Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site

Canyon in the United Kingdom

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Ironbridge Gorge
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Iron Bridge east side in February 2019.jpg
LocationIronbridge, United Kingdom
CriteriaCultural: i, ii, iv, vi
Inscription1986 (10th session)
Area547.9 ha
Coordinates52°37′35″N 2°28′22″W / 52.62639°N 2.47278°W / 52.62639; -2.47278
Ironbridge Gorge is located in Shropshire
Ironbridge Gorge
Location of Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire
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Ironbridge Gorge is located in the United Kingdom
Ironbridge Gorge
Ironbridge Gorge (the United Kingdom)
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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.

  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 (1–4): 274–308. doi:10.1144/GSL.JGS.1924.080.01-04.15.

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    Town in Shropshire, England

  • Coalbrookdale

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  • Madeley, Shropshire

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  • Benthall, Shropshire

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