On Sunday 9th July we have organised an afternoon of free visits to take in the sights of the local area. Take a look at the options below and book your visit by going to: https://conferencevisits.eventbrite.co.uk . Please book your visit by 30 June.
Visit 1: Historical Shrewsbury Walking Tour
Shrewsbury is a picturesque market town whose centre has a largely unspoilt medieval street plan and over 660 listed buildings, including several examples of timber framing from the 15th and 16th centuries. Shrewsbury Castle, a red sandstone fortification, and Shrewsbury Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery, were founded in 1074 and 1083 respectively by the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Montgomery. The town is the birthplace of Charles Darwin, who would still recognise Shrewsbury today – as many of the medieval buildings, shuts and passages he knew still exist.
Join our one hour walking tour of Shrewsbury to wander the cobbled streets and find out some fascinating facts and stories behind this this historic town. After the tour there will be time to explore Shrewsbury on your own, before taking the coach back to Telford. For those that would prefer to stay in Shrewsbury into the evening, we’ll be suggesting a meeting point for informal drinks, and ideas of where to eat.
Tour duration: 1 hour
Visit 2: Shopping and Sightseeing in Historical Shrewsbury: Self-guided
In a world dominated by high streets and shopping centres, Shrewsbury is one of the few places where the independent shops, often owned by generations of the same family, still outnumber the big chains. This visit allows attendees to capture some of the best views and rare buys of Shrewsbury at their own pace, and to find out some fascinating facts and stories behind the historic town of Shrewsbury. You will be supplied with a map and information pack which features top places to visit during your time in the town, including Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery and Shrewsbury Castle. After the visit, there is the option to either take the coach back to Telford or, for those that would prefer to stay in Shrewsbury into the evening, we’ll be suggesting a meeting point for informal drinks, and ideas of where to eat.
Visit 3: Bridges of the Severn Gorge
While The Iron Bridge is of World renown, few realise that it is only one of a number of historic bridges along the gorge. After the first permanent crossing was put in place, the Coalbrookdale Company experimented with further crossings at Buildwas, upstream of the Iron Bridge, and Coalport, downstream. Additional crossings – for the railway, for pedestrians and a modern road bridge at Jackfield, replacing an earlier Hennebique reinforced-concrete bridge, complete the set. The aim of this visit is to explore this rich diversity of bridges, in their settings, and discover why some have survived while others have had to be replaced. Travel will be by coach but please note that part of the day will involve walking between some bridges. We aim to end up at the Woodbridge Inn, Coalport where we can relax and admire the fine span of the Coalport Bridge.
Tour duration: 2 hours. Please note that a lot of walking is required for this tour.
Visit 4: Guided Tour of the Old Furnace and the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron
See where the roots of the Industrial Revolution began to take hold with a guided tour of the Old Furnace, an 18th Century blast furnace where Abraham Darby I perfected the smelting of iron with coke instead of charcoal. This allowed for mass production on an unprecedented scale, sparking a major expansion of the iron trade and ultimately contributing to the start of the Industrial Revolution.
As part of this tour we will also visit the all new Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, which has been refurbished as part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. The Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron tells the complete history of the iron industry; from explaining how the geology of the Gorge provided all of raw materials needed for iron to be made here from mediaeval times, all the way through to the modern steel industry.
Different zones explain how the discoveries made in Coalbrookdale changed the world forever and celebrate the lives of different people, including the Darby dynasty of ironmasters and “Iron Mad” Wilkinson. Discover more about the important role played by women in the management of the Coalbrookdale Company and the hard conditions that the workers faced to help make Ironbridge one of the most important industrial locations in the world.
Following the tour, attendees have the option to walk 20 minutes into Ironbridge town for informal drinks in a local pub.
Tour duration: 1.5 hours