Ironbridge – The birthplace of the Industrial Revolution
I visited this WHS in June 2016. Arriving from South Wales by car, I drove through several rural roads to get to Ironbrige. I parked at the pay and display car park next to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum (worth visiting) which is just a short walk away from the symbol of Industrial Revolution. Although there is a National Heritage sign just in front of the bridge, hidden just behind it in a corner with a dustbin strapped to the railings in front of it (not impressed at all!!!) was the official UNESCO plaque. Just a small trivia; apparently in 1987, the UK company in charge of producing the UNESCO plaques for the UK WH sites inscribed in 1986, made a mistake and all these signs have the same mistake “inscribed in 1987” or “1987” instead of 1986. In fact, the manager at Caernafon Castle in Wales (who told me about this!) removed the sign which is now hidden in the castle’s multimedia room until new plaques arrive. Anyhow, apart from the several museums and a pleasant walk by the river just below the old tollhouse, there isn’t much to entertain a longer visit. The village itself is very touristy and although I tried Eley’s world famous hand raised pork pies (the small ones are more than enough!), I very much preferred Eley’s hot pastries which I ate on the bench just opposite while enjoying the view. Considering the link with Blaenavon’s industrial heritage for example, I think it would have made much more sense in terms of OUV to have one WHS inscription in the UK linked to the industrial heritage of iron production which would include both sites.
World heritage site