Bridge – The iron bridge crosses the River Severn at the Ironbridge Gorge. It was the first arch bridge in the world to be made from cast iron. A new blast furnace in nearby Coalbrookdale lowered the cost of producing iron and so encouraged local engineers and architects to solve the problem of crossing over the river – the only previous way was via ferry and industries in the area needed a more reliable method. Being the first of its kind, the construction had no precedent and the bridge had to span 100 feet across and to rise to 60 feet above the river. The bridge was raised in the summer of 1779 and was opened on New Year’s Day 1781.
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