Thursday, 10 June 2010

Coalbrookdale – Blists Hill Victorian Town

Coalbrookdale is in a narrow gorge, formed when the River Severn changed course after the last ice age.

With clay, iron, coal, and limestone easily accessible, it was the site chosen by Abraham Darby to experiment with smelting iron using coke instead of charcoal.  This enabled greater quantities of iron to be produced, sparking new developments and the first iron bridge was constructed by the third Abraham Darby in 1779.

800px-Philipp_Jakob_Loutherbourg_d._J._002 Coalbrookdale by Night, 1801 (Public Domain)

Now it is a World Heritage Site and has 10 museums in an area of around 6 square miles.

We visited two of them – Blist’s Hill and the Coalport pottery museum. It was a long day!  Blist’s Hill has grown since our last visit and is worth a full day in its own right. The admission price covers all the museums for as many visits as you like for a whole year (like Bletchley Park) and we will return later in the year to see more.

P1010468-1  A street scene


Pouring pig iron


The Doctor’s surgery

Since we took 189 usable photos between us, a further selection is on Picasa.

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