A Visit to Docklands
Robert Milligan's Statue outside the Museum
Studying the Crossrail exhibits
Skulls found during the CrossRail excavations
A ship's capstan
A purpose-built truck for moving goods in the warehouses
After lunch we travelled over Tower Bridge to Rotherhithe to visit the Brunel Museum . This is a surprisingly shady area with a terrace looking out over the Thames, a very old pub the ‘Mayflower’ with a deck again looking out over the river and the church of St Mary where Christopher Jones (captain of the Mayflower – born in Harwich) was buried in 1622 - a blue plaque commemorates this on the outside wall of the church We all went down into the original shaft which would have led to the Thames tunnel built by Brunel - the shaft is 50’ diameter and about the same in depth now – it was originally much deeper and when the tunnel opened in 1843 there were zigzag stairs going down to the entrance of the tunnel.
At the base of the shaft, we were treated to a short video, and a very informative talk by Brenda on the history of the tunnel - the lighting was very atmospheric, as you can see in the photograph on the right.
The tunnel was never used for its purpose of carrying goods through the tunnel by horse drawn vehicles as a) funds ran out or b) they forgot to buy the land either side of the river! It became a visitor attraction.
The shaft, which has a herb garden on the roof is now used for corporate events, parties etc.
The Engine House adjacent to the shaft was built to house machinery for draining the tunnel and is now the museum and a scheduled ancient monument.
Link to the Brunel Museum site: http://www.brunel-museum.org.uk/
The Mayflower Pub: http://www.mayflowerpub.co.uk/landing
Christopher Jones: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Jones_(Mayflower_captain)