The River Severn is the longest river in Great Britain, at about , but the second longest on the British Isles, behind the River Shannon. It rises at an altitude of on Plynlimon, Ceredigion near Llanidloes, Powys, in the Cambrian Mountains of mid Wales...
, at the heart of the Ironbridge Gorge
The Ironbridge Gorge is a deep gorge formed by the River Severn in Shropshire, England.Originally called the Severn Gorge, the gorge now takes its name from its famous Iron Bridge, the first iron bridge of its kind in the world, and a monument to the industry that began there...
, in Shropshire
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. It borders Wales to the west...
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
. It lies in the civil parish of The Gorge, in the borough of Telford and Wrekin
Telford and Wrekin
Telford and Wrekin is a unitary district with borough status in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. The district was created in 1974 as The...
. Ironbridge developed beside, and takes its name from, the famous Iron Bridge
The Iron Bridge
The Iron Bridge crosses the River Severn at the Ironbridge Gorge, by the village of Ironbridge, in Shropshire, England. It was the first arch bridge in the world to be made out of cast iron, a material which was previously far too expensive to use for large structures...
, a 30 metre (100 ft) cast iron
Cast iron is derived from pig iron, and while it usually refers to gray iron, it also identifies a large group of ferrous alloys which solidify with a eutectic. The color of a fractured surface can be used to identify an alloy. White cast iron is named after its white surface when fractured, due...
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...
that was built across the river there in 1779.
The area around Ironbridge is described by those promoting it as a tourist destination as the "Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...