The world’s first cast iron bridge was built over the River Severn at Coalbrookdale in 1779.
In the early eighteenth century, the only way to cross the Severn Gorge was by ferry. However, the industries that were growing in the area of Coalbrookdale and Broseley needed a more reliable crossing.
In 1773, Thomas Farnolls Pritchard wrote to a local ironmaster, John Wilkinson of Broseley, to suggest building a bridge out of cast iron. By 1775, Pritchard had finalised the plans, but he died in December 1777, only a month after work had begun.
Abraham Darby III, who was the grandson of the first foundry owner and an ironmaster working at Coalbrookdale in the gorge, was commissioned to cast and build the bridge. The iron for the new bridge was cast at his foundry.
The worlds first cast iron bridge was built over the river Severn at Coalbrookdale in 1779.