Tower Hamlets and Docklands may sound unlikely areas for beautiful gardens, but take a chance and journey east to explore the sites in the Docklands Area which are open during Open Garden Squares Weekend, 17 & 18 June! You won’t be disappointed – just check the Guidebook or the website to be sure which gardens are open on your chosen day.
The Brunel Museum will be open during Open Garden Squares Weekend, 17 & 18 June – do visit! The Museum is housed in the Engine House which was built by Sir Marc and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel as part of the Thames Tunnel. The garden is on top of the Rotherhithe shaft and home to the cocktail bar, The Midnight Apothecary, whose cocktails use flavourings grown in the garden.
The Tower or Rotherhithe Shaft was the original entrance to the Thames Tunnel, the first tunnel a river anywhere in the world. The Tunnel was built between 1825-43. The day the Tunnel opened 50,000 paid to walk under the Thames! The Tunnel was built to facilitate trade across the river, however, not as a tourist attraction. Today the shaft is used as a performance space and the garden on top of the shaft is home to the cocktail bar, The Midnight Apothecary, whose cocktails use flavourings grown in the garden or foraged locally.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s work is humourously remembered in two benches at the Museum – the Hungerford Bridge (1845) and the Royal Albert Bridge in Saltash (1854). And don’t miss the striking seats and table behind the Museum, or the remains of the priming pump from the Surrey Docks.
The Brunel Museum is housed in the Pumphouse for The Thames Tunnel which was built in order to facilitate transport, and trade, from the north bank to the south bank of The Thames and it was designed as a foot tunnel and for horse-drawn transport. The Museum will be open during the Open Garden Squares Weekend, 18 and 19 June 2016 – do visit!
The Tower or Shaft was the original entrance to The Thames Tunnel which was the first tunnel under a river anywhere in the world. Work started in 1825 and was finally completed in 1843. Today the top of the Tower has been transformed into a garden which is the setting for botanical evening cocktails with The Midnight Apothecary using ingredients grown in the garden or foraged in the neighbourhood – Wow!
The Tower or Shaft was the original entrance to The Thames Tunnel and today it has been transformed into an underground Theatre with a busy programme of events.