Did you know, one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history was born in Portsmouth?

Did you know, one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history was born in Portsmouth?

His name was Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

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One of Brunels most amazing feats of engineering was the box tunnel in bath, at 2 miles in length it was the longest of its day. People thought it was monstrous. It was possibly his biggest indulgence. The angle in which he designed the tunnel allowed the sun to shine directly through it on just one day a year. The 9th April, his birthday, but for once he got his calculations wrong by three days so the sun actually shines through the tunnel on the 6th April every year.

The very first iron bridge was designed by Brunel and built in 1838 with nuts and bolts pieced together to form the structure. The bridge was discovered buried for almost a century at Bishop’s Bridge Road in Paddington. This was a significant and important archaeological find.

The bridge was discovered by Steven Brindle, who was working on Brunels notebooks for his epic Great Western Railway project. Steven, an English Heritage expert was seeking to find details of load testing on cast iron beams for a canal bridge at Paddington.

It was found that a contract for the bridges demolition was about to be signed. Fortunately Westminster council stopped work whilst the plans were drawn up to de-construct and store Brunel’s work.

Remarkably the bridge has found its way to Portsmouth, where Brunel was born. Let’s hope it forms part of the development plans for Portsmouth & Southsea.

Our Mike and Jan visited the site where it’s being stored with Clair from Seekers Create which prompted our research and this blog.

Let’s hope it stays in Portsmouth