Explore the gruesome side of Brunel’s SS Great Britain as history comes alive in this Victorian fright-fest.
Tragedy touched the many lives of those working and travelling aboard Brunel’s SS Great Britain. Illnesses and injuries that affected those on board were recorded in the ship’s logbook accompanied by births, deaths and crew absences.
During her time at sea, both passengers and crew generally considered the ship to be a healthy one, with strict and regular reports made by the Captain and Surgeon on sanitation and wellbeing. Robert Newbold, a doctor travelling on board in 1862 held fast to the old proverb of “prevention is better than cure”. Unfortunately, injury, particularly amongst the crew, was much more difficult to prevent.
During half term, Brunel’s SS Great Britain will re-create some of the most horrific injuries recorded in the SS Great Britain’s logbooks. As well as being treated to a woeful wound and learning more about frightful Victorian illnesses and injuries, families can take part in a trail of tragic tales, uncover artefacts in extended Archive in Five sessions, climb the rigging like a sailor and step aboard after-dark for ‘The Spooky Ship: Shipwrecked!’, spooky performance tours in collaboration with Bristol Old Vic.
1. GRISLY CUTS AND GRUESOME SCARS
Children can earn a Certificate of Bravery and scare their friends with seaworthy injuries from professional special effects makeup artists. Visitors will also learn more about the real illnesses and injuries experienced by passengers on board.
Friday 25 October - Saturday 2 November, 11am - 4pm - Included in admission price.
Please note due to skin sensitivity of children under 3 years old, wound workshop products will only be allowed on children 3 years and above. Read our full disclaimer here.
2. TRAIL OF TRAGIC TALES
Families can discover the darker side of the SS Great Britain's history with this trail of tragedy, watching out for sinister shadows, creepy creeks and gruesome goings-on as they delve deeper on board the ship.
Saturday 19 October - Sunday 3 November, 10am - 6pm - Included in the price of admission.
3. MEET THE CURATORS
During half term, gruesome facts will be uncovered in extended Archive in Five sessions, exploring original artefacts and passenger diaries.
Saturday 19 October - Saturday 2 November, 11.30am - 2.30pm, Included in the price of admission.
4. CLIMB THE RIGGING
Become a true sailor and climb the huge mainmast. Brave souls can ascend the rigging to a viewing platform at over 26m above ground level and even step out over the harbour on the main yard.
Weekends only, 12pm - 4pm - Free for under 18s, £10 for over 18s
5. STEP ON BOARD AFTER-DARK FOR THE SPOOKY SHIP: SHIPWRECKED!
In collaboration with Bristol Old Vic, ‘The Spooky Ship: Shipwrecked!’ will delve into the deep to find fresh tales to tell and mysteries to evoke. Be prepared for a nightmare to remember as you follow your ghoulish guide around the darkest nooks and crannies of the 176-year-old ship.
Thursday 31 October - Saturday 2 November, various times, £15, book via Bristol Old Vic