Shropshire has perhaps the richest geology of any county in Britain, and the Ironbridge Gorge is no exception. While it is better known as the Birthplace of Industry, this would not have happened here without a quirk of nature that exposed all of the necessary rocks and minerals in one, accessible place.
At the end of the last Ice Age, weaknesses in the limestone provided an escape route for water trapped beneath an ice sheet. Under very high pressure, the water carved out the steep-sided gorge we see today, and in the process, exposed limestone, ironstone, sandstone, coal and clay. This process changed the course of the River Severn forever: previously, it had flowed north.
One of the best viewpoints from which to appreciate the Iron Bridge and the natural drama of the Gorge is the limestone promontory at the southern end of Lincoln Hill.
To discover more about Shropshire’s geology, take a look at Shropshire Rocks!