Ironbridge Gorge Museums – Home to Victorian charm, history and stunning landscapes

The weather definitely made our recent visit to Shropshire that much more enjoyable, especially when we were able to visit two of the Ironbridge Museums in the area.

What a delightful area of the country with landscapes suited to oil paintings and teeming with history. Our visit to this part of the world brought us to one of ten museums in the area.

I have to admit that whilst I like to read the history associated with certain attractions, nothing keeps you more interested than going back down memory lane, where you get a sense of timeless past.

Blists Hill Victorian Town

Blists Hill Victorian town is a purpose-built Victorian village on the site of an old iron foundry, mining and brick making site.

We arrived early thinking that we would be one of the first, but to our surprise the place was already buzzing as we made our way in through the front entrance.

This attraction is well marketed and offers a well sign posted, visual and interactive attraction for everyone.

I was really impressed with the film that introduced the past history of the area to us before making our way outside to a street with a Lloyds Bank.

Dressed in period costume the bank teller explained to us that we could exchange modern pounds for the old pounds, shillings and pence, but we didn’t need to. He also explained how the banks made copies of documents…. absolutely fascinating.

The street contains a grocer, pharmacy, draper and much more.

The Chemist was fascinating too with remedies, solutions and names from the past.

I was really impressed with the explanation, demonstration and authenticity in the candle workshop.

Blist Hill is an attraction for everyone. I was with my wife, but there was every age group with and without children. Clearly, for the older generation, it was like going down memory lane.

Even the Post Office had a great exhibition upstairs that took you through the history of the Royal Mail, showing you post boxes, bikes and stories from the past.

There is a lovely cottage with an open hearth that you can look around that would have been used as a home and a Doctor’s surgery.

At the bottom of the hill lies the site of the iron boundary, a school, a funicular carriage that climbs a hill and in a large fabricated building is a restored cargo vessel. I have to be honest and say that I felt a trick was missed here, it lacked engagement, understanding or connection. This part of the site has a school that was not well sign posted either, but had there been characters milling around I felt that everything could have been pulled together.

Overall I have to admit I would go back to Blists Hill, because it was really fascinating with so much more than I have described above. Its wonderful for the family too, with a shire horse, demonstrations, a pig, canal, baker, fish and chip shop and oh so much more!

My trip down memory lane was blessed by great weather, but like any good old British Village you can always wander indoors.

There was plenty to read like this wanted poster.

Our time at Bliss Hill Victorian Town had to come to an end around 2pm because we wanted to see the Iron Bridge and Toll House over The Gorge.

The setting is stunning as rows of properties seated in tiers create a stunning perspective of life over The Gorge.

To read this piece of history and the fascinating story in The Toll House and Iron Bridge made our trip that much more interesting. This was the first Toll House and Iron Bridge to be built in the world!

The restored Iron Bridge over The Gorge

Whilst town folk made their way about their daily lives crossing the gorge by the local ferry was a real issue given that it was difficult in the summer when the river was too low and dangerous in the winter when the river was fast and furious… so the Iron Bridge found favour in the local gentry and was built.

We had lunch locally on the high street overlooking The Gorge, and sadly our day needed to come to an end.

I loved Telford, the Ironbridge Gorge Museums and all that the area in Shropshire had to offer. I’ll be back to explore more, but you should visit there really informative website first and get an annual pass which gives you access to all ten of the museums in the area.

For more information click here