Newest Review: ... informative. We could pay £3.60 as an adult to see the museum or £21.95 to get a passport to all museums. There are discounts available ... more
Ironbridge Gorge Museum
Ironbridge Gorge Museum (Ironbridge)
Member Name: polydeuces
Ironbridge Gorge Museum (Ironbridge)
Under the title Ironbridge Gorge Museum there are a number of different museums all located close to the River Severn as it passes close to Telford. The total area of the museums is about 6 miles and n-one could feasibly see them all in a day. There is therefore a passport system which enables you to visit them all over as many days in the following 12 months as you wish. This passport costs £10 for adults and £6 for children. I appreciate this is a lot to fork out for a family and a family ticket at £30 is only really good value if you have more than 2 children (it pays for up to 5 kids) but if you get more than 2 days out of the ticket then you have probably got your moneys worth. A single site ticket is available but only useful if you know your visit is a one-off.
The museums are as follows :-
This is the main museum and is a full Victorian town. It has a bank where you can get 'old' money to use in the shops. There are houses to visit as well as the doctors and the dentists with its frightening array of implements of torture, sorry, dentistry. There is a blacksmith and a bakery as well as small factories. There are a few places around where you can stop in the gardens a Those familiar with Beamish in the North East of England may be a little disappointed. I thought it was not as well done as Beamish which has the benefit of being more widespread.
Coalport China Museum
There are large displays of China in buildings which once housed the Coalport china works. There are tableaux showing how the work was done in the factory. Just alongside the museum is the fascinating Box Tunnel. This is where natural bitumen was recovered around 200 years ago.
Iron Bridge and Tollhouse
Since its construction in 1779 this amazing structure has attracted visitors from all over the world. Those wishing to cross the river using the bridge had to pay a toll and the museum depicting the history of the bridge is now found in the tollhouse.
Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron
As you would expect at Ironbridge the work of the iron craftsmen was famous. In addition to the Bridge there was fountains, gates and all sorts of ornate ironwork produced here and this can be seen is this part of the museum. Alongside are some quakers houses built on the hill opposite the foundry where the iron was made.
This shows how tiles and ceramics are made and where the raw materials for this factory came from. It shows how tiles were made and how they are made now.
This is a museum of the clay pipes which were once prominently used for smoking tobacco. This factory is one which has changed little since it was built. A fascinating place to visit.
Museum Of The Gorge
Housed in an old 1830s warehouse is an exhibition of the whole area around showing the Victorian infrastructure which existed there.
It is impossible to see all the attractions at once. I do have to say I feel it sometimes is all a bit too much and the attractions are stretching it a bit. Perhaps the modern curators of the museum could take a leaf from the book of the original inhabitants and integrate the attractions a little better, particularly by having some form of transport available to get around. This is something Beamish does very well with their old buses.
It is interesting but not captivating. A few more areas to sit would help and perhaps a few more refreshment places. Those which are there tend to get crowded. There are plenty of toilets dotted around though. All things considered Ironbridge is good but could do better.
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