United Kingdom

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10 travelers at this place

  • Day90

    Ironbridge Gorge

    July 30, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    It was here that Quaker Abraham Darby developed the technique of smelting iron using coke instead of charcoal, allowing a much cheaper production of iron. His grandson built the world's first cast-iron bridge as a symbol of the Industrial Revolution. It was completed in 1781, and is one of the few still standing.

    There are 10 attractions in this area, and since we are here for two weeks, we bought "annual passports" so we could see them all. It is a huge savings of £26.50 per person, compared to paying separate admission fees.

    Today we visited the Ironbridge Gorge Museum to learn about the history of the area. Ironbridge is on the River Severn, and is rich in all the materials needed for iron production. Materials were hauled in trows, powered by wind when possible, or pulled by horses. The river floods periodically, and in the museum, there is a high-water mark. You can see drains in the floors so the water can escape easily.

    The bridge is being worked on so it is covered by plastic. So I took a picture of a painting.
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  • Day90

    1900 Victorian Town

    July 30, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    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

  • Day90

    Blists Hill Industries

    July 30, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Some of the industrial areas on Blists Hill, and a portion of the actual Shropshire canal. The first boat is an ice-breaker: horses would pull it along from the towpath and teams of men would rock the boat side-to-side to break up the ice on the river or canal. The other boat is made of iron, and is pulled by horses.Read more

  • Day90

    Victorian Childhood

    July 30, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    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

  • Day91

    Coalport China Museum

    July 31, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    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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  • Day100

    Day 100: Ironbridge & Amberley

    May 26, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 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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  • Day90

    Life in the Victorian Town

    July 30, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Three houses showing different levels of society. The Industrial age helped many more people rise in status than previously.

  • Day553


    November 28, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    We stayed for two nights in Ironbridge on our route north on a CL site on the south side of the gorge at the top of the hill.. The weather was drizzle wet for most of the time.
    We soon realised that this location merits a much longer stay, it is the cradle of the Industrial revolution and is a Unesco World Heritage site laden with places of interest to visit.
    We walked down to the bridge which has been recently renovated and returned to its original colour. It was built by Abraham Darby III to the design of an architect from Shrewsbury - Thomas Prichard. Despite the rain the views as we walked and the town at the other side of the bridge were very pretty. The shops were festooned for Christmas and were stocked with unusual crafty items, so we did some of our Christmas shopping here. We then walked along the river to Coalport and up to Blist Hill returning via the woods to Ironbridge. The River Severn was quite full after all the rain. The walk back up the hill to our site was extremely steep, but we managed it and felt that we had certainly had the exercise we needed today!
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