Heritage & Story of The Gorge

‘The leaves soak-up the energy. The trees fall and turn to coal. Coal is solid sunlight, the stored memory of millions of uninhabited summers. Then one day, in Coalbrookdale, someone opens a hole in the ground and all that stored energy comes pouring out and is consumed in furnaces, engines, motors.’ Danny Boyle

A small riverside town in rural Shropshire seems an unlikely setting for the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. But the unique and natural environment formed during the Ice Age when the original flow of the River Severn was diverted and formed the now famous Ironbridge Gorge exposed vital ingredients of layers of limestone, coal, ironstone and clay. It took a man of great vision and imagination in the shape of Abraham Darby I , to put all of these vital ingredients together; he was the first, in 1709, to master major innovations in smelting iron with coke, which resulted in the production of better quality iron which in turn led to his grandson Abraham Darby III overseeing the building of the first ever cast-Iron Bridge. 

Watch this space for a full online programme of Ironbridge Coracle Making Heritage from the Ironbridge Coracle Trust as well as ‘back by popular demand’ an online version of our famous “Blist Hill Fish & Chip Walk with Q&A’ . All on our new for 2020 Festival TV page.

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Coracle TV: Ironbridge Gorge Coracle Drift

Coracle TV: Ironbridge Gorge Coracle Drift

Category: Environment & The River Severn, Festival TV, Heritage & Story of the Gorge

Date & Time: 10:00 - 10:15 on Sun 27 Sep 2020

Partner: Ironbridge Coracle Trust



The Ironbridge Coracle was made from a lightweight frame of narrow ash laths or splints. Coracle frames were made with whatever was available locally -  such as split ash laths, or woven Hazel or Willow withies. They were originally covered with animal hide and later with calico or similar material waterproofed with pitch and tar. They were used on rivers in England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.

Sit back and watch this relaxing short video of the crew from the Ironbridge Coracle Trust drifting down the gorge.

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Story of the Gorge: Making of World Famous Film

Story of the Gorge: Making of World Famous Film

Category: Festival TV, Heritage & Story of the Gorge

Date & Time: 19:00 - 20:30 on Sun 27 Sep 2020

Partner: Telford -The Ultimate Guide

A 1hr 30min film telling the story of the Gorge, from its creation, to the villages, to the people who live there. First shown at last year's festival and updated for the Festival of Imagination 2020.

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