Iron Bridge

Do you want to learn more about the history, industries and innovations of the Ironbridge Gorge? This reading list suggests some of the best works on these subjects and we advise that you use these as a starting point for your research.

Many of these books are available to view in our Research Library which is accessible by appointment only. To make an appointment please contact 


Alfrey, Judith and Clark, Catherine

The Landscape of Industry. Patterns of change in the Ironbridge Gorge. Routledge. 1993.


Atkinson, D.R.

Tobacco Pipes of Broseley, Shropshire. D.R. Atkinson. 1975.


Austwick, J. and Austwick, B.

The Decorated Tile. An illustrated History of English Tile-making and Design. Pitman House. 1980.


Axe, John

The Magic of Merrythought – A Collector’s Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Merrythought Limited. 1998.


Bannister, G.F.

Branch Line Byways. Volume One. The West Midlands. Atlantic Transport Publishers. 1986.


Barnard, Julian

Victorian Ceramic Tiles. Studio Vista/Christie’s. 1972.


Barrett, Franklin D.

Caughley and Coalport Porcelain. F. Lewis. 1951.


Baugh, G.C. editor

A History of Shropshire. Volume XI. Telford. (Victoria History of Shropshire) OUP. 1985.


Baugh, G.C. editor

A History of Shropshire. Volume X. Wenlock, Upper Corve Dale and the Stretton Hills. (Victoria History of Shropshire) OUP. 1998.


Benson, Joseph

The Life of the Rev. John W. De La Flechere, compiled from The Narratives of The Rev. Mr. Wesley; The Biographical Notes of The Reverend Mr. Gilpin; from His Own Letters; and Other Authentic Documents. T. Blanshard. 1822.


Birt, David

Victorian & Edwardian Ironbridge. A miscellany of old photographs and prints of the region from the archives of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. Longman Group Ltd. 1985.


Blackwall, Anthony

Historic Bridges of Shropshire. Shropshire Libraries/Highways & Transport Department, Shropshire County Council. 1985.


Bracegirdle, Brian and Miles, Patricia

The Darbys and the Ironbridge Gorge. Great Engineers and Their Works. David & Charles. 1974.


Bracegirdle, Brian and Miles, Patricia

Thomas Telford. Great Engineers and Their Works. David & Charles. 1973.


Briggs, Asa

Iron Bridge to Crystal Palace. Impact and Images of the Industrial Revolution. Thames and Hudson/IGMT. 1979.


Brown, Ivor J.

The Coalbrookdale Coalfield. Catalogue of Mines and Mining Bibliography. Shropshire County Library. 1968.


Brown, Ivor J.

The East Shropshire Coalfields. Images of England. Tempus. 1999.


Brown, Ivor J.

An Interim Report on the Lincoln Hill Limestone Mines near Ironbridge, Shropshire. Shropshire Caving and Mining Club. 1981.


Brown, Ivor J.

A List of Fatal Accidents in Shropshire Mines from 1850 – 1979. with some details of the major incidents. Shropshire Caving and Mining Club. 2005.


Brown, Ivor J.

The Mines of Shropshire. Moorland Publishing Company. 1976.


Burns, J.

Life of Mrs Fletcher ; with A Brief Sketch of the Character of Her Beloved Husband, The Rev. John Fletcher, of Madeley : to which is annexed, Several of their Letters, with select Beauties from his Writings. Milner and Company. 1843.


Christiansen, Rex

The West Midlands. A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. Volume 7. 2nd edition. David St. John Thomas. 1983.


Clark, Catherine

English Heritage Book of Ironbridge Gorge. B.T. Batsford/English Heritage. 1993.


Cossons, Neil and Trinder, Barrie

The Iron Bridge. Symbol of the Industrial Revolution. 2nd edition. Phillimore. 2002.


Cossons, Neil and Sowden, Harry

Ironbridge. Landscape of Industry. Cassell. 1977.


Davies, Ron

John Wilkinson. Dulston Press. 1987.


de Soissons, Maurice

Telford. The Making of Shropshire’s New Town. Swan Hill Press. 1991.


Denton, John Horsley

A Tour of the Railways and Canals between Oakengates and Coalbrookdale. Railway & Canal Historical Society, West Midlands Group. 1961.


