Ironbridge Gorge

From Academic Kids

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The Ironbridge Gorge looking east towards the Iron Bridge that gave the gorge its name
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View of the Warfage taken from the centre of the bridge

Template:GBmap The Ironbridge Gorge is a deep gorge formed by the river Severn in Shropshire, in England.

Originally called the Severn Gorge and sometimes Coalbrookdale, the gorge now takes its name from the village of Ironbridge, which is in turn named after its famous iron bridge, the first of its kind in the world, and a monument to the industry that began there. The bridge was built in 1779 to link the industral town of Broseley with Madeley Wood and Coalbrookdale.

It is a beautiful and scenic place which also has great historical importance: it is said to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. This began in Coalbrookdale with Abraham Darby's invention of a process for producing high quality iron. Other local towns, such as Broseley, Coalport and Jackfield, grew to make the area an industrial centre.

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 created by glaciers to the north. 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 hills forming the gorge and permanently diverting the Severn southwards.

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.

External Links

Ironbridge Gorge Museums (http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/)

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