In a day when Rotherhithe was still mostly unattractive bog and marshland, the village of that name (or similar) – whilst having a distinguished history reaching back to beyond the Normans – was still a backwater. The choice of this unassuming part of Surrey (as it was then) as the location for a global first must have seemed odd to the Georgian public. Why should Marc Brunel have come to Rotherhithe to create his unique underwater Tunnel in the first place? Well you can find the answer and much more in Andie Byrnes’ enlightening piece about the famous Thames Tunnel from her A Rotherhithe Blog.
NB Please don’t confuse the Thames Tunnel – which now carries the Overground between Wapping and Rotherhithe stations – with the road tunnel now known as the Rotherhithe Tunnel. You can find out about the latter here.