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

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Whether you are interested in fine china, fun interactives or a 'Victorian' town, its all to be found in this World Heritage Site.

01952 433424     Contact via Email    

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.

01952 883030     Contact via Email    

Award Winning Cycling, Walking & Cottage Holidays.

0151 722 8050     Contact via Email    

Builwas abbey is located along the banks of the river Severn, about 2 miles west of Ironbridge.

01952 433274    

Here iron is the business, take a look at the pioneering spirt and revolutionary thinking that made the Gorge the silicon valley of it time.

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Watch the world go by over 100 years ago.

01952 433424     Contact via Email    

At the Coalport China Museum you can see the vibrant National Collections of Coalport and Caughley.

01952 884391     Contact via Email    

At the Museum of the Gorge you can view a 12 metre scale model of the Gorge as it was in 1796.

01952 433424     Contact via Email    

The worlds first Iron bridge. You can peer through its railings and conjure a vision of sailing vessels heading downstream towards Bristol and the markets of the world.

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At the Jackfield Tile Museum there are tiles everywhere! The Victorians were on a mission to not only make them, but also to use them.

01952 433424     Contact via Email    

Accommodation in Ironbridge

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Why not enjoy a relaxed break at this family run Inn, which was built in 1774 and for the past 28 years has been successfully run by  the Poulton family. They have built up an excellent reputation for their selection and quality of their meals and their personal relationship with their guests.

01952 432226     Contact via Email    

Refreshingly different, Buckatree Hall Hotel in Telford is a renowned country house hotel at the foot of the famous Wrekin in tranquil Shropshire. Conveniently off J7 of the M54 between Telford and Shrewsbury we are an ideal base for both business and leisure.

01952 641821     Contact via Email    

44 Ensuite bedrooms including 4 poster and queen size beds. 2 Rosette awarded restaurant. Function room. Licensed for civil ceremonies .Traditional bars. Free parking and within walking distance of Ironbridge Gorge museums.

01952 432247     Contact via Email    

The AA Hotel 3 Star Accommodation Grading Green Business Gold Award

Atmospheric, family run Georgian coaching inn renowned for its award winning cuisine and hospitality. Our stunning 17th century Tithe Barn is ideal for Weddings, conference and banqueting.

01952 580240     Contact via Email    

The AA Inn 4 Star Accommodation Grading

Holiday Caravans in 24 acres of glorious Shropshire countryside (near IRONBRIDGE). Small, secluded, safe family park. A separate 5 Touring Pitch Caravan Club CL with Hook-Up.

01746 714285     Contact via Email    

The Holiday Inn is perfectly situated in the Centre of Telford, Shropshire; the ideal base to explore many of the local Shropshire attractions. The hotel is close to the M54 motorway and the train station.

01952 527000     Contact via Email    

Holiday Inn

Relax in peaceful barn conversions in peaceful farm yard with beautiful views over Shropshire Hills. Central to Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Ironbridge and Much Wenlock. Close to the Wrekin.

01952 510273     Contact via Email    

Visit Britain Self-Catering 4 Star Accommodation Grading Sykes Cottages Self-Catering 4 Tick Accommodation Grading

The Old Nursery (sleeps 4) and The Gun Room (Sleeps 2) both offer high quality accommodation in a perfect location, surrounded by beautiful countryside close to Much Wenlock.

01746 785377     Contact via Email    

Visit Britain Self-Catering 45 Star Accommodation Grading Visit Britain Gold Award Sawdays

Country manor house with beautiful gardens & grounds, Excellent restaurants & pubs nearby. Close to M54 J3, Wolverhampton & Telford only 10 minutes. Short break discount.

01902 373376     Contact via Email    

Visit Britain B&B 4 Star Accommodation Grading

Inspirational 5 star luxury self-catering properties ideal for honeymoons, anniversaries, other special occasions, or simply because you deserve it!

07831 398763     Contact via Email    

Visit Britain Self-Catering 5 Star Accommodation Grading Visit Britain Gold Award

Map of Ironbridge Town


Ironbridge Visitor Information

Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre

Coach Road, Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge, TF8 7DQ 

Tel: 01952 433424 
Fax: 01952 884391
Email: Click here