A series of fascinating watercolours of Brunel’s tunnel under the Thames could go on public display for the first time, but only if funding can be secured.

Contained in an unseen family album, and acquired by the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe in 2017, they’ve sat in storage ever since as the museum needs an archive grade display case to show them off in a way that will preserve them for future generations.

Apart from their intrinsic beauty, they also show how the idea of the Thames Tunnel didn’t just fall out of Marc Brunel’s head fully formed – but how he tested and redrafted his ideas on paper before any construction work began.

(c) Brunel Museum

To let people see the watercolours, the Brunel Museum is raising £18,500 to commission a bespoke, safe, archive-quality case to allow the museum to display these delicate objects inside the museum.

Having never been on public display before, this will be a chance for people to admire not just the technical skill in the drawings, but their artistic quality as well.

The campaign details are here.

You can also buy items with reproductions of the watercolours:

  • £25 – Exclusive tote bag featuring an image from the Thames Tunnel watercolours.
  • £100 – An exclusive framed print of one of the Thames Tunnel watercolours.

(c) Brunel Museum

(c) Brunel Museum


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  1. Wolstan Dixie says:

    But none of those above are of the Thames unnel

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