Appeals and Projects
Blists Hill Victorian Town
Work on the new cover buildings for the Spry, the last surviving lower Severn trow, the Trevithick locomotive and the ice-breaker and tub boat at Blists Hill Victorian Town has been completed! The covers create a fantastic new all-weather exhibit for our visitors, allowing people to better understand the important role that transport played in the Industrial Revolution.
This development was made possible thanks to a legacy that was left to the Museum by a long-time supporter.
Museum of the Gorge
Thanks to the hundreds of generous donors who took part in the Art Happens crowdfunding campaign, the Museum of The Gorge has had a complete redesign of the gallery and an upgrade of the existing auditorium, creating a dynamic space that can be used for museum and community events. The Museum of The Gorge will be the starting point for visitors wanting to explore the unique museums and landscapes of Ironbridge.
Projects in the Pipeline…
Bedlam Furnaces – Opening Date: Autumn 2016
This Grade II* listed Scheduled Ancient Monument has had a long and varied history but is now, unfortunately, categorised as ‘High Risk’ on English Heritage’s Register of Heritage at Risk and is in need of urgent stabilisation and conservation. Several severe winters and the exposed nature of the structure have caused the deterioration of the brickwork and hard cappings and the general deterioration in its condition.
The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust is working hard to raise the funding needed to preserve Bedlam Furnaces; a site rightly understood as one of the most important industrial monuments in the UK.
A decision has been made to create a roof over the structure, protecting the monument from the elements and presenting many opportunities for improved interpretation and increased access to this iconic industrial structure.
The principle aims of the project are to:
- Improve interpretation of the Bedlam Furnaces.
- Completion of essential long-term repair and conservation work resulting in the removal of the monument from the English Heritage Register of Heritage at Risk.
- Better access to the site for those with mobility problems.
- Include Bedlam Furnaces in a series of high-quality interpretive trails around the World Heritage Site including a mobile app.
- Forge improved links with the community including schools and partner organisations.
Building the roof structure, carrying out the conservation work and improving the interpretation will cost £700k and we hope to be able to start work on it in Spring 2016.
Museum of Iron – Project Start Date: Autumn 2016
When we launched our Coalbrookdale 300 Project in 2009, our goal was to provide a lasting legacy to the 300th anniversary of the momentous events of 1709, an historical triumph that sparked the birth of the Industrial Revolution and the beginning of the modern steel industry. This exciting development programme aims to tackle new projects and to refurbish key buildings and monuments within the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site. The next phase of this ambitious programme is the Redevelopment of the Museum of Iron. The redeveloped museum will be the catalyst for the reinterpretation of the iconic industrial landscape that exists at Coalbrookdale. Through this project we will also seek to explain the global significance of the World Heritage Site from its origins to the present day and beyond.
Housed in the Grade II* listed Great Warehouse built in 1838, the Museum of Iron was originally used by the Coalbrookdale Company to assemble cast iron products, remaining in use until the 1970s. The iconic cast-iron clock tower was added in 1843 and provides a striking landmark to the beautiful steep sided valley.
With the current displays more than 15 years old, the Museum is in need of a major redevelopment.
The key aims of the Redevelopment will be to:
- explain, using dynamic and innovative exhibits, the significance and context of Coalbrookdale and place it at the heart of the World Heritage Site
- explain the history and process of iron-making, including both cast iron and wrought iron, from pre-history through the Industrial Revolution to the modern steel industry of today
- refurbish exhibitions across three floors
- increase access to the Museum's Nationally Designated Collections
- create a new education/learning space
- attract more visitors to Coalbrookdale
- showcase recent research
- improve the conservation standards within the Museum
- create a new landmark destination café within the Long Warehouse bringing back derelict space into viable economic use
- use new technologies to bring new opportunities for learning
Our overall aim is to significantly improve the education facilities for school visitors and groups and to help visitors of all ages better understand the world-changing importance of Coalbrookdale and the story of iron
We still need to raise the remaining £200,000 in order for this exciting redevelopment to begin. If you are interested in supporting this project then please contact the Fundraising Manager on 01952 435900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Enginuity is a National Centre for Design and Technology and a fantastic resource for schools in teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Its continued development completes our links with the history of the Gorge by demonstrating to our visitors of all ages how the innovation and imagination of the great entrepreneurs of the past is still alive with the technology driven advances and breakthroughs we experience today.
Part of the centre's huge popularity is the number of interactive exhibits we have for our visitors to use. This means we must replace the displays regularly to keep the Museum stimulating for our visitors, stay ahead of the competition and also to keep up to date with developments in technology and engineering.
We are continually working to upgrade and replace exhibits in order to provide the best visitor experience and keep up to date with modern technology.