History & Archaeology

The Ironbridge Gorge has an industrial history dating from at least medieval times that culminated in the building of the world’s first cast iron bridge in 1779, a bridge which became an icon of its age. In 1986, in recognition of its unique role in the development of the Industrial Revolution, the Ironbridge Gorge was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Trust’s land was exploited to provide raw materials of every description, fast flowing streams for power, and the River Severn as a transport system. The woods were coppiced for a hundred uses, including charcoal making. Today, as you explore what nature has rehabilitated, you will still discover that many of the paths follow the lines of early tramways, packhorse tracks, and inclines. Old quarries, charcoal hearths, and bell pits abound.

If you have any additional information, reminiscences or pictures that would increase our knowledge of the local history, please let us know at staff@severngorge.org.uk

If you would like to discover more about the history of area, follow the link to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust