Overnight StopAugust 30 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C
Great pub car park with overnight stop plus BnB
Great pub car park with overnight stop plus BnB
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
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.Read more
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
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
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
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!Read more
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!Read more
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.Read more
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
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