Hidden in the beautiful Severn River valley, Ironbridge is both the birthplace of the Industrial revolution and home to the first bridge to ever be made from cast iron. It didn't always look as it does now. During the 1700's it was the heart of iron production in the world and it was here that new techniques of using coke rather than coal in the furnaces were invented This allowed the production of higher quality iron that was affordable than ever before. With natural supplies of coal, wood and iron ore, the Gorge was swiftly transformed into an industrial Hell where dozens of blast furnaces set fire to the sky and the smoke wreathed through the valley turning the whole area into a living version of Dante's inferno. It is said that at the time the life span of the average Ironbridge worker was eight years. Today it is a beautiful retreat and the remains of the old mines, furnaces and potteries add a mysterious and historic charm but it is also said that it is haunted by the many souls that gave their lives to advance the production of iron that, in turn, made the industrial revolution possible. The Iron bridge itself was built between 1779 and 1781 and for many years was considered a wonder of the modern world and a tribute to the engineering excellence of humanity.
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