Around & About - The Meadow Inn, Ironbridge.
A GRAND DAY OUT
....AT IRONBRIDGE GORGE MUSEUM, SHROPSHIRE
In 1779, curious artists, iron founders and industrial spies travelled from far and wide to view Abraham Darby’s innovative new bridge built over the Severn. It was the first to use cast iron structurally and was hailed as a turning point in the Industrial Revolution.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ?
Dotted along the Iron Bridge Gorge World Heritage site are ten family-friendly museums. Costumed folk appear in and around the town of Blists Hill, where life in the late 1880s is re-enacted. Swap your cash for Victorian legal tender at the bank so you can buy ye olde remedies in the chemist and sherbet lemons in the sweetshop.
Witness the huge change the Iron Bridge made to the Coalbrookdale Valley by viewing a collection of paintings exhibited in honour of the 300th anniversary of the first time iron and coke were smelted successfully. William Morris’s view of the bridge is on show: he was commissioned by an eager Darby who wanted to capture the structure before its completion. This free exhibition begins on 4 April and is open Monday to Friday.
LOOK OUT FOR
Local hero Captain Matthew Webb’s scarlet silk underpants, worn under woollen long johns, are on show at the Museum of the Gorge. Record breaking Webb wore the garments on his courageous swim across the Channel in 1875 – the first person to complete the feat. He once rescued his brother from strong currents near the Iron Bridge.
WHAT TO TAKE
A head for heights.
WHEN TO GO
The museum opens daily from 10am to 5pm all year round.
For ticket prices and information: 01680 300201 or ironbridge.org.uk
STRETCH YOUR LEGS
Take in the full effect of Shropshire’s dramatic landscape by heading to the limestone promontory at the southern end of Lincoln Hill. Stumble upon fossils in and around the ancient woodland which covers large areas of the slopes, and explore the countryside via a winding network of trails created by the Severn Gorge Countryside Trust (01952 433880, severngorge.org.uk)