Ironbridge Gorge (1986)
Great Britain

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Great Britain 1989. 'World Cultural Heritage. Ironbridge, Shropshire.

In Ironbridge, known worldwide as the symbol of the Industrial Revolution, all the elements of progress developed in an 18th century industrial region can be found, from the mines themselves to the railway lines. 

Nearby, the blast furnace of Coalbrookdale, built in 1708, is a reminder of the discovery of coke, which, together with the bridge at Ironbridge, the first metallic bridge in the world, had considerable influence on the evolution of technology and architecture. 

  • Great Britain 1989.  Industrial Archeology.  Ironbridge, Shropshire (ordinary issue in vertical design). 

The above stamp exists also in a horizontal design, included in a sheet that was sold for a premium being used for the Stamp World London 90 International Stamp Exhibition.

Great Britain 1989. World Cultural Heritage. Souvenir sheet containing the 19p stamp in the upper left corner.
  • Great Britain 1989.  Souvenir sheet containing the 19p stamp in the upper left corner.  Note that the Queen's Head is printed in red, instead of bluish on the ordinary vertical issue. See also the site about New Lanark

It was in Shropshire that the Industrial revolution first started. For here, the great Quaker Ironmaster Abraham Darby the First, discovered the secret of smelting iron with cheap and plentiful coke instead of expensive and less efficient charcoal.

Great Britain. World Cultural Heritage. Booklet cover with illustration of Ironbridge, Telford, Salop.

Whilst Britain's first iron-making centre may be a peaceful place today, in the past it was filled with smoke, fire and blast furnaces from which the sounds and smells of early industry arose, bearing the first iron rails, wheels, boats, the first steam locomotive, as well as the first iron bridge.

Source and link:

Other World Heritage Sites in Great Britain (on this site). Inactive links are not described on postage stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, United Kingdom Section, for further information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 19 jul 2006  
Copyright 1999 Heindorffhus 
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