The Brunel Museum is housed in Marc Brunel’s Engine House.
The Engine House
The Engine House was built in 1842, a year before the Thames Tunnel opened, and was used to house the steam engines that drove the pumps to keep the Thames Tunnel dry. ( Until the tunnel refurbishment of the 1990s significant amounts of water had to be pumped out of the tunnel.)
Originally the pumps were driven by a flat V steam engine located in the Engine House. With the introduction of electric pumps the Engine House became surplus and the building slowly decayed until it was rescued to be used by the Brunel Museum. Since then much work has been carried out on the fabric of the building including re-roofing and refurbishment of the chimney.
A permanent exhibition in The Engine House tells the dramatic story of the construction and subsequent history of the Thames Tunnel, built by Sir Marc Brunel and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
The exhibition includes display panels, models of the tunnel under construction, original artefacts from the tunnel and a video presentation.