The Tar Tunnel an abandoned tunnel located on the north bank of the River Severn in the Ironbridge Gorge at Coalport, England. It is one of ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums attractions administered by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.
Miners struck a gushing spring of natural bitumen, a black treacle-like substance, when digging a canal tunnel for the Coalport Canal in 1787,[ citation needed ] or else digging a level in search of coal. The plan, proposed by William Reynolds, was to connect the canal alongside the River Severn to the lower galleries of the mines below the Blists Hill area. After digging around 3,000 feet (910 m) into the hill the canal project was abandoned in favour of bitumen extraction.
The tunnel was a great curiosity in the eighteenth century and bitumen still oozes gently from the brick walls today. Bitumen's chief commercial use at the time was to treat and weatherproof ropes and caulk wooden ships, but small amounts were processed and bottled as 'Betton's British Oil', a panacea remedy for rheumatism and scurvy.After the canal project was abandoned the Hay Inclined Plane was built instead, its base being alongside the canal basin.
In the past visitors were provided with hard hats and were able to enter the first 300 feet (91 m) of the brick-lined tunnel as far as an iron gate. Electric lighting is provided. Due to a build up of gas in the tunnel, it is unsafe to enter but visitors can still get a view along part of its length from the entrance.
The River Severn, at 220 miles (354 km) long, is the longest river in Great Britain. It is also the river with the most voluminous flow of water by far in all of England and Wales, discharging an average of 107 m3/s (3,800 cu ft/s) into the Celtic Sea at Apperley, Gloucestershire.
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.
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 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.
Blists Hill Victorian Town is an open-air museum built on a former industrial complex located in the Madeley area of Telford, Shropshire, England. The museum attempts to recreate the sights, sounds and smells of a Victorian Shropshire town in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is one of ten museums operated by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.
The Hay Inclined Plane is a canal inclined plane in the Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire, with a height of 207 feet (63 m). It was located at the end of the Shropshire Canal, part of a network of canals that linked the industrial region of east Shropshire with the River Severn. The inclined plane was in operation from 1793 to 1894. It can be visited as part of the Blists Hill Victorian Town and is also a waypoint on the South Telford Heritage Trail.
The Telford Steam Railway (TSR) is a heritage railway located at Horsehay, Telford in Shropshire, England, formed in 1976.
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 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.
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.
The Severn Way is a waymarked long-distance footpath in the United Kingdom, which follows the course of the River Severn through Mid Wales and western England.
Jackfield is a village in Shropshire, England, lying on the south bank of River Severn in the Ironbridge Gorge, downstream from Ironbridge.
The Coalport China Museum is one of the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums administered by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. The museum is based in the village of Coalport within the Ironbridge Gorge on the northern bank of the River Severn in Shropshire, England. It is located in a World Heritage Site, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
The Shropshire Canal was a tub boat canal built to supply coal, ore and limestone to the industrial region of east Shropshire, England, that adjoined the River Severn at Coalbrookdale. It ran from a junction with the Donnington Wood Canal ascending the 316 yard long Wrockwardine Wood inclined plane to its summit level, it made a junction with the older Ketley Canal and at Southall Bank the Coalbrookdale (Horsehay) branch went to Brierly Hill above Coalbrookdale; the main line descended via the 600 yard long Windmill Incline and the 350 yard long Hay Inclined Plane to Coalport on the River Severn. The short section of the Shropshire Canal from the base of the Hay Inclined Plane to its junction with the River Severn is sometimes referred to as the Coalport Canal.
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.
The Coalport branch line was a standard gauge London and North Western Railway branch line in Shropshire, England, which ran between Hadley Junction near Oakengates on the Stafford to Shrewsbury line and a terminus at Coalport East railway station on the north bank of the River Severn at Coalport.
Coalport, Shropshire, England was a centre of porcelain and pottery production between about 1795 and 1926, with the Coalport porcelain brand continuing to be used up to the present. The opening in 1792 of the Coalport Canal, which joins the River Severn at Coalport, had increased the attractiveness of the site, and from 1800 until a merger in 1814 there were two factories operating, one on each side of the canal, making rather similar wares which are now often difficult to tell apart.
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.
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