THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
Blists Hill Victorian Town, Jackfield Tile Museum, Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and the Furnace Kitchen That remain open to this day
A World Heritage Site and the beating heart of the Industrial Revolution, the Ironbridge Gorge is home to some amazing museums that make for an unforgettable experience.
In 1986 the Ironbridge Gorge was one of the first locations to be designated as a World Heritage Site within the U.K. This designation recognised the area’s unique and unrivalled contribution to the birth of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century; the impact of which is still felt across the world today.
It was the achievements of pioneering industrialists including Abraham Darby, William Reynolds and John Wilkinson that led to the Ironbridge Gorge becoming by the close of the 18th century the most technologically advanced area in the world.
The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage property covers an area of 5.5 km2 (550 ha) and is located in Telford, Shropshire. The Industrial Revolution had its 18th century roots in the Ironbridge Gorge and spread worldwide leading to some of the most far-reaching changes in human history.
The site incorporates a 5 km length of the steep-sided, mineral-rich Severn Valley from a point immediately west of Ironbridge downstream to Coalport, together with two smaller river valleys extending northwards to Coalbrookdale and Madeley.
Blists Hill Victorian town
Originally Blists Hill was an industrial region consisting of a brick and tile works, blast furnaces and coal, iron and fire clay mines. The museum was opened in 1973 and has been growing ever since. The museum’s buildings fall into one of three categories, buildings that were already part of the industrial site, buildings that represent a generic type and original buildings that have been relocated to the museum.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Blists Hill was an industrial region consisting of a brick and tile works, blast furnaces and coal, iron and fire clay mines operated by the Madeley Wood Company. A short section of the Shropshire Canal ran across the site to the Hay Inclined Plane, which transported boats up and down the 207 ft (63 m) tall incline from Blists Hill to Coalport.
The original Madeley Wood Company blast furnaces produced pig iron from 1832 to 1911. Their remains have been conserved and a blowing engine from the Lilleshall Company’s Priorslee Ironworks installed in one of the houses. Nearby are displayed a pair of beam engines from the same location, alongside a wrought iron works using equipment from Thomas Walmsley’s Atlas Forge in Bolton in an iron-framed building designed by Rennie for Woolwich Dockyard.