A February 2006 trip
to Ironbridge by Vicho
Quote: The Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, location of the world’s first iron bridge, a world Heritage site.
Restaurant | "Bailys Wine Bar and Bistro"
In Iron bridge you can change your money back into pounds, shillings, and pence—the currency used before 1972. It is good fun to do but, honestly, my budget was already exceeded by paying entrance to the museum, and I was not willing to pay for my dinner touristy price. I decided to head out of the Ironbridge at B4373 and eat somewhere decent on the way.
The first pub was opened, but they did not cook on Sunday at 6pm. In just a few more minutes the town of Bridgnorth was welcoming me. My parking ticket from earlier in the morning while exploring the town was still valid, so I stayed for dinner here.
I can highly recommend this place. Cooking is excellent and not overpriced. Duck in cherry and sauce with fries is £10.95, salmon with jacket potato £8.65. All food has to be ordered at the bar and is consequently brought to your table; drinks you have to carry on your own. This slight discomfort is balanced with relaxed atmosphere. This place has three floors and it is decorated in a traveller's style. You can see planes hanging from the ceiling, and the mermaid welcoming those arriving on boat. So you, traveller, should eat here.
Open daily 10:30am – 3:00pm and 6:00pm – 11:00pm, and all day on Sunday.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 28, 2006
Baileys Wine Bar and Bistro
78 High Street Bridgnorth
Ironbridge, United Kingdom
+44 01746 763445
Attraction | "Enginuity"
The simplest thing to do is to point the scanner machine to the objects with question marks; the screen will show the object and its history and functionality. You can even test the gained knowledge at the end of your visual tour.
More fun is, of course, to build and touch. You can build a building and then start artificial earthquake and see if your construction survives. Or, you can test your reaction against the speed and accuracy of a robot, generate electricity, and see how long it last while using different machines like TV, radio, blender… it is fun, but I would not like watching the TV while spinning the wheel to power it up.
There is even stuff to keep the kids amused while you are playing. Special performances are held regularly where kids can learn why things fly. Personally I was impressed how much such small creatures already know. I guess visiting Enginuity develops the hidden talents. So don’t hesitate to discover what is hidden in you, come play learn and have a good fun.
Entrance without passport ticket is £7,50/£ 5,50 concessions.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 13, 2006
Ironbridge Gorge Museums/Museum of the Gorge
The Wharfage, Ironbridge
Telford, Shropshire TF8 7AW
+44 (1952) 432-166
Attraction | "Museum of Iron & Darby Houses"
The upper floor takes to 1851 Great Exhibition, where the Coalbrookdale Co. showed off its finest work. Queen Victoria visited the Crystal Palace 41 times. How do you know? By sticking your head into one of the holes—you do not know where you are putting it until you see yourself in a fancy dress in the mirror placed in front of you. The museum keeps some of fine iron art pieces, like a statue of a dog, park bench, or wall plague of the Last Supper.
Opposite the main building, covered under shelter, is the old blast furnace. It was here where Abraham Darby, in 1709, first smelted iron, using coke instead of charcoal. The furnace was at that time already 50 years old but stayed in use until 1818 when it was enlarged. The furnace survived as part of a complex of foundry buildings and underwent many other changes, the story of which is still being pieced together.
Entrance without passport ticket is £6,50/£ 4,50 concessions.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 13, 2006
Attraction | "See it for free."
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?
Ironbridge, United Kingdom
Leicester, United Kingdom