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    • Day32

      Telford- Blists Victorian Village

      January 8, 2020 in England ⋅ ☁️ 46 °F

      Most of the buildings here were moved to this created town from other areas. Taken apart brick-by-brick and put back together, the buildings were interpreted by period costumed workers who were incredibly knowledgeable. It was so quiet that they seemed genuinely happy to chat.

      The brick and clay works was really interesting.
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      It still amazes me how “old” things are over there..... Here we think something is old if it’s from the 1800’s!!!

    • Day93

      Jackfield Tile Museum

      August 2, 2018 in England ⋅ ⛅ 70 °F

      This is one of the ten museums of the Ironbridge Trust, housed in the old factory buildings. Decorative tiles were produced in Jackfield from early 1700s. We have always admired tile, and more so now that we understand some about the process. It was such a large collection of tiles, which were decorated in various ways, and we saw examples of how they were used. It became very popular in Victorian times as a way to make surfaces sanitary as well as decorative.Read more


      Yes yes yes 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻🧡🧡🧡🧡

    • Day100

      Day 100: Ironbridge & Amberley

      May 26, 2017 in England ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Hard to believe it's been 100 days since we left Australia! But we thought we should celebrate in the most appropriate way possible: a long drive and UNESCO World Heritage site! We left fairly early, around 9am, and made our way north-east along several freeways to Stratford-upon-Avon, our first port of call.

      We stopped first at Anne Hathaway's cottage, which looked nice although quite touristy and expensive. Anne Hathaway was of course Shakespeare's wife, and likely no relation to the currently-famous Anne Hathaway. We took a few pictures from the road outside, and sated ourselves with a cream tea in the sunny garden cafe nearby. Drove through the rest of Stratford, but pressed onwards since we had a lot more miles to cover today.

      From here we headed northwest again, still lots of motorway driving and an annoying amount of traffic since it was the Friday before a long weekend. After a brief stop at services for lunch (Burger King and a Marks & Spencer sushi box), we finally arrived at Ironbridge Gorge around 2:30pm.

      It's hard to believe these days, but these tiny little villages in Shropshire were once at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution. Ironbridge is home to the world's first cast-iron bridge, which opened up new possibilities for constructing things like taller buildings and higher railway bridges. It was in this area as well, where a local man first had the idea to use coke, a coal mining byproduct, to heat the blast furnaces smelting iron. This resulted in much stronger and purer iron, less rust and of course removing the need to chop down trees en mass for wood to burn.

      We did some filming at the bridge, then wandered over to the museum which wanted 10 pounds for entry. We declined, but thankfully the most interesting part - the original blast furnace - was in a separate building away from the carpark, so we wandered briefly around there, filmed what we needed to, and snuck away. Sorry!

      Back in the car where we commenced the long 2.5 hour drive south to the Cotswolds and our house-sit. It's time to take a break from travelling for a few days, and we've arranged to look after a trio of dogs for a family while they holiday in London.

      We met the family and the dogs and had a good chat, went over all the routines and everything, then headed to the pub for dinner. It's in a tiny little town called Amberley just outside Stroud in the Cotswolds. The house is quite nice and the dogs are lovely, so I think we'll be quite comfortable here for the next few days! And we'll hopefully get a lot of work done as well - I'm chronically behind in both my writing and my videos!
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      Anne Hathaway's cottage. I haven't researched its authenticity so take that with a grain of salt!


      The world's first cast-iron bridge


      Iron Museum

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    • Day90

      1900 Victorian Town

      July 30, 2018 in England ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

      Blists Hill was an actual working site with mines, blast furnaces, factories, and a canal, and some of those buildings are still there. There was never a town on the site, but the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust re-created one from buildings that were either transported here or built using traditional materials. It was fun to see people dressed in Victorian costumes and working as if it were really 1900.Read more


      Bill would appreciate this place...Teeth "carefully" extracted!


      You noticed how carefully I took the picture!

    • Day98

      Darby House, Coalbrookdale

      August 7, 2018 in England ⋅ ⛅ 70 °F

      Because Quakers refused to swear oaths of allegiance, they were excluded from professions such as legal, medical, teaching, the military, etc. As a result, most were involved in industry, commerce, and banking. At first they were shunned. Eventually they were viewed as good business partners, and thus became successful. Abraham Darby I and his family owned the Ironworks and lived near the factory. We visited their house to see how they lived. They dressed in plain clothes so as not to stand out. Eventually the way they dressed made them stand out, so many gave up the plain clothes.Read more

    • Day99

      Much Wenlock, Historic Market Town

      August 8, 2018 in England ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

      Not far from where we are house-and-dog-sitting, is a market town by the curious name of Much Wenlock. It was fun to see, and we were surprised to find out that Dr. William Penny Brooks started the Much Wenlock Olympics back in the 1800s as an effort to improve physical fitness. He worked to include physical education in the schools. And the founder of the International Olympic Games patterned them after this town's local activities.

      The town is full of charming buildings. In this first one, the half-timbered building is the Guildhall (like a city hall) and had a butter market on the ground floor.

      The last picture is of a farm in the town, which has been converted into condos. The farmers lived in town and worked their fields that were scattered outside of the village.
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    • Day95

      Coalbrookdale: Museum of Iron

      August 4, 2018 in England ⋅ ⛅ 70 °F

      We learned all about the iron industry, and the uses of cast iron which made this area so famous. It all started with the making of three legged cooking kettles (more stable than four legs), and expanded from utilitarian items to decorative ones. It became the style in Victorian times to have cast iron park furniture and home decorations.

      In 1851, the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, or the first World's Fair, was held in Hyde Park, London, in a cast iron and glass Crystal Palace.
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    • Day95

      Colebrookdale Museum: Enginuity

      August 4, 2018 in England ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

      This is another one of the Ironbridge museums we visited. It is an interactive museum of design and technology for children of all ages, even those in their second childhood! It was a fun morning; reminded us of children's museums we used to take the kids to.

      The Aga "cooker" (stove) in the last picture is like the one we are using at our current housesit, except the owners' is white. It was invented in 1922, is cast iron, and stores heat. It is used not just for cooking, but as a heat source, a clothes drier (racks are put on top of the cooker to lay clothes on), a toaster, and probably more. The top right oven cooks very quickly, so I have to check often to make sure the food isn't burning. The lower right oven works like a slow cooker, and makes good soups!
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    • Day91

      Coalport China Museum

      July 31, 2018 in England ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

      Victorians loved their tea! This increased the demand for china. Coalport bone china was made in the Ironbridge area from 1795 to 1926. We saw so many beautiful original patterns, and learned how it was made.

      This is a bottle kiln. It is a chamber within a chamber, with coal fire pits all around the inside chamber. The clay pieces are put into containers called saggars; the saggars are then stacked into the inside chamber, and the fires lit. It a week to load the kiln, fire the china (1230 Celsius for the first firing), and let it cool. Then the pieces were dipped in a glaze and fired again. Finally they were decorated, fired at different temperatures for each color and fired once more after the application of gold. Of course, only the wealthy could afford to buy it!
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    • Day90

      Victorian Childhood

      July 30, 2018 in England ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

      During the Industrial Revolution jobs increased and the need for cheap labor meant more children than ever before were working. Legislation to limit child labor started in 1833, and more laws were passed over the remainder of the 1800s, but many chose to get around them. By 1900, laws required children to be 12 or older to work, and also required schooling under age 12.Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Coalbrookdale, Колбрукдейл

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