Historian Robert gives the lowdown on Brunel’s historic Thames Tunnel

THE epic tale of the construction of Brunel’s historic Thames Tunnel two centuries ago is being told by the man who runs the museum dedicated to its creator.

Robert Hulse, Director of the Brunel Museum at Rotherhithe, is giving the public talk at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden next Tuesday evening.

Brunel’s famous tunnel built between 1825 and 1843 and was open to the public as a pedestrian thoroughfare—the first in the world under a navigable river, the “eighth wonder of the world” when Britain ruled the waves above.

It was a tourist attraction for 20 years with its subterranean fairgrounds and banquets until it was taken over in 1871 by the East London Railway running from Whitechapel to New Cross which later became part of the London Underground. The tunnel was revamped last year and is now part of the new London Overground.

But it remains a ‘world heritage’ site as the crowning achievement of 19th century engineering.


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Nearly 50,000 people visited the tunnel on its opening day in March, 1843.

Tickets for Robert’s talk at the London Transport Museum at 6.30pm next Tuesday, part of a series of events about Brunel’s tunnel running until March 31, are �8 adults, senior citizens �6 and students �4.

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