A framing section of the Blackwall Tunnel being constructed at the Thames Ironworks (1895)

(51.507 0.009, 51.507 0.009) 

A framing section of the Blackwall Tunnel being constructed at the Thames Ironworks (1895)

On Saturday 22 May 1897, the western Blackwall Tunnel, designed by Sir Alexander Binnie and built by S. Pearson & Sons for London County Council, was opened by the Prince of Wales. It was then the longest underwater tunnel in the world at 4,410 feet and was initially lit by three rows of incandescent streetlights.

To clear the site in Greenwich, more than 600 people had to be rehoused and a house reputedly once owned by Sir Walter Raleigh had to be demolished.

Costing £1.4 million and employing 800 men, it took six years to construct, using a tunnelling shield and compressed-air techniques

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