Oxfam Bookshop Cheltenham
The Ironbridge Gorge (midway between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury) was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution. The site is best symbolised by the Iron Bridge itself, cast in Coalbrookdale and erected across the River Severn in 1779. It was immediately hailed as one of the wonders of the age. The area had already established itself as the cutting edge of technological innovation and attracted engineers such as Telford and Trevithick. In 1709 Abraham Darby I successfully adopted coke for smelting iron - after which the Coalbrookdale Company spearheaded developments in the iron industry. During the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries other companies and products became synonymous with the district: Coalport porcelain, Broseley roof tiles and clay tobacco pipes, and decorative tiles from Maws and Craven Dunnill. Using archaeological and historical evidence, the authors chart the rise and fall of the iron, clay and coal industries of Ironbridge and bring to life the communities that worked in them. They have written the definitive guide to the surviving buildings and archaeological remains, portraying the distinctive character of a string of small settlements.
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