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Brunel in South Wales 1: Trevithick’s tracks to lines of communication

Event organised by ICE

17 May 2021

This event has now ended


A series of online talks for ICE Wales Cymru, in conjunction with the South Wales Institute of Engineers Educational Trust (SWIEET) and the Newcomen Society, by Stephen K. Jones. Stephen is the Wales representative for the Panel for Historical Engineering Works (PHEW), on historical engineering works in Wales and the wider world and has particular interest in Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Captain Sir Samuel Brown.

The Welsh landscape challenged Brunel to develop innovative engineering solutions and he worked extensively with Welsh industry including Brown Lenox.

The first two talks concern Brunel’s works in South Wales and the last two on the history of the suspension bridge in a worldwide context whilst illustrating the pioneering work of Samuel Brown and the Brown Lenox chainworks he established in south Wales. The impact of the railway on its development and decline is also covered in the last talk.

In 'Brunel in South Wales - Part 1: From Trevithick’s tracks to lines of communication', Jones will discuss Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s first visit to South Wales in connection with chain links for his first independent commission. He will also talk about Brunel's return to build the South Wales Railway, the first locomotive railway and what was, at the time, to be the longest railway authorised to date by Parliament.

In the course of completing these railways many innovative engineering solutions in iron, masonry and timber would be developed. However, before the line reached Swansea a nationwide crisis presented a different kind of obstacle to the engineer. 


South Wales Institute of Engineers Educational Trust.

South Wales Institute of Engineers Educational Trust.

The Institute was founded in 1857 and is devoted to the promotion of engineering with young people.



The Society was founded in 1920 and its charitable objectives are to promote, encourage and co-ordinate the study of the history of engineering and technology from ancient times to the present day.

For more information please contact:

Felicity White