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Rotherhithe Navvies

Let us tell you the story of Irish workers who built the Thames Tunnel.

The below short videos include music and stories inspired by the Irish workers who helped Sir Marc Brunel to build one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’.

Part 1: A Place of Contrasts

Part 2: Letters with Mary

Part 3: Digging the Tunnel


Many workers from Ireland moved to London during the 19th-century to find work. Some, like Seamus Fitzpatrick, moved to Rotherhithe and worked on the tunnel. Workers who built the tunnel endured gruelling conditions. They worked up to 8-hour shifts, and when they were not working, sometimes they slept in the dark, damp, unfinished tunnel. Floods and explosions from gas lamps were a constant threat.

If you are a teacher and would like to book a visit with Seamus for your class drop us an email at

If you are interested in things to do for St. Patrick’s Day click here to visit our St. Patrick’s Celebration page.

We are delighted to be collaborating with the museum to tell the tales of the generations of Irish who many would argue built much of London” Suzanne Rayner, Spectrum Drama

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