Dickinson, H.W.

John Wilkinson, Ironmaster. Hume Kitchin. 1914.


Duckett, Bernard

A Telford Tour by Rail. Telford (Horsehay) Steam Trust. n.d.


Durbin, Lesley

Architectural Tiles: Conservation and Restoration. From the Medieval Period to the Twentieth Century. Elsevier. 2005.


Elderwick, David

Captain Webb. Channel Swimmer. K.A.F. Brewin books. 1987.


Fletcher, John

The Works of The Rev. John Fletcher, Late Vicar of Madeley. 9 vols. Wesleyan Conference Office. 1877.


(Fogerty, Joseph)

Lauterdale. A Story of Two Generations. 3 vols. Strahan & Co. 1873.


Forrest, H.E.

The Old Houses of Wenlock and Wenlock Edge. Their History and Associations. 2nd edition. Wilding & Son Limited. 1915.


Forsaith, Peter S. editor

Unexampled Labours. Letters of the Revd John Fletcher of Madeley to leaders in the Evangelical Revival. Epworth Press. 2008.


Gale, W.K.V and Nicholls, C.R.

The Lilleshall Company Limited a history 1764 – 1964. Moorland Publishing Company Ltd. for The Lilleshall Company Ltd. 1979.


Gibb, Alexander

The Story of Telford. The Rise of Civil Engineering. Alexander Maclehose & Co. 1935.


Godden, Geoffrey A.

Caughley and Worcester Porcelains 1775 – 1800. Antique Collectors’ Club. 1981.


Godden, Geoffrey A.

Coalport and Coalbrookdale Porcelains. Antique Collectors’ Club. 1981.


Greene, John

Brightening the Long Days. Hospital Tile Pictures. Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society. 1987.


Griffiths, Samuel

Griffiths’ Guide to the Iron Trade of Great Britain. Samuel Griffiths. 1873.


Hack, Mary Pryor

Richard Reynolds. Headley Brothers. 1896.


Hadfield, Charles

The Canals of the West Midlands. 2nd edition. David & Charles. 1969.


Hayman, Richard, Horton, Wendy and White, Shelley

Archaeology and Conservation in Ironbridge. Council for British Archaeology. 1999.


Hayman, Richard and Horton, Wendy

Ironbridge. History & Guide. Tempus. 1999.


Herbert, Tony and Huggins, Kathryn

The Decorative Tile in Architecture and Interiors. Phaidon Press Limited. 1995.


Ionides, Julia

Thomas Farnolls Pritchard of Shrewsbury. Architect and ‘Inventor of Cast Iron Bridges’. Dog Rose Press. 1999.


Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

Caughley in Colour. Exhibition Catalogue 2005. IGMT. 2005.


Jenkinson, Andrew

On the Trail of Thomas Telford in Shropshire. Scenesetters. 1993.


Jewitt, Llewellynn

The Ceramic Art of Great Britain from Pre-Historic Times Down to the Present Day. Being a History of the Ancient and Modern Pottery and Porcelain Works of the Kingdom and of Their Productions of Every Class. Virtue and Co. 1878.


Jones, Ken

Pitmen, Poachers and Preachers. Life and the Poor Law in the Madeley Union of Parishes 1700-1930. Dog Rose Press. 2009


Jones, Ken

The Wenlock Branch. Wellington to Craven Arms. Oakwood Press. 1998.


Klingender, Francis D.

Art and the Industrial Revolution. 2nd edition edited and revised by Arthur Elton. Evelyn, Adams & Mackay. 1968.


Labouchere, Rachel

Abiah Darby 1716 – 1793 of Coalbrookdale. Wife of Abraham Darby II. William Sessions Limited. 1988.


Labouchere, Rachel and Thomas, Emyr

Adelaide Darby of Coalbrookdale. Her Private Journal from 1833 to 1861. Sessions Book Trust/IGMT. 2004


Labouchere, Rachel

Deborah Darby of Coalbrookdale 1754 – 1810. Her visits to America, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and the Channel Isles. William Sessions Limited. 1993.


Lambert, Anthony J.

