World Heritage Site
Along with such monuments as the Acropolis, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China, the spectacular Ironbridge Gorge has been classified as a World Heritage Site since 1986.
The Gorge was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO for the area’s unique contribution to the birth of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century which had a worldwide impact.
300 years ago this was the world’s technological hotspot where Abraham Darby I first perfected the use of coke to mass-produce iron. Entrepreneurs and Iron masters such as William Reynolds and John Wilkinson made good use of this wonder product. Wilkinson was even buried in an iron coffin!
The surviving built and natural environment with its museums, monuments and artefacts, including the world famous Iron Bridge of 1779, serve to remind us of this area’s unique contribution to the history and development of industrialised society.
For over 30 years, UNESCO has been working with countries across the world to identify World Heritage Sites and ensure their safe keeping and protection for future generations. There are now nearly 800 World Heritage Sites worldwide.
The Ironbridge Gorge Museums
There are ten award-winning Museums spread along the valley beside the wild River Severn. See the products that set industry on its path and the machines that made them. Watch and talk to the Museums’ craftsmen and costumed demonstrators
For more information visit www.visitironbridge.co.uk or 01952433424
Ludlow took second place in the Britain’s Favourite Market Town category of the Countryfile Magazine Awards 2012. It was beaten to first place by Louth in Lincolnshire, while Richmond in North Yorkshire came third. Ludlow was nominated by countryside writer and TV presenter Nicholas Crane.
Mr Crane last year championed the town in his BBC2 series Town with Nicholas Crane.
He praised Ludlow for its historic buildings, which include the Feathers Hotel and Guildhall which both date back hundreds of years. The medieval town also came up trumps for its Norman castle and the weekly food market run in the town centre.
The results were determined by votes from magazine readers. The news has been greeted with delight by tourism bosses who have said it is a boost for Ludlow and Shropshire as a whole.
Fergus Collins, editor of Countryfile Magazine, said: “The Countryfile Magazine Awards are a great way for the magazine and its readers to celebrate the best of the British countryside. Essentially, we’re saying a heartfelt thanks to all those who work so hard to protect our landscapes, heritage and wildlife.”
Ludlow’s tourism industry has been given a new boost after it was named by a best-selling author as one of the planet’s “must see” destinations. American author Patricia Schultz has included Ludlow in her book, ‘1,000 Places to See Before You Die’. Ludlow is put in such esteemed and exotic company as New York’s mighty skyscrapers, the cherry blossom in Japan, skiing in Chamonix, and the Old Quarter of Hanoi. It nestles alongside sought after destinations and activities including a balloon safari over Masai Mara, the Tasman glacier, sailing the Grenadines, the Highland Games at Braemar, Canyon De Chelly and Oaxaca’s Saturday Market. Mrs Shultz is a much-travelled author who took seven years to research her book, which is published by Waterman publishing. She describes in detail Ludlow’s breath-taking beauty and adds: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the places and moments that take our breath away.”