Brunel 200 Masthead Montage   Acknowledgements Visitor Information Creative Bristol
Brunel 200 Masthead Montage
Home Resources and Links
Critical Reactions
Brunel, Bristol and the South West
Isambard Kingdowm Brunel
Brunel in Context

Brunel in South Wales book cover     Brunel's Britain book cover


There are a number of excellent biographies on Brunel that have been referred to in creating this website. They include:

Bagust, Harold (2006) The Greater Genius? a biography of Marc Isambard Brunel Ian Allan Publishing: Hinckley

Beckett, Derrick Brunel’s Britain (new ed 2006) David & Charles: Newton Abbot

Brunel, I K (1971 reprint) The Life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel: civil engineer (1870) David & Charles: Newton Abbot

Bryan, Tim (1999) Brunel: the great engineer Ian Allan Ltd: Weybridge

Buchanan, R A (2002) Brunel: the life and times of Isambard Kingdom Brunel Hambledon and London: London

Buck, Alan (1986) The Little Giant: a life of I K Brunel David & Charles: Newton Abbot

Jones, Judy (2006) Isambard's Kingdom: Travels in Brunel's England Sutton Publishing: Stroud

Kelly, A and M Kelly (ed) (2006) Brunel: in love with impossible Bristol Cultural Development Partnership: Bristol

Kentley, Eric et al (ed) (2000) Isambard Kingdom Brunel: recent works Design Museum: London

Pudney, J (1974) Brunel and his World Thames and Hudson: London

Pugsley, Sir Alfred (ed) (1980) The Works of
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

Rolt, L T C (1957) Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Longmans: London

Tames, R (2000) Isambard Kingdom Brunel Shire Publications: Risborough

Vaughan, A (1991) Isambard Kingdom Brunel:
engineering knight-errant
John Murray: London

Vaughan, Adrian (2006) Brunel: An Engineering Biography Ian Allan: Hinckley

Also of interest is:

Falconer, Jonathan (1995) What’s Left of Brunel? Dial House: Shepperton

Morris, Chris (2005) The Great Brunel Tanners Yard Press: Longhope. See website for details.

The following books are suitable for children:

Byrne, Eugene (author) and Gurr, Simon (illustrator) Isambard Kingdom Brunel: a graphic biography Bristol Cultural Development Partnership: Bristol

MacDonald, Fiona (1994) Victorian Engineer
Macmillan Children’s Books: London

Malam, John (2005) Isambard Kingdom Brunel Evans Brothers Limited: London

Rolt, L T C (1965) The Story of Brunel Methuen: London

Smith, Nigel (1997) Brunel and the Victorian
Wayland Publishers

The BBC History website has a section on historic figures which includes information about Brunel. Visit it at

Brunel is also included in the BBC Schools Famous People site at

Brunel and his family are buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. The Friends of Kensal Green organised special tours of the cemetery in 2006. See website for details.

The Greater Genius? book cover     Brunel: An Engineering Biography book cover

The Life of Brunel

The Life of Brunel

For the first time ever the life of the most famous engineer in British history has been captured in this production.

IK Brunel had a grand vision to transport people on an incredible journey of wonder and discovery.

Including gems such as the Royal Albert Bridge, ss Great Britain, Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Box Tunnel, Bristol Temple Meads, Swindon Railway Village & Works, Maidenhead Bridge, Paddington Station and many more.

Packed full of archive images and modern day comparisons,

Narrated by the internationally renowned actor of stage and screen Ian Richardson.

Order from here.

Major projects

Resources of particular relevance to the Bristol sites are on the Brunel, Bristol and the South West: resources and links page of this section. This includes the Clifton Suspension Bridge, ss Great Western and ss Great Britain, and the Great Western Railway. Links to Brunel-related sites in the South West can also be found there.

The Thames Tunnel

Brunel gained early experience working at his father’s Thames Tunnel project. The following may be of interest to those who wish to learn more about this venture:

Chrimes, Mike et al (1993) The Triumphant Bore: a celebration of Marc Brunel’s Thames Tunnel Thomas Telford: London

Clements, Paul (1970) Marc Isambard Brunel Longmans: London

Howie, Will and Mike Chrimes (1987) Thames Tunnel to Channel Tunnel: 150 years of civil engineering Thomas Telford: London

Lampe, David (1963) The Tunnel: the story of the world’s first tunnel under a navigable river dug beneath the Thames, 1824-42 Harrap: London

Mathewson, Andrew and Derek Laval (1992) Brunel’s Tunnel... and Where it Led Brunel Exhibition Rotherhithe

The Brunel Museum website at provides a guide to the Rotherhithe site that was used to keep the Thames Tunnel free of water.

ss Great Eastern

Books on the ss Great Eastern include:

Cookson, Gillian (2003) The Cable: the wire that changed the world Tempus Publishing Ltd: Stroud

Dugan, James (1953) The Great Iron Ship Harper & Brothers: New York

Steele Gordon, John (2002) A Thread Across the Ocean: the heroic story of the transatlantic cable Simon & Schuster: London

You can find out more about the ss Great Eastern at the London Port City site at

The No. 1 funnel from the Great Eastern was donated to ss Great Britain in Bristol for display.

Other projects

Brunel designed water towers for the Crystal Palace when it was rebuilt at Sydenham. The catalogue for the Dulwich Picture Gallery exhibition on the site includes references to Brunel’s involvement.

Piggott, J R (2004) Palace of the People: the Crystal Palace at Sydenham 1854-1936 Hurst and Company: London

Brunel designed a prefabricated hospital for use in the Crimean War and the ss Great Britain carried troops to the conflict from Britain. Books on the Crimean War include:

Ponting, Clive (2004) The Crimean War: the story behind the myth Chatto and Windus: London

Warner, Philip (2000) The Crimean War: a
Wordsworth Editions Limited: Ware

You can find out more at the Crimean War Research Society website at

The Brunel Legacy
Education and Learning
Events and Competitions
News and Discussion
Brunel, Bristol and the South West
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Brunel in Context
Brunel, Bristol and the South West
Other Resources