Brunels Bridge

Brunels Bridge was designed by Great Western’s engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It was built in 1838 but not brought into use until 1 July 1839. The two arches of the bridge are the widest and flattest in the world. Each span is 128 feet (about 39 metres), with a rise of only 24 feet (about 7 metres). It is testimony to the genius of Brunel that such a bridge with such flat arches was not only built but continues to carry the Great Western Railway main line from Paddington Station to this day.

The River Thames towpath passes under the right-hand arch which is also known as the Sounding Arch, because of its spectacular echo.

Brunels Bridge and sounding arch, seen from the towpath
The Sounding Arch plaque
The Sounding Arch plaque


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