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Locomotive on Viaduct This diesel locomotive pulls a long line of empty coal trucks up from the Ironbridge Gorge power station over the viaduct crossing Upper Furnace Pool in Coalbrookdale
Coalbrookdale by Night by Philip James de Loutherbourg, 1801. It shows Madeley Wood (or Bedlam) Furnaces, which belonged to the Coalbrookdale Company from 1776 to 1796.

Coalbrookdale is a village in the Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire, England. It is in an area of great significance in the history of industrialisation. This is where iron ore was first smelted by Abraham Darby using easily mined "coking coal".[1]

The coal was drawn from drift mines in the sides of the valley. As it contained far fewer impurities than normal coal, the iron it produced was of a superior quality. Along with many other industrial developments that were going on in other parts of the country, this discovery was a major factor in the growing industrialisation of Britain. It was the Industrial Revolution.[2]

Today, Coalbrookdale is home to the Ironbridge Institute, a partnership between the University of Birmingham and the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust offering postgraduate and professional courses in heritage.

References[change | change source]

  1. Thomas E. 1999. Coalbrookdale and the Darby family: the story of the world's first industrial dynasty. York: Sessions/Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. ISBN 1-85072-217-X
  2. Trinder B. 2000. The industrial revolution in Shropshire. 3rd ed, Chichester: Phillimore. ISBN 1-86077-133-5