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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
18th November 1905 George Bernard Shaws Major Barbara, premieres in London
18th November 1852 State funeral of duke of Wellington (London)
18th November 1836 Born today: William Schwenck Gilbert, London, composer (Gilbert and Sullivan)
Isambard Kingdom Brunel's final resting place in London.
Location: Kensal Green Cemetary, Kensal Green
Description: This is the family grave of king of the engineers Sir Marc Isambard Brunel (1806-1859). He began his remarkable career as a designer and builder of bridges, and subsequently becoming chief engineer of the Great Western Railway, for which he constructed a series of innovative bridges, tunnels and viaducts.
His three masterpieces are however his steamships; the 'Great Western' (1838) the first steamship on regular Atlantic service, which made the crossing in 15 days; the 'Great Britain', the first propellor screw vessel; and the 'Great Eastern' (1858), largest of all but never a commercial success.
Its construction and launch were marked by a many problems (including fatalities) and the resulting stress caused a stroke from which Brunel eventually died (as had his father over the stress of the Thames Tunnel).
In early 2011 it was announced that the cemetary may be disturbed by a new high speed rail line being planned between London and Birmingham, and many listed Brunel as one of those who would 'turn in his grave'.