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We only sell our best value Annual Passports online. Single attraction tickets are available on the gate.

Family (1 Adult + up to 4 children)

This ticket offers daytime admission to all of the open museums for a family of 1 adult + up to 4 children (aged 5-16 incl). Annual Passport Tickets are valid for 12 months from the date of first use.

Price £51.00

Family Annual Pass (2 Adults + up to 4 children)

This ticket offers daytime admission to all of the open museums for a family of 2 adults + up to 4 children (aged 5-16 incl). Annual Passport Tickets are valid for 12 months from the date of first use.

Price £82.00

Adult

Daytime admission to all of the open museums valid for 12 months from the date of first use.

Price £31.00

Child/Student

Daytime admission to all of the open museums valid for 12 months from the date of first use for children aged 5-16 (incl), or people in full time education.

Price £20.00

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A Victorian Valentines: How Salopians did dating in the 1800’s

At the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, you may assume that there wasn’t much time for dating amongst the world changing discoveries taking place, but, according to research conducted at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, our Victorian ancestors still had time to find love. 

From courting to bizarre Valentine's customs, Lauren Stephenson, Curatorial Officer at the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust has shared her insights into what a Victorian Valentine’s Day might have looked like for Salopian singletons in the 1800’s.

“Without things like the internet or effective transport links, opportunities for young people to meet on a social basis and ‘court’ in Shropshire were relatively limited. In a time governed by social class, meetings rarely occurred outside of people’s own class or locality which meant that young people could often only meet potential partners through organised events like church gatherings, picnics or concerts.

“That meant that people often met under controlled circumstances with authority present which made getting to know each other quite difficult - and it was even tricker for groups like domestic servants who had little time off in the week.

“In counties like Shropshire, one way of meeting was to gather in the High Street on a Sunday evening when young men and women, many in their Sunday best straight from church or chapel would meet in groups of the same sex and walk up and down the street. Young men would whistle and call out to any young ladies who caught their eye before pairing off and going for walks together.

“There were even more bizarre customs around the county. In towns like Ketley and Newdale, a custom called ‘heaving’ took place. Groups of people would lift a member of the opposite sex into the air, usually on a chair decorated with foliage and flowers and turn them around. The heaving party would be rewarded with a kiss or small amount of money.

“Heaving wasn’t for everyone though as Shropshire resident Mary Onions recalled:
‘On one occasion there was a man from Wellington… he happened to come when this ‘heaving’ took place and was very scared when a woman started running after him’

“Although distance could be a barrier for potential Victorian couples, the introduction of the Penny Post in 1840 made it much easier for people to send a love note and also increased demand for mass-produced printed cards leading to a Victorian Valentine’s industry boom.

“In 1883 it’s thought that 2,786,000 Valentine’s cards were sent in Britain. Demand had increased so much by 1886 that the Post Office had to issue a notice asking people to post their cards early to avoid overloading the system so Post Offices like the one at Blists Hill would have had an incredibly busy February!”

For more information on the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, visit www.ironbridge.org.uk

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