Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire
Once upon a time this part of the River Severn was know as the Severn Gorge. It was a busy industrial area and relied upon the Severn as the key means of transport. Coal, Iron Ore, Limestone and Clay could all be found in the immediate area. The area became known as Coalbrookdale home of iron foundries and pottery… an important industrial region.
So to link both sides of this busy valley a bridge was needed. It had to be a bridge high enough not to interfere with the passage of the high mast boats on the busy river.
The Bridge that was constructed and opened in 1779 was the first in the World to be made from Iron. 100ft span and made from Iron founded in the Gorge. The design was by Architect Thomas Pritchard. Not at first taken that seriously, after much lobbying and fund raising Master Ironmaker Abraham DarbyIII was contracted to construct the Iron Bridge. Records suggest that the cost was between £3000 & £4000.
The Bridge was such a success that the Gorge changed its name to Ironbridge Gorge.
The Bridge, the Gorge and its Industrial Heritage is now part of a World Heritage Site.
When life becomes more normal it is well worth a visit…. Till then…
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2020