Coalport Bridge

Some folks say that Shropshire was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. It was in Coalbrookdale that Abraham Darby first smelted iron using coke as fuel. He built the first ever iron bridge which crossed the River Severn at a place we now call Ironbridge.

Just upstream, a second bridge was built at Coalport. The year was 1818.

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The bridge is made of cast iron and is topped off with the neat sign I photographed back in 1972.

This was at least the third bridge built here. A wooden bridge with a central pier was washed away in 1795 and a hybrid wood and iron bridge replaced it, opening in 1799. But the bridge proved inadequate and it was completely replaced by the present iron bridge. It was ‘renewed’ and strengthened in 2004/5 and still carries road traffic.

It is rather an unsung neighbour of THE Ironbridge but it is a very elegant structure in its own right.

If you happen to be in the area, then it is near the tar tunnel and a pottery works. They are all well worth a visit.

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