In The Red ~ Iron Bridge Makeover

In The Red ~ Iron Bridge Makeover

Another (high quality) candidate for the 2019 Bridgehunter Awards for best example of a restored historic bridge. The nominations and voting will be a very interesting one this year, especially as this candidate is the oldest known iron bridge in the world. Read more here. 🙂

Tish Farrell

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For much of last year this 240-year-old bridge was under wraps while English Heritage engineers carried out major repairs on the iron work. And it was during this process that the original paint colour of the world’s first cast iron bridge was discovered – a rusty red. This seems to have struck many as surprising, probably because in the living memory of most Shropshire folk, the bridge has either been lugubrious black (as I remember it in the 1960s) or battleship grey – its most recent shade before the overhaul.

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And this is how it looked last week bathed in May sunshine. A much more jaunty effort.

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That the bridge was originally this colour, or as near as can be recreated, was documented at the time. While Abraham Darby III was having it built (between 1779 and its official opening in 1781) he commissioned some promotional artwork from William…

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