SS Great Britain

Alec French Architects, Bristol, 2005


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David Mellor (left) and Mark Whitby enjoy the below-the-waterline experience 

Paul Riddle (website)     Download Original

  • David Mellor (left) and Mark Whitby enjoy the below-the-waterline experience    
  • The glass ceiling creates a controlled environment in which corrosion is arrested    
  • Visitors board the ship by a gangplank which leads from the Maritime Heritage Museum    
  • Visitors are taken on a journey through the Maritime Heritage Museum before they board the ship itself    
  • Internal view of the SS Great Britain    
  • Restoration of internal areas    
  • Location map    
  • Floor plans for the ship    
  • Presentation section    
  • Isometric section    
  • Dock cross sections    
  • SS Great Britain seal detail    

Preservation and restoration of a historic ship and dry dock to include visitor facilities

This first iron screw propelled ocean going ship, designed by Brunel in 1843 and now resting in its Listed original dry dock, required extensive preservation and restoration and new visitor facilities.

The ship's interior has been extensively restored and the site has been made as accessible as possible within the limits of its historic fabric.

A glass plate was inserted at water-line level to allow the dehumidification essential to the ship’s preservation and the adjacent dockyard buildings were restored as an interpretation centre and new entrance to the ship.


  • Begun: Jan 2005
  • Completed: May 2005
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £9.3M
  • Address: SS Great Britain, Great Western Dockyard, Bristol, BS1 6TY, United Kingdom

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