Spectacular, beautiful Ironbridge
"The earliest bridge of cold blast iron designed by Abraham Darby in 1778. The charm as well as the admirable boldness of the bridge is indeed its light and lacy thinness." - Pevsner
It was at Ironbridge, Shropshire that first large scale production of cast iron was developed using a process pioneered by Abraham Darby. Items made in Ironbridge were shipped all over the world.
Here in 1779 the worlds first cast iron bridge was built spanning the River Severn - beautifully constructed, totally innovative - today the Ironbridge stands as a permanent reminder of our industrial past.
Ironbridge is regarded as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - sitting alongside The Taj Mahal, The Pyramids and The Grand Canyon - pretty important sites.
Constructed of solid iron girders supported on two stone abutments, the Iron Bridge represented a major turning-point in the industrial revolution. Abraham Darby and his family had always operated a small ferry at the site and Abraham's grandson proposed the idea of building a river bridge from iron process through a method they had pioneered. Once built, it became a symbol of progress and technical mastery and people travelled from all over the world to see it, including engineers, iron industry magnates, artists and spies from other companies, intent on finding out about this man-made wonder. It was an overnight tourist attraction. Prior to this point bridges had always been made in stone or wood. At Ironbridge a toll-keeper was employed to collect money from people crossing the bridge from 6am to 9pm each day. Those attempting to cross by any other means once it was in operation were fined. However, it later became quite cheap to cross the river because tolls could only be increased by Parliament, which is why, until 1950, pedestrians were still only being charged a halfpenny to cross.
The ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums tell this momentous story and offer a chance to step back to a time when the pounding of steam hammers and clatter of horses hooves on cobbles were commonplace.
Get a "Passport Ticket" and you will get twelve months unlimited day time admission to all 10 museums. Then at any time after the first twelve months you can return once to visit any museums that you missed.
The Tollhouse and Ironbridge - the original Ironbridge.
The Museum of the Gorge - good place to start.
Museum of Iron - with the original furnace that started it all.
Blists Hill - experience the atmosphere of a Victorian working town.
Coalport China Museum - dazzling displays of two centuries of china.
Darby Houses - where Abraham Darby III finalised plans for the Ironbridge.
Jackfield Tile Museum - former world centre of the decorative tile industry.
Broseley Pipeworks - preserved time capsule of clay pipe making.
Enginuity - Test your reactions against the speed of a robot, generate power from water or pull a locomotive by hand.
Tar Tunnel - Put on your hard hat and venture underground.
You can also visit The Maws Craft Centre, the Open Air Museum of Steel Sculpture, A Victorian Police Station and Old Court House. There are leisure boat trips on the river with Shropshire Raft Tours, walks and cycle ways and you can even turn your hand to making a Coracle with the Green Wood Trust.
Plentiful supplies of clay and good transport led to factories making decorative tiles, bricks and the finest china. There are little shops, charming pubs and inns have built up around the Ironbridge and along the banks of the Severn.
For More information about Ironbridge contact Ironbridge Gorge Visitor Information Centre.
Please click here to view a map of Ironbridge town centre.
Attractions in Ironbridge
Your visit to the Ironbridge Gorge is not complete until you have included Maws Craft Centre in your itinerary. Maws Craft Centre is home to 30 small businesses, around 20 of which are small independently run shops that are open throughout the year.
Builwas abbey is located along the banks of the river Severn, about 2 miles west of Ironbridge.
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Accommodation in Ironbridge
Ironbridge Holiday Cottages are a pair of beautifully restored, self-catering cottages, dating back to 1650, the time of the English Civil War, and are amongst the oldest buildings in the historical Ironbridge Gorge, right in the heart of Shropshire.
Whether you are holidaying or on business, expect the warmest of welcomes here at Boningale Manor. Grade II listed (with features dating back to the 1300s) several barns have been imaginatively converted to provide 4-Star self-catering choices. They are set in farmland and share access to beautiful gardens.
The University of Wolverhampton is centrally located in the Midlands. There are modern conference facilities from 1:1 interview rooms and boardrooms, through to 300 capacity conference and break-out rooms with single en-suite accommodation available throughout the whole year.
Church Farm B&B, near Ironbridge, is a 17th century farmhouse B&B peacefully set in its own beautiful gardens and land on the edge of the small village of Kemberton in Shropshire, just 10 minutes drive from Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site.
Pine Tree Lodge is located in a semi rural setting with country views but is less than a mile from the Historic Market town of Bridgnorth in Shropshire and 1/2 mile from the World Famous Severn Valley Railway. Bridgnorth is an historic fortified town renowned for its many old buildings, pubs and restaurants, also the Vernacular Railway that links the River Severn in Low Town to the Old Castle grounds in High Town.
Fairview, Old Mill Lane
Sara and Phil welcome you to their three charming Shropshire self catering holiday cottages in Newport, beautifully appointed and decorated in a contemporary style. A blissful retreat in glorious countryside set within a working farm.
Iron Gorge Camping -"Days to Explore, Nights to Remember". Iron Gorge Camping is located in a hillside position above the Severn Gorge, on a 14 acre Smallholding giving the feeling of remoteness yet being within a mile of the World famous Ironbridge.
Stunning views and a quiet night, sleeping on pure cotton sheets are guaranteed at this welcoming B&B (with ensuite) just outside Much Wenlock. Great local food (free range eggs of course) and fresh coffee or choice of teas. Drying room for wet clothing or boots.
01952 727336 OR 07973 234582 Contact via Email
Holidaycottages.co.uk offer over 60 holiday cottages in Shropshire, each hand-picked for their quality, comfort and location. Whether you're looking to stay in the rolling hills of the Shropshire countryside or in a charming market town such as Ludlow or Shrewsbury, holidaycottages.co.uk has places to stay in a variety of stunning locations. Choose from a diverse collection of cottages, ranging from cosy cottages for couples right up to big beautiful barns perfect for group gatherings and even pet-friendly properties suitable for furry family members. Head to our website to see the full collection. Website: https://www.holidaycottages.co.uk/shropshire Email: email@example.com
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Ironbridge Visitor Information
Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre
Coach Road, Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge, TF8 7DQ
Tel: 01952 433424
Fax: 01952 884391
Email: Click here