Ironbridge Gorge facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Ironbridge GorgeĀ *
Ironbridge002.JPG
The Iron Bridge
Country United Kingdom
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iv, vi
Reference 371
RegionĀ ** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1986 (10th Session)

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.

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.

History

The gorge takes its name from its famous "Iron Bridge", the first iron bridge of its kind in the world. It is 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.

The Iron Bridge was the first arch bridge in the world to be made out of cast iron. a material which was previously far too expensive to use for large structures. However, a new blast furnace nearby lowered the cost. This encouraged local engineers and architects to solve a long-standing problem of a crossing over the river.

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. Second, the deep and wide river allowed easy transport of products to the sea.

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Ironbridge Gorge Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.