gnommi: (grargh)
[personal profile] gnommi
Spent the past weekend in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire for a friends wedding.

Coalbrookdale chruchThe Iron Bridge.King Stone, Rollright Stones

We stayed in the former Coalbrookdale Literary and Scientific Institute, along with about 60 other academics/wierdoes/gamers/circus performers/spontaneously ululating Iranians/combinations of the above for the weekend and availed ourselves of a glut of information regarding the area's industrial heritage, in addition to almost killing ourselves by overindulging in glorious Persian food.

Ironbridge itself is an area of considerable natural beauty and it's hard to believe that in the 18th century it pretty much resembled the gates of hell, due to the intense mining, smelting, casting and shipping going on in the valley. Apparently, Abraham Darby, Quaker and pot-maker, developed a lazy but very effective method of smelting iron for casting, involving coke and thus, as they say, the rest was history. Iron everywhere for everything in every possible over-decorated configuration and lots of industrial revoluting. If I'd had sympathy for the decline and eventual closure of the Literary and Scientific Institute, it was somewhat diminished by learning that at least some of it's members had been responsible for a great deal of extraordinarily repulsive and impractical showboating Victorian cast ironwork. We went somewhat decorative foliage-blind following a trip round the Museum of Iron. Didn't stop me from accidentally buying a cast iron beetle boot jack and a book on beam engines though, and it certainly sated my giant cog-ogling proclivities.

The journey up was eventful, with Google maps taking us nobly away from traffic and happily close enough to the Rollright Stones to warrant a swift diversion to see the tiny knobbly stone circle as the sun went down.

Some of the better of my photos are here.
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