Ironbridge Gorge

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Ironbridge Gorge
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Iron Bridge east side in February 2019.jpg
Location Ironbridge, United Kingdom
Criteria Cultural: i, ii, iv, vi
Reference 371
Inscription1986 (10th session)
Area547.9 ha
Website www.ironbridge.org.uk
Coordinates 52°37′35″N2°28′22″W / 52.62639°N 2.47278°W / 52.62639; -2.47278
Shropshire UK relief location map.jpg
Red pog.svg
Location of Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire
United Kingdom relief location map.jpg
Red pog.svg
Ironbridge Gorge (the United Kingdom)
The Ironbridge Gorge looking east towards the Iron Bridge Ironbridge-Gorge.jpg
The Ironbridge Gorge looking east towards the Iron Bridge

The Ironbridge Gorge is a deep gorge, containing the River Severn in Shropshire, England. It was first formed by a glacial overflow from the long drained away Lake Lapworth, at the end of the last ice age. The deep exposure of the rocks cut through by the gorge exposed commercial deposits of coal, iron ore, limestone and fireclay, which enabled the rapid economic development of the area during the early Industrial Revolution. [1] [2]

Contents

Originally called the Severn Gorge, the gorge now takes its name from its famous Iron Bridge, the first iron bridge of its kind in the world, and a monument to the industry that began there. The bridge was built in 1779 to link the industrial town of Broseley with the smaller mining town of Madeley and the growing industrial centre of Coalbrookdale.

There are two reasons the site was so useful to the early industrialists. The raw materials, coal, iron ore, limestone and clay, for the manufacture of iron, tiles and porcelain are exposed or easily mined in the gorge. The deep and wide river allowed easy transport of products to the sea.

Formation

The gorge carries the River Severn south towards the Bristol Channel. It was formed during the last ice age when the water from the previously north-flowing river became trapped in a lake (Lake Lapworth) created when the Irish Sea ice sheet dammed the river. The lake level rose until the water flowed through the hills to the south. This flow eroded a path through the hills, forming the gorge and permanently diverting the Severn southwards. [3] [4] [5] [6]

The Gorge parish

The Gorge is a civil parish within the borough of Telford and Wrekin and the ceremonial county of Shropshire. It covers the part of Ironbridge Gorge that falls within the Telford and Wrekin Council Unitary Authority area and includes the settlements of Coalbrookdale, Coalport, Ironbridge, Jackfield and Lightmoor, but not Buildwas or Broseley which are in the Shropshire Council Unitary Authority area. It is divided into three parish wards: Coalport & Jackfield (2 councillors), Ironbridge Gorge (3 councillors) and Lightmoor (3 councillors). The Gorge Parish Council has its offices and holds its meetings at the Maws Craft Centre in Jackfield. [7]

The population of this civil parish at the 2011 census was 3,275. [8]

Women in the Ironbridge Gorge ward had the third lowest life expectancy at birth, 74 years, of any ward in England and Wales in 2016. [9]

Conservation in the Gorge

Green Wood Centre has spent over twenty years training new coppice and woodland workers, with the aim of reviving the coppicing industry.

Severn Gorge Countryside Trust manages most of the woodland, grassland and other countryside within the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, around 260 hectares (640 acres) in all. BTCV's Green Gym works with the trust to assist them on woodland work.

Severn Gorge Countryside Trust and The Green Wood Centre run a joint volunteer project enabling local people to engage locally in activities such as coppicing, scrub removal, deer fencing, step building and woodland management.

See also

Related Research Articles

Shropshire County of England

Shropshire (; alternatively Salop; abbreviated, in print only, Shrops; demonym Salopiansə-LOH-pee-ən, is a county in England, bordering Wales to the west, Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, and Worcestershire and Herefordshire to the south. Shropshire Council was created in 2009, a unitary authority taking over from the previous county council and five district councils. The borough of Telford and Wrekin has been a separate unitary authority since 1998 but continues to be included in the ceremonial county.

Ironbridge Town in Shropshire, England

Ironbridge is a town on the River Severn, at the heart of the Ironbridge Gorge, near Telford, Shropshire, England. It lies in the civil parish of The Gorge, in the borough of Telford and Wrekin. Ironbridge developed beside, and takes its name from, The Iron Bridge, a 100-foot (30 m) cast iron bridge that opened in 1781.

Severn Valley Railway

The Severn Valley Railway is a heritage railway in Shropshire and Worcestershire, England. The 16-mile (26 km) heritage line runs along the Severn Valley from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster, crossing the Shropshire/Worcestershire border, following the course of the River Severn for much of its route. Train services are hauled predominantly by steam locomotives, plus one diesel hauled train, making two round trips a day, on most days. Diesel locomotives are also used for engineering trains, to replace failed steam locomotives at short notice, and during periods of high fire risk.

Coalbrookdale Human settlement in England

Coalbrookdale is a village in the Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire, England, containing a settlement of great significance in the history of iron ore smelting. It lies within the civil parish called the Gorge.

Broseley Human settlement in England

Broseley is a market town in Shropshire, England, with a population of 4,929 at the 2011 Census. The River Severn flows to its north and east. The first iron bridge in the world was built in 1779 across the Severn, linking Broseley with Coalbrookdale and Madeley. This contributed to the early industrial development in the Ironbridge Gorge, which is now part of a World Heritage Site.