West Midlands Branch Line Album. Ian Allan. 1978.


Lewis, M.J.T.

Early Wooden Railways. Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1970.


Lockett, Terence A.

Collecting Victorian Tiles. Antique Collectors’ Club. 1979.


Mackenzie, Compton

The House of Coalport 1750 – 1950. 2nd edition. Collins. 1953.


Messenger, Michael

Coalport 1795 – 1926. An introduction to the history and porcelains of John Rose and Company. Antique Collectors’ Club. 1995.


Messenger, Michael

Pottery and Tiles of the Severn Valley. Remploy Ltd. 1979.


Messenger, Michael

Shropshire Pottery and Porcelain. A Brief Guide to the Collection Displayed in Clive House Museum. 2nd edition. Shrewsbury Museums. 1976.


Moore, Henry

The Life of Mrs Mary Fletcher, Consort and Relict of The Rev. John Fletcher, Vicar of Madeley, Salop. 14th edition. John Mason. 1856.


Morriss, Richard K.

Canals of Shropshire. Shropshire Books. 1991.


Morriss, Richard K.

Railways of Shropshire. A brief history. Revised edition. Shropshire Books. 1991.


Muter, W. Grant

The Buildings of an Industrial Community. Coalbrookdale and Ironbridge. Phillimore/IGMT. 1979.


Nabarro, Gerald

Severn Valley Steam. Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1971.


Peet, Graham

The Ironbridge Book. The recent history of life in the Ironbridge Gorge. Ironbooks. 1991.


Penfold, Alastair editor

Thomas Telford : Engineer. Proceedings of a seminar held at the Coalport China Works Museum, Ironbridge, April 1979. Thomas Telford Ltd. 1980.


Penfold, Alastair E.

Thomas Telford ‘Colossus of Roads’. Telford Development Corporation/IGMT. 1981.


Plymley, Joseph

General View of the Agriculture of Shropshire : with Observations. G. and W. Nicol. 1803.


Powell, John

Ironbridge Gorge Through Time. Amberley Publishing. 2009.


Powell, John and Vanns, Michael A.

South Telford. Ironbridge Gorge, Madeley and Dawley. The Archive Photographs Series. Chalford. 1995.


Raistrick, Arthur

Coalbrookdale 1709 – 1959. Coalbrookdale Company Limited. 1959.


Raistrick, Arthur

Dynasty of Ironfounders. The Darbys and Coalbrookdale. 2nd ed. Sessions Book Trust/IGMT. 1989.


Raistrick, Arthur

Quakers in Science and Industry. Being an Account of the Quaker Contributions to Science and Industry during the 17th and 18th Centuries. Revised edition. David & Charles.  1968.


Randall, J.

Handbook to the Severn Valley Railway. Illustrative and Descriptive of Places along the Line, from Worcester to Shrewsbury. John Randall. 1863.


Randall, John

Broseley and Its Surroundings. Being a Complete History of Broseley, Willey, Barrow, Benthall and Linley; with notices of Remarkable events, facts, phenomena, and Manufactures. Salopian and West-Midland Journal. 1879.


Randall, John

Captain Webb, the Intrepid Champion Channel Swimmer : A Comprehensive Account, from Materials supplied by Friends, with Faithful Photographic Portrait. Salopian and West-Midland Monthly Illustrated Journal. 1875.


Randall, John

The Clay Industries including the Fictile & Ceramic Arts on the Banks of the Severn : with notices of the Early Use of Shropshire Clays, the History of Pottery, Porcelain, &c., in the District. Salopian and West-Midland Journal. 1877.


Randall, John

History of Madeley, including Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale and Coalport, from the earliest times to the present, with notices of Remarkable Events, Inventions, and Phenomena, Manufactures, &c. “Wrekin Echo”. 1880.


Randall, John

Industries, Arts, and Manufactures. (Victoria History of Shropshire.) Archibald Constable & Co., Ltd. 1908.


Randall, John

Our Coal and Iron Industries, and the Men who have Wrought in Connection with them. The Wilkinsons; with Portrait of John Wilkinson, “The Father of the Iron Trade”, and descriptions of the First Iron Vessel and First Iron Bridge, Wilkinson’s Invention of Hot Blast, His Wealth, Eccentricities, &c. Salopian and West-Midland Monthly Illustrated Journal. 1876.


