In Shropshire, not far from the Welsh border, is Ironbridge Gorge; birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. The imposing iron bridge was built in 1779 – the first of its kind – and spans the pretty canyon formed by the River Severn. Today, about 4000 people live in this former mining community, some 50 km from Birmingham.
Here are UNESCOs words:
Ironbridge is known throughout the world as the symbol of the Industrial Revolution. It contains all the elements of progress that contributed to the rapid development of this industrial region in the 18th century, from the mines themselves to the railway lines. Nearby, the blast furnace of Coalbrookdale, built in 1708, is a reminder of the discovery of coke. The bridge at Ironbridge, the world’s first bridge constructed of iron, had a considerable influence on developments in the fields of technology and architecture.
Ironbridge is a charming village, with nice little cafes, shops and, amazingly, ten museums. We stopped in Ironbridge purely by chance, in the middle of a long drive from London to Snowdonia. Our visit was brief, but we all enjoyed it heaps; a lucky find indeed.
Alex, my oldest, even found a stone house on a hill she wanted to buy.
Ironbridge Gorge is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited around the world.
I’ve actually been to Ironbridge. It really is a charming little village around that bridge.
Thanks for joining in Photo Friday! I’m curious what makes Ironbridge the birthplace of the industrial revolution (and I fully admit that my history is shaky). Was the first mechanized factory there?
That’s a good question. A man called Abraham Darby first smelted iron woth coke in this area (thus making iron much cheaper). His grandson, also called Abraham Darby, built the bridge, which in 1781 was the world’s first cast iron bridge.
One might argue that the Industrial Revolution began in several places in Britain at the same time, though. But – UNESCO recognizes Ironbridge as the symbol of the Industrial Revolution.
I love bridges, so I particularly enjoyed this story. The UNESCO link made interesting reading, thanks for pointing me there as well. Pretty impressive when you consider how long ago this bridge was built.
I love that whole area of England.