Telford Steam Railway

The Telford Steam Railway (TSR) is a heritage railway located at Horsehay, Telford in Shropshire, England, formed in 1976.

Madeley, Shropshire Human settlement in England

Madeley is a town and civil parish in Shropshire, England, now part of the new town of Telford. The parish had a population of 17,935 at the 2001 census.

Coalport Human settlement in England

Coalport is a village in Shropshire, England. It is located on the River Severn in the Ironbridge Gorge, a mile downstream of Ironbridge. It lies predominantly on the north bank of the river; on the other side is Jackfield.

The Iron Bridge Bridge across the River Severn in Shropshire, England, the first major bridge in the world to be made of cast iron.

The Iron Bridge is a cast iron arch bridge that crosses the River Severn in Shropshire, England. Opened in 1781, it was the first major bridge in the world to be made of cast iron. Its success inspired the widespread use of cast iron as a structural material, and today the bridge is celebrated as a symbol of the Industrial Revolution.

Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust is an industrial heritage organisation which runs ten museums and manages multiple historic sites within the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site in Shropshire, England, widely considered as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

Jackfield Human settlement in England

Jackfield is a village in Shropshire, England, lying on the south bank of River Severn in the Ironbridge Gorge, downstream from Ironbridge.

Lake Lapworth was a postulated glacial lake in Great Britain, believed to have formed during the last ice age when glaciers blocked the northern outlet of the River Severn through the River Dee near present-day Chester. As the Severn backed up, it formed Lake Lapworth until it overflowed southwards cutting the Ironbridge Gorge. This permanently diverted this part of the Severn drainage basin to the south.

Ironbridge and Broseley railway station Former railway station in Shropshire, England

Ironbridge and Broseley railway station was a railway station with two through platforms on the Severn Valley Railway Line in Shropshire, England.

Albert Edward Bridge Railway bridge in Shropshire, England.

The Albert Edward Bridge is a railway bridge spanning the River Severn at Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, England.

Jackfield Tile Museum Museum of ceramic tile making, part of the Ironbridge Gorge

Jackfield Tile Museum is a museum which presents the history of the British decorative tile industry between 1840 and 1960, the period in which this factory and that of Maw & Co nearby played an important part in this industry. The museum lies in the village of Jackfield, near Broseley, on the south bank of the River Severn in the Ironbridge Gorge, in Shropshire, England. It is located within a World Heritage Site, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. It is one of the ten Ironbridge Gorge museums administered by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.

The Tuckies, Jackfield, Shropshire Human settlement in England

The Tuckies is a hamlet in the eastern part of Jackfield, lying on the south bank of the River Severn, in the Ironbridge Gorge, and opposite the village of Coalport. The purpose of this article is to capture its historical importance during the industrial revolution and provide links to the people and culture that once thrived here. The lower part of The Tuckies, in Ferry Road, is still badly affected by flooding and head-height water levels are clearly displayed in a doorway at The Boat Inn where the 1922 memorial footbridge crosses the River Severn to Coalport. The Severn Valley railway, operated by GWR, ran through The Tuckies and the original railway bridge, now forming part of the Severn Valley Way, still crosses the road there, at OS grid reference 693024.

The lost village of Werps was one of a group of small settlements which later became collectively known as Jackfield in the Broseley Parish in Shropshire. The Werps lay on the south side of the river Severn, opposite the Old Coalport China Works and records indicate either three or four public houses, although it is unclear as to whether any of their names are renames of the same building or whether re-built on the same site.

Preens Eddy is a settlement on the south bank of the River Severn, opposite Coalport. Its history lies at the heart of the industrial revolution.

Museum of the Gorge, Ironbridge

The Museum of the Gorge, originally the Severn Warehouse, is one of the ten museums of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. It portrays the history of the Ironbridge Gorge and the surrounding area of Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, England.

References

  1. Pannett, David (2008). "The Ice Age Legacy in North Shropshire" (PDF). Proceedings of the Shropshire Geological Society. 13: 86–91. ISSN   1750-855X.
  2. Wills, L.J. (1924). "The Development of the Severn Valley in the Neighbourhood of Iron-Bridge and Bridgnorth". Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society. 80 (1–4): 274–308. doi:10.1144/GSL.JGS.1924.080.01-04.15.
  3. Lapworth, C. (1898).Cite journal requires |journal= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. Harmer, F.W. (1907). "The Origin of Certain Cañon-like Valleys". Quart. J. geol. Soc. Lond. 63: 470–514. doi:10.1144/GSL.JGS.1907.063.01-04.33.
  5. Wills, L.J. (1924). "The Development of the Severn Valley in the Neighbourhood of Iron-Bridge and Bridgnorth". Quart. J. geol. Soc. Lond. 80 (1–4): 274–308. doi:10.1144/GSL.JGS.1924.080.01-04.15.
  6. Beckinsale, R.P.; Richardson, L. (1964). "Recent Findings on the Physical Development of the Lower Severn Valley". The Geographical Journal . 130 (1): 87–105. doi:10.2307/1794269. JSTOR   1794269.
  7. "Welcome". The Gorge Parish Council. 4 February 2014. Archived from the original on 22 January 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  8. "Civil Parish population 2011" . Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  9. Bennett, James; et al. (22 November 2018). "Contributions of diseases and injuries to widening life expectancy inequalities in England from 2001 to 2016: a population-based analysis of vital registration data". Lancet public health. Retrieved 23 November 2018.