original Iron Bridge which gives this place its
name still stands today, a beautiful curving structure spanning the
silvern Severn river. However, once it stood in the most industrialised
area in the world – a stinking, smoking, ruined landscape of
mining, shipping, foundries and processing – the heart of the
Industrial Revolution in England. The cast iron railings on the bridge
bear two sets of characters in relief on the upper arc and in the
centre of the circular motif:
'TABLE OF TOLLS.
time they pass over this BRIDGE.
For every Coach, Landau, Hearse, Chaise, Chair, or such like}
drawn by Six Horses, Mares, Geldings, or
Ditto ________ by Four Ditto ______________________
Ditto ________ by Two
Ditto ________ by One Ditto ______________________
Horse, Mule, Ass, pair of Oxen Drawing or
to draw any Waggon, Cart or such like carriage, for each Horse
For a Horse, Mule, or Ass, laden or unladen
For a Horse, Mule, or Ass carrying
For an Ox, Cow, or neat
For a Calf, Pig, Sheep or
For every Horse, Mule, Ass or carriage going on the roads
and not over the Bridge, half the said tolls.
For every Foot passenger, going over the
N.B. This Bridge being
property, every Officer of
Soldier, whether on
duty or not, is
liable to pay toll for
passing over, as well
as any baggage
waggon Mail coach or
the Royal Family.'
Down the slope from the
Iron Bridge, just past a traffic roundabout is a former...
..., in 2012 a
restaurant. Note the inverted 'V' forming the crossbar of the letter
One of the more affordable of the ten historical 'attractions' in
Coalbrookdale is the Tar Tunnel, close to the Inclined Plain which
replaced the tunnel as a mean of lifting cargo boats to a canal. This
footbridge spans the river nearby.
The first plaque
encountered on the footbridge (nearest to the Tar Tunnel) is on the
THIS BRIDGE IS FREE
O TREAD IT REVERENTLY
IN MEMORY OF THOSE
WHO DIED FOR THEE
This is a more
decorative plaque with its shaped surround and the font of the main
legend (see the Ancient Egyptian pylon-shaped 'H').
The second plaque reads:
the path from the country pub near the
footbridge on the far side, the long, high brick walls of a works
one-time factory of:
HONOURED MEMORY OF
OUR COMRADES FROM JACKFIELD AND COALPORT
WHO FELL IN WORLD WARD NOS. 1 AND 2
1914 - 1918
1939 - 1945
[7 names; 1 Missing (in action)]
GROW NOT OLD AS WE THAT ARE LEFT GROW OLD,
NOT WEARY THEM NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN.
GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING,
REMEMBER THEM" '
'MAW & CO.
manufacture of decorative tiles in Ironbridge Gorge
began with the arrival in 1852 of John Hornby Maw and his two sons,
George and Arthur. They traded as Maw & Co., initially from the
Benthall works on this site and then from a second factory opened in
Jackfield in 1883. Father and sons had moved from Worcester in order to
utilise the Shropshire clays which were perfect for the manufacture of
decorative tiles. Maw & Co. enjoyed a local monopoly until
& Denny took over a dilapidated potworks in Jackfield in the
1860s. For their first forty years they mainly produced the tiles and
tesserae for which they are best known. In the last decade of the
nineteenth century they started making high quality art pottery. The
help of well known artists such as Lewis Day and Walter Crane was
enlisted for the design of both art pottery and tiles. The company
built up an international reputation and their work was exhibited at
the most prestigious fairs including the Chicago World Fair of 1893.
They were chosen for the execution of decorative work on the Maharaja's
palace at Mysore. Maw & Company continued production at the
Benthall Works until 1967 when they ceased trading.
1852 REBUILT 1883'
The fine set of iron
gates below the ceramic tile sign opens onto a courtyard which is now
home to all sorts of craft
makers and suppliers' shops. There is also an original doorway with the
tiled sign, complete with pointing finger:
See also Bridgnorth (includes the Severn Valley Railway) and Ludlow.
to Historic Lettering from outside
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