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Isambard Kingdom Brunel

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.

Born

9th April 1806

Died

15th September 1859

Field

Engineer

Location

Nave

Memorial Type

Window

Material Type

Glass

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel

By Robert Howlett (en.wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel memorial window

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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The work can be tough, but even the cold and rain don’t bother me as I enjoy it so much. I love every day that I spend at the Abbey – just being here makes me smile.

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