Ironbridge Journals

A Cultural weekend at Ironbridge

A May 2002 trip to Ironbridge by Timone

Quote: Ironbridge is the home to the start of the Industrial Revolution which changed the world forever. It's also a World Heritage Site and you can see why - it's beautiful and yet interesting.

A Cultural weekend at Ironbridge

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Overview

Quote:
The obvious highlight would be Iron Bridge it's self however, the museums are amazing. There are 9 in total, all different and all with there own unique displays (see separate museum entry). The surroundings are beautiful too, all green and wooded, a surprise as industrial and trees don't go together normally.Quick Tips: Allow plenty of time, the museums are spread out over a 4 mile radius and each have require different times spent there. Blists Hill for example will take half a day, whilst Broseley Pipeworks will take an hour. Buy a passport for the museums, it's £10-50 for adults and is valid indefinately until you have visited all 9 museums, a bargain seeing as some of the museums are...Read More
Quote:
The hostel is divided into 2 sites, the first at Coalport is part of the China Museum and has the usual YHA facilities and a cafe. The second site is at Coalbrookdale and is part of the Museum of Iron. This hostel is the one I stayed at, it has a great games room with pool table and juke box. It also has a very basic self catering kitchen, however the meals it provides are wonderful and cheap too. There is a quiet room, laundry and drying room and a wet weather shelter. Car parking is just up the road at the Iron Museum as is the nearby Coalbrookdale Inn.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

Ironbridge Gorge YHA
Coalbrookdale or Coalport
Ironbridge, United Kingdom
(0870) 770-5882

Coalbrookdale Inn

Restaurant | "The Coalbrookdale Inn"

Quote:
This is a pleasant country pub with a good choice of food. They have steaks, suet pudding, fish dishes, curry, salads, pork steaks and many other speciality dishes, that come with a pile of crispy chips or a mountain of fresh vegetables. Desserts are great too, there is the plum crumble cake, chocolate gateau and various other icecreams and pudding dependant on the season. The pub has many local ales and I can recommend the a pint of enville for those that like a sweeter but not gassy pint. Alternatively there is a fine range of dessert wines, damson, cherry, plum, elderflower amongst others. Or you could have a regular pub drink. My only word of warning on this pub is that it gets very b...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

Coalbrookdale Inn
12 Wellington Road
Ironbridge, United Kingdom TF8 7DX
(01952) 433-953

Bird in Hand Inn

Restaurant

Quote:
This pub is wonderful and is also a Bed and Breakfast. It is a short walk from the bridge it's self and has a great view over the river. It has a huge menu, with a great range of vegetarian choices, both a seperate veggies main course section but also a starters section. Among the main course options are trout, plaice, curry, steak, roast dinner and all sorts of other specialities. The service is quick and efficient and the portions large. I had a chicken tikka curry which came with rice, peas and chips, it was beautiful. For dessert there is a selection of hot desserts such as spotted dick and fruit pie or crumble but also a wide selection of ice creams. After you're full to bursting you could take ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

Bird in Hand Inn
Waterloo Street
Ironbridge, United Kingdom TF8 7HG
(01952) 432-226

Ironbridge Gorge Museums/Museum of the Gorge

Attraction | "Museum of the Gorge"

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There is a huge model at first to look at which gives a good idea of how busy the area was in the late 18th century. Further in there are plaques to show the height of the river in it's worst floods, pretty worrying when you see how far away the river is at the current time.

There are lots of touch screen TV's to sit and play with as well as a brass rubbing area of bugs and river animals. The museum also has an 8 minute video for viewing and a nice shop.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

Ironbridge Gorge Museums/Museum of the Gorge
The Wharfage, Ironbridge
Telford, Shropshire TF8 7AW
+44 (1952) 432-166

Quote:
The bridge is the main thing people thing of when they think of Ironbridge. It no longer carries cars and so you can walk across it or stand in the middle etc. The Tollhouse on the south side of the bridge is small but houses a display of pictures and details the building of the bridge. There is also a small souvenir shop.

The most interesting item in the Tollhouse is a model of the bridge and river made only from scrap metal, screws etc. As well as the unique view over the bridge from the upstairs window.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

The Iron Bridge and Tollhouse
Ironbridge
Ironbridge, United Kingdom

Coalport China Museum and Tar Tunnel

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Attraction

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The China museum has something for everyone. You are able to view the work done by potters and hear how china is created and decorated, as well as being able to explore the kilns and see the completed china. For children there is a wonderful playroom with a soft kiln and hands on displays where they can learn about china and the works.

The Tar Tunnel is a short distance from the China Museum and allows 15 people at a time into the tunnel with a hard hat. The tunnel is a natural source of bitumen and you can see it oozing out of the walls and see large bitumen pools - incredible. Also at the site is the YHA Slip Room cafe and a souvenir shop.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

Coalport China Museum and Tar Tunnel
Coalport
Ironbridge, United Kingdom

Quote:
It is a short walk to the Tile Museum from the China Museum and the route takes you past the Maws Craft Centre which is worth a stop as there is a cafe and lots of small shops.

The actual Tile Museum is spread over several floors of the original tile factory and has fire hearths, huge tile pictures as well as classrooms to show how tiles are made. The colours and patterns achievable are incredible.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

Jackfield Tile Museum
Jackfield, Ironbridge
Ironbridge, United Kingdom

Blists Hill Victorian Town

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Attraction

Quote:
This museum is a victorian town. You can exchange your money for 'old' money at the bank on the way in and then visit all the shops a town would have. For example, the drapers, printers, butcher's, baker's, candlestick makers, ironworks, wheelwright, chemist's etc. There is a pub to buy real food and ale, the baker's sells fresh bread and fruit loaf and the butcher's sell pork pies, pastries and pork scratchings all available for a few pence in your old money. Further down the village there is a small church and a funfair, have a go at the coconut shy or the darts game. There are several wooded walks too which make the whole town very pleasant. Look out for the policeman and other characte...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

Blists Hill Victorian Town
Coalport Road
Ironbridge, United Kingdom

Broseley Pipeworks Museum

Attraction | "Broseley Pipeworks"

Quote:
This is not the sort of museum you expect to visit. By pipeworks they mean the sort you smoke rather than the sort that drains water. The pipeworks was originally a factory and was left abandoned in 1957, inside everything was as it had been in the Victorian times. Not much has been changed, a few display cases have been put in but the main workshop is as it was with tools and pipes strewn everywhere. It's an interesting insight into how pipes were made and to just how popular they were in the late 18th century. This museum takes about an hour to see.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

Broseley Pipeworks Museum
Broseley, Nr Ironbridge
Ironbridge, United Kingdom

Coalport China Museum and Tar Tunnel

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Attraction | "Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron"

Quote:
This is a great museum to start at, it's on the site where smelting iron was invented and as part of the displays there are cast iron benches, animals, pots and a good display of aga stoves.

Also part of the museum is the original blast furnace, it's covered by a large triangular building to protect it from the weather but it has pictures to show how it worked and is the size is amazing.

Further up the hill are the Dale and Rosehill Houses which are restored Quaker Ironmaster houses and worthy of a visit.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2002

Coalport China Museum and Tar Tunnel
Coalport
Ironbridge, United Kingdom