Virtual 360 Views
The Gorge is a wonderful place to visit all year round throughout the different seasons. The following images allow you to “virtually” visit the Gorge during the summer and autumn from three prominent viewpoints and two more discrete locations.
These viewpoints are located throughout the Gorge and allow the visitor to experience woodland, grassland, and views from the world famous Iron Bridge. Simply click on the highlighted names in the following text to see each of the three virtual tours. The image will open in a new window for ease of use. Click and hold your mouse button down while you move the mouse across the image to view areas of the 360 degree view. You can scroll left & right and up & down. There are plus and minus icons in the bottom left-hand corner to allow zooming in and out.
The Rotunda was the focus of access improvements during the spring of 2009. Funding from Awards For All enabled the Trust to replace the flight of approximately 160 steps which lead up to the magnificent viewpoint. The work including installation of a bench and replacement of the viewpoint fencing was carried out by the Trust's volunteer group supported by contractors. Note the difference in colour in this image when compared to the previous image taken in autumn 2008.
The Rotunda, located on the Trust's Lincoln Hill site, is the site of an edifice built in the early 1790s which had cast iron pillars and a domed roof. It also had a revolving seat with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. However, it had a short life, being demolished in 1804, possibly due to instability of the nearby limestone quarry face. Use the zoom function to see the Iron Bridge nestled in the Gorge in the centre of the image.
Patten's Rock Quarry is a long-disused limestone quarry tucked away in Benthall Edge Wood. The area is an outstanding example of flower-rich grassland, especially noted for its bee orchids and greater butterfly orchids, but also home to two of the Gorge's rarer butterflies, the dingy skipper and the green hairstreak.
The Iron Bridge spans the River Severn and forms an important link between the communities situated both to the north and south of the river. On the northern bank adjacent to the bridge is the community of Ironbridge whilst immediately south of the bridge the slopes of the Gorge are covered in woodland. These woodlands are comprised of Benthall Edge Wood and Ladywood, both of which are managed by Severn Gorge Countryside Trust.
Lydebrook Dingle is of national conservation importance, primarily because it supports specialist invertebrates associated with the stream that flows through the ancient woodland. Of particular importance is the rare cranefly Lipsothrix nigristigma, found in only a handful of sites in the UK. Its larvae feed on wet, rotten wood lying in fast-flowing streams.
Located just above Coalport the Trust site known as Haywood Pastures historically played an important role supporting local industry. In the 18th and 19th Centuries it formed part of the Hay Farm (much of which today is a golf course) owned by the industrialist Darby family, where hundreds of horses were reared for use in industrial enterprises in the Gorge at the time. The virtual tours do illustrate the diversity of the landscape in the Gorge, however, this is much better experienced in person.