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The Iron Bridge

The Iron Bridge
Iron Bridge © Cognitive Applications/Kaho Lee

Who could believe it? A bridge made of iron! We take such things for granted now but, in 1779, when the one in the town of Ironbridge was built by the Darby family firm, nobody had dared conceive of using iron as a building material. It was a breakthrough moment in the industrial revolution.

The true test came unexpectedly in 1795, when severe flooding washed away a nearby bridge of stone. The Iron Bridge stayed put, defying the elements, safe as houses. Before you knew it, everybody wanted one. Today, it is a World Heritage site, jewel in the crown of a rural county that once found itself the centre of the world.