Tar Tunnel

Visitor Information

The Tar Tunnel is one of the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums. Step inside the Tar Tunnel and discover where miners digging in 1787 struck a spring of natural bitumen which has oozed out of the walls for over 200 years.

The Ironbridge Gorge Museums will close at 3.30pm on Tuesday 27 September. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

We regret to inform you that due to unforeseen circumstances, viewing of the Tar Tunnel is currently only possible from its entrance. It is not currently possible to walk inside the tunnel itself. Visitors will not be charged whilst this restriction is in place and we hope to resolve this issue soon. Please check the website or call the Tourist Information Centre for any future updates on 01952 433424.

Put on your hard hat and venture underground into the eerie brick-lined tar tunnel. Treacle-like black bitumen is still oozing through the walls and welling up in puddles.

Step inside the Tar Tunnel and discover where miners digging in 1787 struck a spring of natural bitumen which has seeped out of the walls for over 200 years.

  • Crouch down to peer inside miniature caverns and see the thick tranquil pools of liquid tar
  • Children will love putting on a hard hat and going underground
  • See how the early industrialists of the Gorge overcame the natural obstacles 
  • Take a look at the extraordinary Hay Inclined Plane, a nifty invention designed in the early 1790s to move tub boats between the Shropshire canal at the top of the hill and the Coalport canal at the bottom

The Tar Tunnel is only a short walk from Coalport China Museum, alongside the Shropshire Canal. You should allow around 20 minutes for a visit to the Tar Tunnel.  The nearest café is a 5 minute drive away at the Blists Hill Victorian Town’s Entrance café.

Buy Tickets
  • Open 7 days a week
  • 10.30am – 4pm