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We’re reopening – and not a giant mirror in sight!

The Brunel Museum will reopen its doors to visitors once more on weekends from Saturday 22 May.

During its construction, work on the Thames Tunnel was forced to stop for seven years. When work on the Thames tunnel stopped in 1828, no-one knew if or when it would be able to continue. The end of the tunnel was bricked up and a large mirror was mounted, to give the illusion of a complete tunnel for the sake of the sightseers still being admitted.

From 22 May, sightseers will once again be able to visit the Engine House, the Scheduled Monument which once held the pumping engines and which today houses the Museum’s collections. Each visit also includes a tour of the Thames Tunnel Shaft, the first structure built on the site to give access underneath the river.

The Museum has implemented a number of Covid-19 safety measures to keep visitors safe, including regular cleaning and hand sanitiser stations. One person from each family will be asked to leave their contact details. Wherever possible, adults are requested to wear a face covering whilst inside the Museum.


Community Open Weekend

The Museum will host a community open weekend on 5th and 6th June for local residents. Learn to juggle, walk a tightrope or hula hoop in our Thames Tunnel Fancy Fair Circus skills workshops, visit the Museum for free or take a tour of the Thames Tunnel Shaft 16 metres underground.


School holiday activities

From Saturday 29th May, a life size peepshow of the Thames Tunnel will be on display at the Museum Piazza. Families will be able to walk through it and see for themselves what was happening down in the tunnel.


During Lockdown

The Museum’s mission is to preserve and share widely the ground-breaking stories of the Thames Tunnel project, the outstanding achievements of the Brunel family, and their relevance to our lives today.

The museum has been able to continue during the UK lockdown and plan for its reopening, thanks to emergency funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England and Southwark Council. It has also seen generous supporters joining our Friends of the Brunel Museum Scheme ( ) and backing an ongoing Covid-19 Crisis Appeal ( ) set up by the museum’s Trustees.

For those who prefer to stay indoors for now, the Museum’s YouTube channel has all the films we’ve been creating in lockdown, or try out Tunnelling through Time, an online escape adventure.

If podcasts are more your thing, or you have young children to entertain, listen to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a collaboration between History Storytime and the Brunel Museum.



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