Ironbridge Gorge

The Ironbridge Gorge is a deep gorge formed by the River Severn in Telford, Shropshire, England.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Originally called the Severn Gorge, the gorge now takes its name from its famous Iron Bridge, the first iron bridge of its kind in the world, and a monument to the industry that began there. The bridge was built in 1779 to link the industrial town of Broseley with the smaller mining town of Madeley and the growing industrial centre of Coalbrookdale.

There are two reasons the site was so useful to the early industrialists. The raw materials, coal, iron ore, limestone and clay, for the manufacture of iron, tiles and porcelain are exposed or easily mined in the gorge. The deep and wide river allowed easy transport of products to the sea.

The gorge carries the River Severn south towards the Bristol Channel. It was formed during the last ice age when the output from the previously north flowing river became trapped in a lake (Lake Lapworth) created when the Irish Sea ice sheet dammed the river. The level of the lake rose until it was able to flow over the hills to the south. This flow eroded a path through the hill

The Gorge is a civil parish of Telford and Wrekin borough. It covers the part of Ironbridge Gorge that falls within the Telford and Wrekin Council area, which is most of it, and includes settlements such as Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale and Coalport (but not Buildwas or Broseley) and part of Jackfield.

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