Some Ironbridge Towers ~ The River Between


Following on from yesterday’s Iron Bridge visit, this first photo is for Jude. She wanted to know if the Ironbridge cooling towers still existed. The power station, just upstream from the Iron Bridge, has been recently decommissioned. There are plans for demolition, and the site to be developed for housing.

There are four cooling towers, and if you walk along the river they loom dramatically above you. Love them or hate them,  Jude and I are for them. They are anyway part of our industrial heritage, though mainly I like them because they look like giant flower pots. And I like them even more now they aren’t giving off dirty-coal fumes.

Across the river, just downstream of the cooling towers is the Severn Warehouse – now part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum (where I used to work). This building has much smaller towers, but they are impressive in their own way. Built in the gothic style by the Coalbrookdale Company in 1834, it was used to store the factory’s iron goods until they could be shipped by barge to Bristol and thence out to the wide world. You can see the tramway down to the wharfage (bottom left). A veritable citadel of industry then, though a spot of weeding looks to be called for up in the castellations:


If you would like to take a very interesting walk around the Ironbridge Gorge there is an excellent trail guide HERE


Roof Squares  See Becky’s very unusual Portuguese bread oven

Six Word Saturday  And some marvellously commemorative artwork from Debbie

30 thoughts on “Some Ironbridge Towers ~ The River Between

    1. Some point might be being made here. Most of the Darby family of ironmasters were Quakers and as such banned from belonging to any profession in England. They made their mark in the industrial world by trusting and doing business with fellow Quakers. By the fourth generation of Darby ironmasters, one branch of the family, Francis son of the bridge builder aspired to higher social acceptability by becoming an Anglican. I seem to remember he built the church in Coalbrookdale; the Severn Warehouse would have been built during his life-time.

    1. It would be so fabulous to have the Soweto treatment on the towers, but housing land seems to be their future. It’s a fabulous spot, though a housing estate would be a blot just there on the edge of a World Heritage site.

      1. Yes! The rentals are so high and I suspect that these days many of the tenants are amputees -as it costs them an arm or a leg.

        One near us – Park Meadows – is bang opposite an old established Centre – (Eastgate) that is currently undergoing more expansion.
        Anyhow the Kensington Golf Course – a green lung in the middle of the area with hundreds of trees – was carved up to make way for several townhouse complexes and Park Meadow (no meadow in sight of course)
        Aside from the big boys ( A supermarket and fruit and veg hyper store) the rest of the tenants turnover on a regular basis.
        However, some do manage to stay in business for almost a month!

    1. PS I love the warehouse that’s now a museum, and the clever way they let the water out after floods. Quakers were and are an amazing movement.

  1. OH and I were discussing the towers last night. We think they should be protected as part of our industrial heritage and become part of the Gorge museums. We also thought that it would be fitting to take people across the river by coracle from the site you mention. A proper Ironbridge experience! We then got on to canals as you do and wondering what happened to the ones around Shrewsbury…

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