Ironbridge in Shropshire is one of my favorite parts of the Shropshire countryside.
On Boxing Day (the national holiday the day after Christmas in the UK) we went for a wintery walk in Ironbridge and here are some of the highlights I captured on that day!
It is only a small town but it has some real gems. The highlight being the actual Iron Bridge standing proudly in the town centre. The town developed beside, and takes its name from, the famous Iron Bridge, a 30-metre (100 ft) cast iron bridge that was built across the river in 1779.
The Iron Bridge crosses the River Severn in Shropshire, England. It was the first arch bridge in the world to be made of cast iron, a material which was previously too expensive to use for large structures. However, a new blast furnace nearby lowered the cost and encouraged local engineers and architects to solve a long-standing problem of a crossing over the river.
The area around Ironbridge is described by those promoting it as a tourist destination as the “Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution”. This description is based on the idea that Abraham Darby perfected the technique of smelting iron with coke, in Coalbrookdale, allowing much cheaper production of iron.
The Iron Bridge proprietors also built the Tontine Hotel to accommodate visitors to the new bridge and the industrial sites of the Severn Gorge.
On the hillside above the river are situated the stone-built 16th-century hunting lodge at Lincoln Hill, many 17th- and 18th-century workers cottages, some imposing Georgian houses built by ironmasters and mine and canal barge owners, and many early Victorian villas built from the various coloured bricks and tiles of the locality.
St Luke’s Church (1837) in simple Commissioners’ Gothic by Samuel Smith of Madeley, has stained glass by David Evans of Shrewsbury.
In 1986, though, Ironbridge became part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site (which covers the wider Ironbridge Gorge area) and has become a major tourist attraction within Shropshire.