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Leicester, United Kingdom
March 13, 2006
Also wandering around the river Severn, up and down the valley, exploring beautiful Severn George is free and well worth the visit. In Victorian times, all of these areas had foundries, kilns and fires making the area a buzzing, smoke-filled port which was dark and dusky, even on a good day. Today see how the area has changed. Very little is left from old times, but some of it can be seen for free.
Arriving to the city by B4373 just over the river the remains of Bedlam blast furnaces build in 1757 by Madeley Wood Furnace Company. This furnace might have been used to cast some of the iron for the Iron Bridge. Here is the best place to realize the importance of the George and the river, and the reasons why the ironworks were set here. The river was the easiest way to transport the finished pig iron and it also provided water for the water wheels via a steam-pumping engine. Steep hillside enabled the raw material to be charged into the top of blast furnaces, and the molten pig iron tapped from the bottom.
This bits of the history should be sufficient to give you an idea of how the town used to look, how the life back in the 18th century when the industry started flourishing. Can you imagine how proud Mr. Darby had to be when he saw his construction completed, and when first people crossed over this bridge? Go and take your steps. Where is the future of industry now? China? Malaysia? Who will be the next proud nation to move the world forward?
From journal Big Boom in Iron Industry
December 5, 2002
From journal Ironbridge Gorge