Industrial History Online

Rotherhithe Road Tunnel

Record Visibility is - Public

Record Status - Reviewed Site Record

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Site ID :- GTL00026
Key Words :- Road Tunnel
Linked Sites :-

Address :- Brunel Road, Rotherhithe, London, Greater London
Grid Reference :- TQ 35338 79783
Grid Co-ordinates :- Easting 535338 m, Northing 179783 m
Lat & Long (WGS84) :- 51.500789 , -0.051574
View Historic Mapping
Site Location :-
Viewing Site :- Visible by car. Entrances can be viewed from nearby streets.
Parish or Township :-
Administrative Area :- Southwark London Borough Council
Pre 1974 County :- Greater London Council
Site Status :- Listed - Grade II
Site Condition :- Operational site, in use for original purpose
Historic England List No - 1242218, 1385848, 1242219, 1260101,
Site Era :-Early Modern 1850-1950 to Modern Post 1950
Site Dates :- 1908 -
Visit By :- -

Contributor :- GLIAS Database - 2 June 2018
Contributors Society :- Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society
Copyright :- cc-by-nc-sa 4.0 © GLIAS Database

Record Status :- Reviewed
Reviewed By :- Andrew Turner - 29 April 2020

Description and History

This road tunnel under the Thames from Rotherhithe to Shadwell was started in 1904 for the L.C.C. and completed in 1908 under the direction of Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice.

The 6,278 ft tunnel was cut using a Greathead type shield and sections of the shield lining form the access arches at both ends of the tunnel.

There is pedestrian access through the tunnel but this walk is only for the adventurous urban rambler. The tunnel contains two sharp bends made necessary to maintain the gradient of the approaches so that they could be climbed by a single horse cart.

When LPTB ran buses through the tunnel they had specially reinforced tyres to allow for constantly rubbing the metal kerbs and roofs shape to fit the bore of the tunnel. Archways, portals and ventilation shafts are listed grade II.

Further Reading and References

Edward Henry Tabor, 1908, The Rotherhithe tunnel. Minutes Proc. Institution Civil Engineers 175, 190 - 251 + plates 3 - 4 [Includes discussion]

Denis Smith, 2001, Civil engineering heritage, London and the Thames Valley (page 17)

HEW 2204

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