Posted by: travelrat | July 5, 2018

Ironbridge

Severn at Ironbridge

Ironbridge: 30th May 2018

Since we were in the area, before heading for home, we took a short trip to Ironbridge to see … the Iron Bridge.

What makes this so special is the fact that it was the first iron bridge of any size in the world. It was designed by Abraham Darby and Thomas Pritchard, and spans the River Severn at a place now called Ironbridge Gorge. It opened in 1781, and only a few years later, Viscount Torrington wrote:

‘But, of the Iron Bridge over the Severn, which we crossed and where we stayed for half an hour, what shall I say?

That is must be the admiration, as one of the wonders of the world’

But, much later, in 1912, J.E. Auden said of Ironbridge that it was:

‘… an uninteresting and somewhat squalid town … sloping down to the Severn whose banks are covered in slag and refuse’

Thankfully, they’ve cleaned it up considerably since then. We had come to see the bridge, anyway … and, believe it or not … we didn’t!

Iron Bridge

These days, it comes under the stewardship of English Heritage, and is showing its age a bit. So, a programme of refurbishment is in progress, to which end, the bridge is covered in scaffolding, plywood and canvas and all but invisible. Such refurbishment is going to cost some coin, though … which somewhat justifies the entrance fees charged to enter some other EH properties.

Fortunately, my friend Margaret Dickinson visited some years ago, and, with her permission, I can show her photo of the bridge au naturel.

Ironbridge 2

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