You are here

Royal Charter Tours

Brunel Institute

ss Great Britain

Tuesdays to Fridays &

the first two Saturdays of each month 3pm, FREE

Learn more about the wreck of the Royal Charter with a free tour of the Brunel Institute.


On a stormy night in 1859 half-sister ship to the SS Great Britain, the Royal Charter, was just a few hours from Liverpool when disaster struck. Howling winds and crashing waves pushed the mighty ship onto the rocks of Dulas Bay. To this day the wreck of the Royal Charter is still the greatest loss of life off the coast of Wales.

The Royal Charter was built as a result of the famous gold rush to Australia and took the same route as the SS Great Britain.

Launched in 1855, just 10 years after the SS Great Britain, the Royal Charter was owned by the same company, Gibbs Bright & Co., and built by the same builder, William Paterson.

Both ships were equipped with similar technology – the innovative combination of steam and sail meant they could travel to a timetable.

Take a tour of the Brunel Institute and discover the story of the sinking of The Royal Charter. Learn about what happened to the £50,000,000 worth of gold on board, the heroics of Maltese seaman Joseph Rodgers and see artefacts found at the bottom of the bay.

Tours are FREE to attend and offer not only a fascinating insight into this maritime disaster but also a chance to discover and explore the Brunel Institute and the amazing work of the curators and volunteers of the SS Great Britain Trust.

To join a tour simply arrive at the front desk and sign up for one of the 15 places available.