Groups visiting the famous Iron Bridge in Shropshire this year will be able to enjoy an exclusive look at the work being done as part of a £3.6 million project to preserve the landmark.
English Heritage has opened a temporary visitor walkway beside the Iron Bridge enabling visitors to get up close to the vital conservation work currently underway.
The Iron Bridge is considered a symbol of the Industrial Revolution, and is reportedly the oldest bridge in the world to be made entirely of cast iron.
The new walkway will feature displays explaining the expert techniques used to save the bridge. There will also be windows and portholes so visitors can see the conservation in action.
Volunteers and staff will be on site each day to offer additional information about the works taking place. The walkway will be in place until 31st August, will be open daily, and is free to enter.
Historic properties director, Liz Page, said it provided a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity.’
“English Heritage’s conservation of the Iron Bridge is a perfect example of the work our charity does,” she said.
“The Iron Bridge sits at the heart of a World Heritage Site and we are inviting visitors from around the world to come and witness our historic conservation project in action.”
More about the project
English Heritage’s extensive surveys and investigations have revealed that the historic structure is under threat from cracking due to stresses in the ironwork dating back to the original construction.
This has been aggravated by ground movement over the centuries and an earthquake in the 19th century.
Costing £3.6 million, Project Iron Bridge is English Heritage’s single largest conservation project since becoming a charity in 2015.
Once completed, the project will see the bridge restored back to its former glory and visitors able to walk it once more.
Group visiting information
Groups can extend their trip to the bridge by visiting one of the ten Iron Bridge Gorge museums nearby, which include the Coaldale Museum and Blists Hill Victorian Town.
Discounted admission rates for groups of 15 or more, free entry for the group organiser and coach driver, and free coach parking are some of the benefits available.
(Photo credit: English Heritage).