Happy birthday, Isambard!

One of Britain's greatest heroes was born in Portsmouth 210 years ago today.

Saturday, 9th April 2016, 7:52 am
Updated Saturday, 9th April 2016, 8:02 am

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who became one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution, was born in Britain Street, Portsea.

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His distinctive name came from a parental combination - he was the son of the son of French civil engineer Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, who was working at Portsmouth Dockyard, and of Sophia Kingdom.

‘Isambard’ is a Norman name of Germanic origin, meaning ‘iron-bright’.

It was a fitting name for the man whose achivements included building dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including SS Great Britain and many iconic bridges and tunnels.