Rare Broadside advertising public tours of the Thames Tunnel
By TEAPE, H., & Son , 1827

Open to the Public Every Day (Sundays excepted) from Seven in the Morning, until Eight in the Evening, The Thames Tunnel.

British Isles London
  • Author: TEAPE, H., & Son
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: H. Teape & Son, Printers Tower Hill
  • Publication date: 1827.
  • Physical description: Woodcut broadsheet, three figures showing the tunnel's length, a cross section, and its means of construction, plan of the tunnel and its environs below, old folds reinforced.
  • Dimensions: 240 by 265mm (9.5 by 10.5 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 1677


The Thames Tunnel was the brain child of Marc Brunel and Thomas Cochrane. In January of 1818, Brunel and Thomas Cochrane patented the tunnelling shield (illustrated in Fig.3), a revolutionary advance in tunnelling technology. In 1823, Brunel produced a plan for a tunnel between Rotherhithe and Wapping, which would be dug using his new shield. Financing was soon found from private investors including the Duke of Wellington and a Thames Tunnel Company was formed in 1824, with the project beginning in February 1825.

As the construction work was so slow – at some 3-4 meters a week – it was decided, in 1827, to allow public tours of the tunnel. The general public were charged 1 shilling per person; viewing times were from Monday to Saturday seven in the morning till eight in the evening. The scheme proved to be popular and an estimated 600-800 visitors per day came to marvel at its construction.