Ironbridge Gorge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ironbridge Gorge
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Location Ironbridge, United Kingdom
Coordinates 52°37′35″N 2°28′22″W / 52.6264°N 2.4728°W / 52.6264; -2.4728
Criteria Cultural: (i), (ii), (iv), (vi)
Reference 371
Inscription 1986 (10th Session)
Ironbridge Gorge is located in the United Kingdom
Ironbridge Gorge
Location of Ironbridge Gorge
[edit on Wikidata]
Ironbridge Gorge is located in Shropshire
Ironbridge Gorge
Ironbridge Gorge shown within Shropshire (grid reference SJ672033)
The Ironbridge Gorge looking east towards the Iron Bridge

The Ironbridge Gorge is a deep gorge, containing the River Severn in Shropshire, England. It was first formed by a glacial overflow from the long drained away Lake Lapworth, at the end of the last ice age. The deep exposure of the rocks cut through by the gorge exposed commercial deposits of coal, iron ore, limestone and fireclay, which enabled the rapid economic development of the area during the early Industrial Revolution.[1][2]

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 water from the previously north-flowing river became trapped in a lake (Lake Lapworth) created when the Irish Sea ice sheet dammed the river. The lake level rose until the water flowed through the hills to the south. This flow eroded a path through the hills, forming the gorge and permanently diverting the Severn southwards.[3][4][5][6]

The Gorge parish

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. It is divided into three parish wards: Lightmoor, Ironbridge, and Coalport & Jackfield. The parish council has its offices and holds its meetings at the Maws Craft Centre in Jackfield.[7]

The population of this civil parish at the 2011 census was 3,275.[8]

Conservation in the Gorge

Green Wood Centre has spent over twenty years training new coppice and woodland workers, with the aim of reviving the coppicing industry.

Severn Gorge Countryside Trust manages most of the woodland, grassland and other countryside within the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, around 260 hectares (640 acres) in all. BTCV's Green Gym works with the trust to assist them on woodland work.

Severn Gorge Countryside Trust and The Green Wood Centre run a joint volunteer project enabling local people to engage locally in activities such as coppicing, scrub removal, deer fencing, step building and woodland management.


Downstream from the ironbridge - - 267024.jpg
Redressing the bridge - - 599687.jpg
The Iron Bridge (Aerial).JPG
Downstream from the ironbridge Redressing the bridge Aerial view

See also


  1. ^ Pannett, David (2008). "The Ice Age Legacy in North Shropshire" (PDF). Proceedings of the Shropshire Geological Society. 13: 86–91. ISSN 1750-855X. 
  2. ^ Wills, L.J. (1924). "The Development of the Severn Valley in the Neighbourhood of Iron-Bridge and Bridgnorth". Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society. 80: 274–308. doi:10.1144/GSL.JGS.1924.080.01-04.15. 
  3. ^ Lapworth, C. (1898).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Harmer, F.W. (1907). "The Origin of Certain Cañon-like Valleys". Quart. J. geol. Soc. Lond. 63: 470–514. doi:10.1144/GSL.JGS.1907.063.01-04.33. 
  5. ^ Wills, L.J. (1924). "The Development of the Severn Valley in the Neighbourhood of Iron-Bridge and Bridgnorth". Quart. J. geol. Soc. Lond. 80: 274–308. doi:10.1144/GSL.JGS.1924.080.01-04.15. 
  6. ^ Beckinsale, R.P.; Richardson, L. (1964). "Recent Findings on the Physical Development of the Lower Severn Valley". The Geographical Journal. 130 (1): 87–105. JSTOR 1794269. 
  7. ^ "Welcome". The Gorge Parish Council. 2014-02-04. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  8. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 25 November 2015. 

External links

  • Ironbridge Gorge Visitor Information
  • Telford Culture Zone
  • Tourism Website for Ironbridge
  • Ironbridge
  • Ironbridge Pub Locations
  • Ironbridge Gorge Tourism website
  • ITV Local footage at Ironbridge Gorge
  • Photo of the Gorge from the air[permanent dead link]
  • The Ironbridge Gorge by Virtual Shropshire
  • World Heritage Site information from UNESCO
  • Map of UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Ironbridge Archaeology
  • Green Wood Centre
  • Severn Gorge Countryside Trust
  • Green Gym
  • Landslides in the Ironbridge Gorge by the British Geological Survey
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Ironbridge Gorge"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA