pride, despite 65% fearing we wouldn’t make a good job of hosting the Olympics before the event started.

Talking about the weather, queuing and politeness were deemed the defining characteristics of the average British person.

The Habitat spokeswoman continued:

“It’s interesting to see what things resonate with British people and what they hold most dear to their heart.

“We realise that Habitat is also a brand that people regard as a British style icon, so it’s great that we’ll be able to offer products in over 200 Homebase stores.”


1.            Big Ben

2.            Red Telephone Box

3.            The Tower of London

4.            Red Post Box

5.            The Queen

6.            Shakespeare

7.            Winston Churchill

8.            The Houses of Parliament

9.            Black London Cab

10.          Red double decker bus (Routemaster)

11.          The NHS

12.          Buckingham Palace

13.          Stonehenge

14.          The Beatles

15.          The Spitfire

16.          The BBC

17.          The Beefeater guards

18.          The British Pound

19.          The Royal Albert Hall

20.          The Red Arrows

21.          The National Trust

22.          James Bond

23.          The London Underground

24.          The Lake District

25.          Mini Cooper

26.          Concorde

27.          Sir David Attenborough

28.          Morris Minor

29.          The Red Cross

30.          Aston Martin

31.          English Heritage

32.          Doctor Who

33.          Punch and Judy

34.          Stephen Fry

35.          Cadbury’s

36.          The Rolling Stones

37.          Monty Python

38.          Stephen Hawking

39.          Prince William

40.          Dame Judy Dench

41.          Harry Potter

42.          Prince Harry

43.          Rich Tea Biscuits

44.          Marmite

45.          Mr Bean

46.          Margaret Thatcher

47.          British Airways

48.          Coronation Street

49.          Bentley

50.          Sir Bobby Charlton



1.            Sir David Attenborough

2.            Stephen Fry

3.            Stephen Hawking

4.            Prince William

5.            Dame Judy Dench

6.            Prince Harry

7.            Margaret Thatcher

8.            Sir Bobby Charlton

9.            Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton

10.          Sir Richard Branson

11.          Jessica Ennis

12.          Sir Chris Hoy

13.          David Beckham

14.          Sir Paul McCartney

15.          Mo Farah

16.          Sir Steve Redgrave

17.          Sir Sean Connery

18.          JK Rowling

19.          Sir Ian McKellen

20.          Banksy


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