When it opened in 1843 the Thames Tunnel was described as the Eighth Wonder of the World. People came from far and wide to see the first tunnel under a river.
On the first day, fifty thousand people descended the staircase and paid a penny to walk through the tunnel. By the end of the first three months there were a million people, or half the population of London. This was the most successful visitor attraction in the world.
In the age of sail and horse-drawn coaches, people came from all over the world and bought souvenirs and listened to the entertainment in the cross-tunnel arches.
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