Ironbridge: Take a Journey Through History

Back_Roads Touring

Pat Edgar

The small group touring experts guiding you along the roads less travelled.

17th May 2011

A journey back in time

A fun and informative visit is ensured at the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums, near Telford in Shropshire included in Back-Roads Highlights of Britain tour. Set either side of the stunning River Severn valley, they reflect a slice of the history of the Gorge, its people, their lifestyles and their work from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the early 1700s.

Whether you are interested in a recreated Victorian town, hands-on interactives, fine china, decorative tiles or the history of iron making, it’s all to be found in this World Heritage Site.

The Ten Museums

Step back in time at Blists Hill Victorian Town and chat to the Victorians in their homes, shops and places of work. Marvel at magnificent china displayed in the very buildings in which it was made and see crafts people at work at Coalport China Museum. Walk through the galleries and period room settings adorned with magnificent tiles at Jackfield Tile Museum.

Let your imagination go wild at the Enginuity design and technology centre, as you become a design engineer, able to play with huge interactive exhibits. X-ray everyday objects, control a ‘river’ to generate electricity and compete against a robot.

Visit the Darby Houses, once home to the old ironmasters, and see Abraham Darby’s original furnace where the Industrial Revolution began. The Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron celebrates the early iron industry while the Museum of The Gorge explains the area’s importance.

Enter a time capsule at Broseley Pipeworks where millions of clay pies were once made – the factory is set as though the workforce has just left a few minutes before your arrival; or walk though the Tar Tunnel and see the black, treacle-like bitumen oozing from its walls just as it did in the eighteenth century.

Finally cross the world’s first Iron Bridge and imagine what the area was like around 300 years ago at the beginning of industrial development.

Throughout the year there are no end of activities, special events and hands-on workshops with something to suit all ages. They vary day-to-day and some carry an extra charge in addition to the museum admission fee.