We worked in partnership with ICE South West and the University of Plymouth to mark the 200th anniversary of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) throughout 2018.
Civil engineers have been shaping our towns and cities for centuries – developing transport systems and designing iconic structures; protecting the old and creating the new.
You can view a graphic exhibition below, celebrating some of the city’s best examples of civil engineering by Rendel, Brunel, Smeaton and more. Many of these structures used pioneering methods, but you can also find out about the new research continuing to take place within the city that will help shape our world in the future.
Online exhibition acknowledgements
Find out who was involved in helping to put this graphical exhibition together.
Acknowledgements [PDF – 783KB]
Our collections played a vital role in the creation of a brilliant film commissioned by ICE to celebrate how civil engineers have helped shaped Plymouth over the last 500 years. Watch it here (running time approx 17 minutes).
Explore our collections
There is a wealth of material that can tell us more about how civil engineers came to build these amazing structures.
With thanks to a very generous individual, a wonderful collection of documents relating to the Rudyerd and Smeaton lighthouses on the Eddystone Rock was donated to the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office in 2013.
View photographs from the City Engineers collection showing both bridges crossing the Plym.
View photographs from the City Engineers collection showing the road bridge under construction.
From correspondence detailing accounts of the men employed to build the breakwater to estimates of construction, you can see what is held within the archives by searching the online catalogue. Try searching on ‘civil engineer‘, ‘breakwater‘, ‘Laira bridge‘ or ‘Tamar bridge‘. To look at the original documents you can make an appointment with Plymouth and West Devon Record Office.