Heritage & Story of The Gorge

‘The leaves soak-up the energy. The trees fall and turn to coal. Coal is solid sunlight, the stored memory of millions of uninhabited summers. Then one day, in Coalbrookdale, someone opens a hole in the ground and all that stored energy comes pouring out and is consumed in furnaces, engines, motors.’ Danny Boyle

A small riverside town in rural Shropshire seems an unlikely setting for the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. But the unique and natural environment formed during the Ice Age when the original flow of the River Severn was diverted and formed the now famous Ironbridge Gorge exposed vital ingredients of layers of limestone, coal, ironstone and clay. It took a man of great vision and imagination in the shape of Abraham Darby I , to put all of these vital ingredients together; he was the first, in 1709, to master major innovations in smelting iron with coke, which resulted in the production of better quality iron which in turn led to his grandson Abraham Darby III overseeing the building of the first ever cast-Iron Bridge. 

Watch this space for a full online programme of Ironbridge Coracle Making Heritage from the Ironbridge Coracle Trust as well as ‘back by popular demand’ an online version of our famous “Blist Hill Fish & Chip Walk with Q&A’ . All on our new for 2020 Festival TV page.

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