Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Born: 09 Apr, 1806
Died: 15 Sep, 1859
Field: Engineer
Location in the Abbey: Nave
Type of memorial: Window
Type of material: Glass

A memorial window was erected in Westminster Abbey in 1868 to commemorate this famous engineer. Originally sited on the north side of the nave it was moved to the south side and slightly altered in 1952. The designer was Norman Shaw, with the figure subjects drawn by Henry Holiday. The stained glass was made by Messrs Heaton, Butler and Bayne. It depicts six Biblical scenes concerned with the building of the Temple and Christ's teaching there. At the base are figures representing Fortitude, Justice, Faith and Charity. The inscription is rather obscured by monuments on the window sill:

IN MEMORY ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL BORN APRIL 9th 1806: DEPARTED THIS LIFE SEPTEMBER 15th 1859.

Above the main scenes are the initials IKB and at the top is Christ in Glory surrounded by angels.

Isambard was the son of Sir Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849) and Sophia Kingdom (d.1854) and was born at Portsea, Portsmouth. With his father he worked on the Rotherhithe tunnel under the river Thames. He is best known as the designer of the Clifton suspension bridge near Bristol and engineer of the Great Western Railway. He also built iron steamships such as the Great Britainand Great Eastern. In 1836 he married Mary Elizabeth Horsley and had two sons, Isambard and Henry Marc, and a daughter Florence. He was buried in Kensal Green cemetery in London.

A photograph of the window can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

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