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A Day at Ironbridge: Cradle of the World’s Industrial Revolution

We welcome those attending the previous day of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham, any local and distant members of the IOP whether retired or still in harness, and any of their guests. Those attending the previous day at Birmingham may like to stay the night at the campus hotel and take the minibus to Ironbridge being laid on the next morning. See the Birmingham flyer for details. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Description Following a day of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham, we may move on to Ironbridge, cradle of the world’s Industrial Revolution and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. We shall visit various sites and museums covering the making of iron and steel, the early uses of these materials to build bridges and machinery and to make works of art and the production of china and tiles. We shall be led by an expert guide and taken by minibus for the longer legs of the tour.

Programme & Timetable (approximate times)


Recommended visit time 45 minutes TF8 7NH

We shall see a 12 m long model of the Gorge as it was in 1789 and watch a short film showing why Ironbridge Gorge became the birthplace of industry and one of the UK’s first World Heritage Sites. 


Recommended visit time 45 minutes TF8 7JP

We shall cross Abraham Darby III’s iconic Cast-iron Bridge over the Severn and visit the exhibition in the original Tollhouse showing how the Bridge, the first of its kind, was built in 1779. Here we can also explore the town of Ironbridge. (Photo by Roantrum - Flickr, CC BY 2.0,

12noon COALBROOKDALE MUSEUM OF IRON Recommended visit time 1.5 hours TF8 7DQ

We can see how Coalbrookdale changed the world and explore new galleries and see exhibits from the legendary Great Exhibition of 1851. Visit Abraham Darby’s revolutionary Old Furnace.

13:00 Time out for lunch – We lunch at The Furnace Eatery, a new restaurant offering a choice of lunchtime and evening menus. Please note this is soon to be launched and menus are not yet available

14:30 Jackfield Tile Museum

Recommended visit time: 1.5 hours

Explore the alchemy and artistry of tiles. The village of Jackfield was once one of the largest tile manufacturing areas in the world. Today you can walk amongst the very best examples displayed in galleries and recreated rooms; including a pub, tube station, church and many more. We shall see the history of design and fashion revealed in thousands of tiles and visit the John Scott Gallery - a world-class British tile collection.

There is free coach parking or a drop off facility at each museum. 

Where and when to meet: We meet for the first visit at the Museum of the Gorge, TF8 7NH in Ironbridge.

Getting there:  A chartered minibus will pick up those staying at the Birmingham University campus hotel at 09.00. It will take them to Telford Central Station where it will pick up others at 10:15. All will then be carried to the Museum of the Gorge for 10:30 where the programme begins. Those travelling independently by car can use the Museum Pay-and-Display car park at TF8 7NH.

Lunch: At the Furnace Eatery by the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron ca. 13:00. Subject to confirmation.

Timetable: See programme above

Size of party: 25 max.

Cost: £30.00 per person inc. all-day minibus travel and expert guide

Contacts: Ahead of the day, [email protected]  or 020 8398 0766. On the day 07930 171 307.

Late arrivals: Ring Tony at the above mobile number.


Organised By
London and the South East Retired Members Section
10 May 2019 10:30 to 17:00
The Museum of the Gorge
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