A – Z of Locations: J is for Jackfield

During this year I shall be posting photographs from places around the UK, many of which have not been published before. Where I have previously blogged about a location I will provide a link to the post, though you won’t be able to comment on it as I restrict comments to six months.

J is for Jackfield

Jackfield is a village in Shropshire on the south bank of the River Severn, in the Ironbridge Gorge. There was a pottery here from at least 1634 and corn mills existed along the stream that flowed into the river. Manufacture of pottery continued throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, with specialism moving on to the production of tiles, including high quality encaustic tiles.

The Jackfield Tile Museum is one of ten museums in the Severn Gorge.

The Jackfield Tile Museum with some lengths of the former Severn Valley Railway trackbed today serve as a vehicle-free route for pedestrians and cyclists.

The settlement is mainly linear alongside the steep bank of the river from the Free Bridge to the Memorial Bridge which crosses over to the north bank and onto Coalport.

The Maws Craft Centre, formerly a part of the area’s tile works, is located on Salthouse Road between the Tile Museum and the Memorial Bridge and hosts a number of independent shops.
The eastern part of the settlement consists of the Tuckies and Salthouses.
Flooding badly affects the lower parts of Jackfield from time-to-time, including the Boat House pub which has floods recorded on its front door (the highest recorded at the pub being on 1 November 2000).
The Memorial Bridge is a footbridge spanning the River Severn, linking the Tuckies part of Jackfield with Coalport. It was built with funds raised by public subscription in 1922, and is in memorial to the men of Jackfield and Coalport who were killed in the First World War.


Travel Theme: Rivers

Ailsa of “Where’s My Backpack?” is up the creek without a paddle – or in other words, would like to see RIVERS this week. If you would like to join in with her challenge then please do. Everyone is welcome.

Having shown several images of my local rivers, the Teme and the Corve, this week I have a couple of shots of the River Severn in Shrewsbury, where it loops around the town almost creating an island.

Above (header) is a photo of the Boathouse. It is situated on the fringes of Frankwell and Kingsland, beside a recently refurbished foot-bridge (below) that carries walkers into Quarry Park. In mid summer the patio buzzes with joyful chatter and clinking glasses as patrons sit with a view across the Severn as it snakes its way through the town.  Surprisingly there aren’t many pubs by the side of the river and this is probably the best. 



The ‘Sabrina’ is available for gentle cruises along the river through Shrewsbury, a nice way to see the neighbours.

Have you taken a river cruise in England?

I for Iron Bridge

frizztext hosts a weekly A – Z Challenge

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Event Type: General Blogging

Start Date: Tuesdays, recurring weekly

Description: Every Tuesday I offer the “A to Z challenge”, walking step by step through the alphabet.

If you would like to join in then please click here.

I - ironbridge tolls

Following on from my bridge last week is another iron bridge, this time from Shropshire and much closer to home. This Iron Bridge is in the Severn Gorge and has a town named after it. It was the first arch bridge in the world to be built from cast-iron and it opened on New Year’s Day 1781, the result of work by the architect Thomas Pritchard (whose work can be seen in many Shropshire towns including Ludlow) and Abraham Darby III.

I - ironbridge

It is one of the great symbols of the Industrial Revolution and visited by many.  Directly across from the bridge is the Tontine Hotel.

I - ironbridge from the ironbridge

The word Tontine is a noun “an annuity scheme by which several subscribers invest in a common fund out of which they receive an annuity that increases as subscribers die until the last survivor takes all!”.

The idea of building a hotel here started as soon as people realised the attraction of the Iron Bridge. Those involved in the venture included Abraham Darby III, Samuel Darby, William & Richard Reynolds, John Wilkinson, Joseph Rathbone and others who were involved in the construction of the bridge.

The hotel opened in 1784. Inside are Victorian fireplaces with the traditional tiles of the area, photographs showing the area in different stages, with coracle men and their coracles, people standing on the river under the bridge when it froze on the 5th February 1917, collections of old local bottles etc.

source: Ironbridge Tourist Information and Visitor Centre.

view from bridge
View from bridge

If you ever find yourself in Shropshire, then try to make some time to visit this once heavily industrialised, now pleasantly picturesque, town, not just for the Iron Bridge, but also its many other attractions.