In addition to patchwork quilt farmland, rolling hills and bustling, historic towns, the county of Shropshire is well known for its industrial heritage. The Ironbridge is perhaps the county's most significant industrial site. Not only does the bridge mark an overwhelming feat of engineering, but it adds a fascinating layer of social context to the surrounding area. If you're staying in a hotel in Shropshire, the bridge should be high up on your list of things to see.
What Exactly is Iron Bridge?
Iron Bridge isn't just any old iron bridge. The landmark is historically significant for a number of reasons. To begin with, when it opened back in 1781, Iron Bridge was the first arch-bridge in the world to be constructed from cast iron. Indeed, at the time, Shropshire was pioneering the use of new materials.
With plenty of coal mines at work in the immediate area, the ability to transport large amounts of resources was essential to the region's prosperity. The River Severn posed one of the biggest strategic hurdles in this respect. The Iron Bridge was able to cross the river, greatly reducing journey times.
Iron Bridge has been close to vehicular traffic since 1934, but it can be accessed on foot.
Where is the Bridge Located?
The Grade 1 listed bridge is located on the edge of the village of Ironbridge, which lies on the Northern bank of the River Severn. Not far from the busy towns of Telford and Shrewsbury, the bridge is an ideal day trip for those staying elsewhere in Shropshire. Equally, there are a number of excellent hotels in the immediate area.
Visitors looking to be close to Iron Bridge and to embrace the peace and quiet of this naturally beautiful area can find a hotel or guest house in the nearby village of Much Wenlock. The medieval village is home to some spectacular architecture, as well as an old priory and a whole host of independent shops and places to eat.
The village of Ironbridge itself is also worth a visit. Overlooking the waters of the River Severn, the village garners a tranquil atmosphere. There are also a handful of quaint local pubs, perfect for a refreshment in the afternoon or evening.