Museum of Steel Sculpture

Whilst reading about the artist Bob Murray I was reminded of my visit to The Museum of Steel Sculpture in 2012. The sculptures were dotted around a 10 acre woodland site in Coalbrookdale. On arrival we were greeted by Pam, the co-founder of the museum as we gave her the nominal museum entrance fee. The sculptures seemed to work in their woodland setting, with sunlight dappling through the trees and the larger sculptures dominating the grassy areas. As we were about to leave Pam came out of her house to talk to us and ask if we had enjoyed our visit.

Steel Key

Founded in 1991 by the sculptor, Roy Kitchin FRBS, the Ironbridge Open Air Museum of Steel Sculpture occupies a 10 acre site situated within the historically appropriate district of Coalbrookdale, England. This extraordinary region, known as “the cradle of the Industrial Revolution”, was designated by UNESCO a “World Heritage Site” in 1986.

The Museum is barely half a mile from the remains of the Blast Furnace where, in 1709, Abraham Darby I successfully smelted iron using coke as the fuel instead of charcoal. Here too, in 1779, the world’s first iron bridge was cast, which still spans the River Severn today.

Registered as a Charitable Trust the Museum, since the death of it’s Founder in 1997, has been managed by his widow and co-founder, the sculptor Pam Brown, supported by an experienced Board of Trustees.

Museum of Steel Sculpture

Museum of Steel Sculpture

Pam wound up the museum during 2014 so that she could concentrate more on her own work. The sculptures have been moved to a new home at the British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry. I wonder if they will work as well in their new setting.

Museum of Steel Sculpture

Swing Bridge

19 Comments CherryPie on May 20th 2015

19 Responses to “The Museum of Steel Sculpture”

  1. Oh I missed this place while I was there last time!
    Coalbrookdale seems like a huge place, eh? ;)
    By the way, have you been to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park?
    I saw it on the telly – WOW! I would love to see it one day.

    • CherryPie says:

      I don’t know about a huge place but it is very familiar to me ;-)

      I have not been to the Yorkshire sculpture park yet, but it agree it does look interesting.

  2. ....peter:) says:

    i like the variety of sculptures that you captured for us Cherie… the last one is my favorite because of the flowing lines like wings above and at the ground…
    some of the others look too chunky for my taste….peter:)

    • CherryPie says:

      I think some of them are an acquired taste. The last one is rather fun, I seem to remember it moved. It is called swing bridge.

  3. lisl says:

    Do you plan to visit in its new setting, Cherie?

  4. james higham says:

    We were in Oswestry the other day. Could have called on you a short distance away.

  5. Katharine says:

    It’s great that we got to see this museum on your blog. I had never heard of it before. It’s a shame it had to end. But at least the sculptures are somewhere else for the public to see. Sometimes, like the woman who ran the museum, you just have to move on.

    • CherryPie says:

      Hi Katherine, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I am glad you enjoyed seeing the museum. I am glad I got to see the museum before it closed :-)

  6. JD says:

    Here is one of the steel sculptures I made a few years ago -

    OK, I had a bit of help; a lot of help in fact :)

  7. Astrid says:

    What a great place for those sculptures. Love the way some really are full of rust.
    Is it close to the Ironbridge museum?
    Or is it the same and are they neighbours.

    • CherryPie says:

      Before they were moved they were close to the Ironbridge museum. But separate and different. The sculptures worked well in that space :-)

  8. J_on_tour says:

    So unusual and a step more radical than the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.