Museum of Iron & Darby Houses

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Vicho on March 13, 2006

If you are here with a real interest in the history connected with the construction of the Iron Bridge, then the Museum of Iron should not be missed. This museum shows you the secrets of Abraham Darby, who started smelting iron with cheap and plentiful coke, rather then expensive and inefficient charcoal. On the ground floor you will find the mini replica of furnace—working and also the plastic of how the city looked 250 years ago.

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.

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

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