Happy 250th Birthday Sir Marc Brunel!

Marc Brunel, the father of Isambard Kingdom Brunel was one of the most innovative engineers of his day. He was born on April 25th 1769 Hacqueville, France. He joined the French Navy but had to flee France because of his outspoken royalist views. He emigrated to America where he became Chief Engineer of the port of New York, and later settled in England to found a dynasty. We are celebrating!

16th May 6.15pm Institution Civil Engineers. Sir Marc Brunel 250th Anniversary Lecture: Original Thames Tunnel Drawings. British Tunnelling Society

Rotherhithe rejoices in some obvious connections with the New World, such as the Mayflower pub and the statue of Christopher Jones. But in the Rotherhithe Station, by the entrance to the tunnel, is another commemorative plaque. Erected by the American Civil Engineers and the British Institution of Civil Engineers, it celebrates Brunel’s Tunnel as one of the most important civil engineering sites in the world.

It is strange to think that this famous American/Frenchman/Englishman ended his journey where some of the first American settlers began theirs. In Rotherhithe Marc Brunel consolidated his career and reputation, founded his family’s success and was knighted by Queen Victoria.

Londoners are not sure whether to thank America or France for the great gift of Sir Marc Isambard Brunel.