TitleBlount papers
DescriptionPapers which belonged to Gilbert Blount, created during his time working for Brunel on the Thames Tunnel. Letters, diaries and handwritten notes on engineering topics.
Date1825 - 1842
Related MaterialSome of Blount's church papers are at the University of Pennsylvania.
Extent28 items / 1 box
AdminHistoryGilbert Robert Blount (1819–1876) was born at Mapledurham, near Reading, on 2nd March 1819.
He was educated at Downside in Somerset, (Sept 1834 – Dec 1836). He began his professional training as a civil engineer with Isambard Kingdom Brunel, working on the construction of the Thames Tunnel (Rotherhythe to Wapping). He was the Superintendent of Construction in 1841 and, during one of the many floods, narrowly escaped drowning.
He then decided that civil engineering was not for him and so, in 1842, he became apprenticed to architect Anthony Salvin in November 1842.
By 1849, Blount was working independently, including a period as architect to the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster. With a resurgence of Catholic church building in England, he worked on new churches throughout England, greatly influenced by Pugin.
CustodialHistoryPapers belonged to Gilbert Blount, created during his time working for Brunel on the Thames Tunnel. Donated to Brunel University Library in Nov 1974 by Michael May, grandson of Gilbert Blount. Items relating to the Thames Tunnel were extracted from the rest of Blount’ papers, the destination of which is unknown. “Afterwards it seems my grandfather designed churches primarily, so that papers, diaries etc in this connection would not be of interest to the university” [Letter from Michael May to Professor Urry, Brunel University, 14/11/1974]. Now in Brunel University Archives and Special Collections. Re-arranged and catalogued by Phaedra Casey, Archivist, April 2022.
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