See Ironbridge through history

Inspire your family with a journey to England’s past

 

1227

Henry de Audley, Lord of the Welsh Marches, builds a castle on the crags a little north of Shrewsbury. A grand hall – Hawkstone – is built on the park in the early 18th century, followed by a fantasy landscape of follies.

DO IT: Explore the 'ruins', cliffs and caves of the dreamlike landscape of Hawkstone Park Follies on a family day out with treasure hunts, storytelling and activities.

http://www.hawkstoneparkfollies.co.uk/history/

1654

Elizabeth Mytton marries baronet Sir Thomas Wilbraham, and drives the building of the magnificent country house at Weston Park. Set in 1,000 acres of parkland designed by Capability Brown in 1765, it now houses a superb collection of fine art.

DO IT: Climb the broad, stately staircases and investigate the painting-clad rooms of the grand house at Weston Park, learning about past lives – then get active in the rolling grounds, hopping aboard the miniature railway and clambering around the woodland adventure playground.

http://www.weston-park.com/introduction

1709

Abraham Darby I devises the coke-fired blast furnace at his premises in Coalbrookdale – transforming iron production and kick-starting the Industrial Revolution.

DO IT: Learn about the revolutionary techniques developed by Darby and his associates at the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, and watch metal being worked in traditional fashion at the immersive Blists Hill Victorian Town (being sure to stop for sweets and chips in the reconstructed shops).

http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/our-attractions/coalbrookdale-museum-of-iron/

http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/our-attractions/blists-hill-victorian-town/

1748

The first bone china is developed by Thomas Frye in East London. A few decades later, in 1795, the Coalport China Factory is founded in Coalbrookdale by John Rose.

DO IT: Discover traditional china-making techniques at the Coalport China Museum and join a ceramic-painting workshop during school holidays.

http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/our-attractions/coalport-china-museum/

1779

Abraham Darby III, grandson of the innovative metallurgist, constructs a spectacular Iron Bridge over the Severn – the first fabricated from cast iron.

DO IT: Gawp at the gorge-ous views from the span of the Iron Bridge, and learn how this amazing creation was built in the Tollhouse exhibition.

http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/our-attractions/the-iron-bridge-and-tollhouse/

 

1850

The forerunner of the modern Olympic Games is held in Much Wenlock, brainchild of Dr William Penny Brookes, founder of the Wenlock Olympian Society.

DO IT: Follow the Wenlock Olympian Trail around this historic village, stopping to explore the ancient ruined priory.

http://www.wenlock-olympian-society.org.uk/history/wenlock-olympian-trail/

1862

The Severn Valley Railway opens, linking Hartlebury with Shrewsbury and serving Coalport and Ironbridge. Closed in 1963 thanks to Beeching’s recommendations, it reopens as a heritage line in the early 1970s.

DO IT: Chug between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster, pulled by the beautiful steam locomotives of the Severn Valley Railway – look out for special themed family fun events.

http://www.svr.co.uk/

1918

The Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service are amalgamated to create the Royal Air Force.

DO IT: Follow the history of aviation through the decades at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, where you can admire more than 70 aircraft.

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/

1963

Dawley New Town is designated on 16 January. In 1968 it is renamed Telford.

DO IT: Romp to your heart’s content in Telford Town Park, a cast green swathe packed with play areas, adventure golf, cycling routes and treetop trails.

http://www.telfordtownpark.co.uk/

 

For more information on planning your visit to Ironbridge, explore http://www.visitironbridge.co.uk/
 Visit Kent

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate