Our Heroes


William Vick (1707 – 1754)

The wine merchant who left money in his will to fund a bridge across the Avon Gorge.


Marc Brunel (1769 – 1849)

A respected engineer. Inventor of the production line and father to Isambard Kingdom Brunel.


Sophia Kingdom (1775 - 1854)

Survivor of the French Revolution and mother to Isambard Kingdom Brunel.


Thomas Telford (1757 – 1834)

An internationally acclaimed and self taught British engineer, often referred to as ‘the Builder of Britain’ and the ‘Father of Civil Engineering’.


George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer (1758 – 1834)

The First Lord of the Admiralty, Fellow of the Royal Society and Knight of the Garter. Friend to both Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel and ancestor of Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales.


Sir John Hawkshaw (1811 – 1891)

A distinguished civil engineer specialising in piers, canals, tunnels and railways who helped to complete the Clifton Suspension Bridge.


William Henry Barlow (1812 – 1902)

A distinguished civil engineer who designed St Pancras Station and helped to complete the Clifton Suspension Bridge.


Davies Gilbert (1767 – 1839)

An English mathematician and theorist, founder of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, judge of the second competition to design a bridge across the Avon Gorge.


Thomas Guppy (1797 - 1882)

Successful merchant turned engineer, a friend and confidant to Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Instrumental is setting up the Great Western Railway and a partner in the development of the Great Western Steamship Company.


Captain Christopher Claxton (1789 - 1868)

Naval captain and first Managing Director of the Great Western Steamship Company and Secretary to the Clifton Suspension Bridge Company. Harbourmaster at Bristol Docks.

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