The Ironbridge crosses the River Severn and connects Coalbrookdale with Broseley; it was the first arch bridge in the world to be made of cast iron, a material which previously had been too expensive for large structures.
Constructed to the plans of Thomas Pritchard, work on the bridge began in 1775 and ended in 1779, opening January 1781. The method of assembly was based on on those used in carpentry and bolts where needed. The Ironbridge is 61 metres long and has an 18 metre clearance.
From where our car was parked, we entered the Bridge, via the Toll House.
A substansial looking building, it's thought the Tollhouse was erected before the bridge was opened to traffic, but none appears on early illustrations of the Bridge.
A toll-keeper was employed to collect money from people crossing the bridge from 6am to 9pm each day. Those attempting to cross by any other means once it was in operation were fined.
An Act of Parliament for the Iron Bridge dated 1776, includes in its text the toll prices were never to be changed and to which Royalty was not exempt, have a look at them on the outside of the Tollhouse
Because of this, pedestrian's in 1950, were still only being charged a halfpenny to cross.
The Tollhouse I saw, was just how it was in 1835.
There is an exhibition in the Tollhouse, open on weekends during the summer. Exhibits are of the history of the bridge and its construction.
The Iron Bridge crosses the River Severn at the Ironbridge Gorge, by the village of Ironbridge, in Shropshire, England.
I thought it was a lovely looking Arched Bridge, complemented by the old Town of Ironbridge.
A Bridge was needed, as the local's only way of crossing the river was by Ferry. A local ironmaster, John Wilkinson of Broseley, suggested building a bridge out of cast iron, it was agreed upon, and work began. Sadly, he didn't see the finished product, as he died a month after work had begun.
The Bridge was opened on New Year's Day 1781.
Vehicle's used to use this bridge, but they were stopped in 1934, and now it is just for pedestrian's like you an me!
We parked in the car-park, and then walked across the Bridge, enjoying the sight's along the way, and then had a look in the pretty Village of Ironbridge.
We had just walked where the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh had walked in 2003!
It's a UNESCO Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, and rightly so, what an achievment it was designing and building this Bridge all those year's ago!
It was the first arch bridge in the world to be made out of cast iron.
This is the town's namesake. Architect Thomas Pritchard designed it. Begun in 1779, it was completed in 1781. This was the first bridge of its kind. The iron was made using Abraham Darby's new coke smelting technique, which soon made conventional iron-smelting obsolete.
In its day, this bridge launched a revolution, just as the American colonists were doing at the same time across the Atlantic. In those days, the bridge was private property; one had to pay to cross. Today, it's open to the public. The points of contact are for the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre, which is located where the toll booth once stood.
There is a lot of debate about whether Ironbridge is truly the scene of the birth of the Industrial Revolution as mechanisation and new technologies were springing up everywhere at the time. What isn't in doubt though is that Ironbridge was the place where the first iron structure was built and is still in place today.
The bridge was begun in 1779 and completed in 1781 and was quite a sensation even back then.
Today it is such an impressive and iconic monument to industrial innovation and design that it has become a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts millions of visitors.
On the way back from looking at the aqueduct in Wales, we made a short detour to Ironbridge to look at the bridge there, which I had read about. My dad and I looked at the bridge from underneath, and my mom went up on top of the bridge to take pictures from there.
The area is described as the "Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution" and we did see some structures like smelters on the way in (they were really cooling towers for an electrical plant), but mostly we just wanted to see the bridge which became part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site (which covers the wider Ironbridge Gorge area) in 1986. It was the first arch bridge in the world to be made out of cast iron when the blast furnace nearby lowered the cost of cast iron to something that was affordable.
Walk around and get pictures of the bridge from all angles. It is a National Historic Landmark. After you've taken pictures from a distance, then go and look at it close up from underneath to appreciate how it might have been constructed.
There are no eye witness accounts are known which describe the Iron Bridge being erected, so the method is a bit of a mystery.
We did not get to visit this museum as we got to Ironbridge right about 5 pm. The website says that the secrets of how and why the bridge was built "are revealed in an exhibition housed in the original Tollhouse on the south side of the Bridge."
The Iron Bridge itself is a public access monument.
The Tollhouse is open 10am - 5pm and is ***FREE***
There are other museums in the Ironbridge area. The Passport Ticket allows repeat daytime access to all 10 Ironbridge Gorge Museums, during normal opening hours, so you can return as often as you like for one year.
If after 12 months you have still not visited particular sites, you can return at any time in the future to make one free visit to the sites that you've missed.
Tickets are sold at all the Museums including the Visitor Information Centre in Ironbridge.
60 Plus £15.95
Child Student £12.95
Family (2 A & 3 C) £54.95
This bridge was built with cast iron after a nearby smelter made it an economically feasible material to use. I would not have thought iron was a good material to use in a wet location because of the possibility of rusting, and in fact vehicle traffic is now prohibited on the bridge. But you can walk across to the other side, and there are views up and down the river from the bridge.
The iron bridge was the first bridge in the world to be built of iron. It wasbuilt in 1779 and cast at the Coalbrookdale ironworks of Abraham Darby III. It was an icon during the Industrial Revolution. Today you can walk across it and get scenic views of the town of Ironbridge and the gorge itself. There's a tourist information building at one end and many shops and restaurants around it.
Ironbridge, in Ironbridge Gorge near Coalbrookdale, contains the Ironbridge, from which the area's name is (obviously) derived. Spanning the River Severn, this was built in 1779 by Abraham Darby III and Thomas Pritchard. It was the first bridge in the world to be built completely of iron. It still stands and, although not especially large, is very high and quite a piece of art. The town is also very picturesque.
The namesake of this town, the world's first cast iron bridge was built over the River Severn at Coalbrookdale in 1779.