This little part of Shropshire ranks alongside The Great Wall of China, The Taj Mahal, The Acropolis and Stonehenge.
For Ironbridge, tucked away in a pretty wooded gorge, is a World Heritage Site and thus recognised globally as a site of huge historic interest.
Three hundred years ago, one Abraham Darby perfected the use of coke to produce iron on a mass scale and with it the birth of the industrial revolution. Ironmasters populated the area and with the ever increasing need to cross the river Severn, a bridge was devised. However, this was no normal bridge…
Thomas Farnolls Pritchard wrote to a Broseley ironmaster, John Wilkinson, and suggested a feat never once thought possible, a bridge built entirely of iron, spanning the river Severn. After just one month into the ground breaking project, Pritchard sadly died. The work passed to Abraham Darby III, grandson of the original iron producing pioneer. The bridge, the world’s first iron bridge, was cast at his foundry in neighboring Coalbrookdale and history was made.
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Ironbridge today is quite the opposite experience from that of our predecessors. Gone are the chimneys, gone are the foundries and gone are the soot filled skies. Today, Ironbridge is a delightful collection of pretty woodland trails, hillside cottages, cafes, inns, museums and gift shops. The gorge itself has been taken back under mother nature’s wing, providing the most picturesque of settings on the banks of the river Severn – all framed by the original, Iron Bridge.
For events, museum prices and further information, visit www.visitironbridge.co.uk
For cottages in Ironbridge and surrounding areas, see our Ironbridge Holiday Cottages.