Randall, John

The Severn Valley : A Series of Sketches, Descriptive and Pictorial, of The Course of the Severn, from Its Rise on Plinlimmon to its Fall in the Bristol Channel; containing Notices of its Topographical, Industrial and Geological Features; with Glances at its Historical and Legendary Associations. 2nd edition. John Randall. 1882.


Rathbone, Hannah Mary

Letters of Richard Reynolds. With a Memoir of His Life. Charles Gilpin. 1852.


Rayska, Urszula and Carr, Anthony

Telford Past and Present. Shropshire Libraries and Telford Development Corporation. 1978.


Rayska, Urszula

Victorian and Edwardian Shropshire from old photographs. B.T. Batsford. Ltd. 1977.


Rolt, L.T.C.

Thomas Telford. Longmans. 1958.


Rowley, Trevor

The Shropshire Landscape. The Making of the English Landscape. Hodder and Stoughton. 1972.


Rush, Pat

More Merrythought Magic. The bears, pandas and koalas. Merrythought Limited. 2003.


Shropshire County Library

Two Shropshire Ironmasters. Biographical Extracts, Letters and Memoranda relating to Richard & William Reynolds. Shropshire County Library. n.d.


Shropshire Libraries

Shropshire Canals articles from the Shropshire Magazine 1950 – 1965. Shropshire Libraries. 1980.


Shropshire Railway Society

Shropshire Railways Revisited. Shropshire Libraries. 1982.


Smith, Stuart

A View from the Iron Bridge. IGMT. 1979.


Stratton, Michael

Ironbridge and the Electric Revolution. The History of Electricity Generation at Ironbridge A and B Power Stations. John Murray/National Power. 1994.


Tew, David

Canal Inclines and Lifts. Alan Sutton. 1984.


Thomas, Emyr

Coalbrookdale and the Darby Family. The story of the world’s first industrial dynasty. Sessions Book Trust/IGMT. 1999.


Trinder, Barrie

Barges & Bargemen. A Social History of the Upper Severn Navigation 1660 – 1900. Phillimore. 2005.


Trinder, Barrie

The Darbys of Coalbrookdale. New edition. Phillimore/IGMT. 1991.


Trinder, Barrie

The Industrial Archaeology of Shropshire. Phillimore. 1996.


Trinder, Barrie

The Industrial Revolution in Shropshire. 3rd edition. Phillimore. 2000.


Trinder, Barrie and Cox, Nancy

Miners & Mariners of the Severn Gorge. Probate Inventories for Benthall, Broseley, Little Wenlock and Madeley 1660 – 1764. Phillimore. 2000.


Trinder, Barrie

‘The Most Extraordinary District in the World’. Ironbridge & Coalbrookdale. 3rd edition. Phillimore. 2005.


Trinder, Barrie and Cox, Jeff

Yeomen and Colliers in Telford. Probate Inventories for Dawley, Lilleshall, Wellington and Wrockwardine, 1660 – 1750. Phillimore. 1980.


Tripp, Basil H.

Grand Alliance. A Chapter of Industrial History. Chantry Publications Limited for Allied Ironfounders Limited. 1951.


van Lemmen, Hans

Tiles – A Collector’s Guide. Souvenir Press. 1979.


Vanns, Michael A.

Severn Valley Railway. A View From the Past. Ian Allan. 1998.


Vanns, Michael A.

Witness to Change. A Record of the Industrial Revolution. The Elton Collection at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. Ian Allan. 2003.


Vialls, Christine

Coalbrookdale and the Iron Revolution. Cambridge University Press. 1980.


Williams, W. Howard and Denton, J. Horsley

A Tour of the East Shropshire Canals. Cottage Press. 1962.


Wrekin Local Studies Forum

William Reynolds 1758 – 1803. Proceedings of the Events held in June 2003 to commemorate his Life and Achievements. Wrekin Local Studies Forum. 2004.


Yate, Bob

The Shropshire Union Railway. Stafford to Shrewsbury including the Coalport Branch. Oakwood Press. 2003.