In Millwall near Canary Wharf lie the remains of the SS Great Eastern’s launch ramp.
SS Great Eastern was an iron sailing steam ship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and built by J. Scott Russell. She was by far the largest ship ever built at the time of her 1858 launch, and had the capacity to carry 4,000 passengers from England to Australia without refueling.
Under Sir James Anderson she laid 4,200 kilometres (2,600 mi) of the 1865 transatlantic telegraph cable. Under Captains Anderson and then Robert Halpin, from 1866 to 1878 the ship laid over 48,000 kilometres (30,000 mi) of submarine telegraph cable including from Brest, France to Saint Pierre and Miquelon in 1869, and from Aden to Bombay in 1869 and 1870.
Eventually she was scrapped at New Ferry on the River Mersey by Henry Bath & Son Ltd in 1889–1890 – but due to immense size of the ship ( 692 feet (211 m) it took 18 months to take her apart.
At the time Liverpool Football Club were looking for a flagpole for their Anfield ground, and consequently purchased her top mast. It still stands there today.
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