Statue of Brunel
Bronze statue of Isambard Kingdom
Brunel at the Temple, London

Tagishsimon 2004

Historical Background


Of all the engineers associated with the development of Great Britain’s industrial infrastructure Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s name is one which stands above all others. When it comes to the application of ingenuity to the solution of practical problems, once again I.K. Brunel is at the top of the list.

Thanks to Brunel and men like him, the nineteenth century was the age of the steam powered iron ship. Huge ocean liners made long haul travel easier than ever before and warships of incredible destructive power, exemplified by HMS Warrior, changed the face of naval warfare. In fact, the age of the modern warship was ushered in by the launch of HMS Warrior in 1860.

Industrial city scene
Gustav Doré c.1860



During the Industrial Revolution
more and more people moved
to the cities to find work.  As a
result they became cramped
and polluted.



Using the links below you can travel back to the nineteenth century and investigate the world as it was in Brunel’s day.  Each link contains information and suggestions for an activity. The resources are in PDF format.