Ironbridge, a UNESCO 'World Heritage Site' is an unassuming little village.
Deep within the Severn Gorge, it was host to the birth of the Industrial Revolution when Abraham Darby III first perfected the art of using coke, rather than charcoal, to smelt iron in 1709. The discovery led directly to the construction within the gorge of the World's first iron bridge in 1779. Built over a period of just three months it is approximately 8M wide with a span of around 30M.
The narrowness of the gorge, which may have been a factor in the positioning of the bridge, provides a cramped location for the village and leads to a very limited number of parking spaces. Refreshment facilities are disappointing too. What few establishments there are generally offer menus which can only be described as 'confused' with dishes that are unnecessarily 'complicated'. The Tontine Hotel, just across the road from the bridge is alone in providing more traditional fare and is to be congratulated on its 'Cheese Ploughmans' lunch!