Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron

Coalbrookdale furnace
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Step inside the mighty Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and discover the revolutionary techniques that made Coalbrookdale the most famous ironworks in the world. Explore the remains of the water powered blast furnace where Abraham Darby I perfected the smelting of iron with coke instead of charcoal.

• Marvel at the great skill of the Coalbrookdale craftsmen in a fabulous display of domestic and decorative ironwork.
• View fantastic works of art that bring the Industrial Revolution to life
• Admire the Boy and Swan Fountain cast by the Coalbrookdale Company in 1851 for the Great Exhibition
• Take a look at the magnificent Deerhound Table designed by John Bell for the Paris International Exhibition of 1855
• Discover the cast iron Coalbrookdale Cooking Pots that launched Abraham Darby I into the iron trade.

Venue Type:

Museum, Industrial heritage site

Opening hours

Daily from 10am until 5pm

Closed: 24 & 25 December and 01 January

Admission charges

Adults £8.10, 60 Plus £7.20 & Children £5.40

Annual Passport Ticket for all ten of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums allowing repeat visits all year - Adult £27.95, 60 Plus £21.50, Children £16.95, Family (2ads) £68.00 and Fam (1ad) £50.00


  • Museums Association
  • International Council of Museums
  • English Heritage
Getting there

The Ironbridge Gorge is on the River Severn, 5 miles (8km) south of Telford town centre in Shropshire. Take junction 4 or junction 6 off the M54. Follow brown and white signs to Ironbridge Gorge.

For Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, Enginuity and Darby Houses, follow Coalbrookdale Museums.

This museum has a Designated Collection of national importance.

The Museum believes that it has the most comprehensive range of the Coalbrookdale Company’s best designs and most accomplished castings. Between the 1840s and the First World War, the quality of Coalbrookdale castings was second to none. Castings range from decorative fire grates, through furniture, household ornaments, to both civic and domestic architectural features and statuary.

The Museum has collected examples of some of the best animal sculptures of noted French artists Mene and Fratin. Other small ornaments include desk sets, candlesticks, hearth furniture, filigree fruit plates, plaques (the most famous being The Last Supper, based on the painting by Leonardo da Vinci), wall cabinets, jardinières, urns, and small statuary.

There is a collection of over 100 fireplaces and approaching 100 items of furniture, including coat, umbrella and hat stands, benches and chairs. Most were designed by locally trained artists, but others in the collection were made to the designs of Christopher Dresser.

Figurative work is represented by the designs of John Bell. His most famous pieces were made for the Great Exhibition of 1851, a decorative fountain incorporating a life-size boy and swan and a statue of Andromeda. He then went on to design a cast iron table supported by 4 life-size and life-like deerhound dogs, which was exhibited at the 1855 International Exhibition, Paris. The collection is supported by a full range of lavishly illustrated company catalogues and archive.

Collection details

Social History, Science and Technology, Personalities, Land Transport, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Decorative metalwork
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

To Check the Tide of Prejudice: John Cooke Bourne and the London & Birmingham Railway

  • 30 April — 10 September 2015 *on now

To Check the Tide of Prejudice, is a stunning new free exhibition of lithographs, original sketches and wash drawings by John Cooke Bourne, which were widely used to address criticism of the construction of the London & Birmingham Railway in the 1830s. These will be on display at the Coalbrookdale Gallery until Thursday 10 September 2015.

Drawn from the collections of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and the National Railway Museum, the exhibition explores how Bourne’s work presented the railway in a picturesque fashion for the first time.


Normal admission charges apply


Landscape with Machines

  • 9 October — 18 December 2015

Britain’s industrial heritage, first forged in the deep Ironbridge Gorge, in Shropshire more than 300 years ago, has had a profound impact on society and our environment. Landscape With Machines is a new exhibition that will explore contemporary artists’ response to the legacy of the Industrial Revolution and in particular how it has affected our physical, social and cultural landscapes.
Co-curated by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and Meadow Arts, as part of the Shifting Worlds contemporary arts programme, the exhibition opens at the Coalbrookdale Gallery in Ironbridge on 9 October and is open 10am-5pm seven days a week. The exhibition has been made possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England.
The exhibition will feature work by one of the world’s foremost sculptors, Tony Cragg in which stacks of circular machine parts suggests a view of mountain peaks, spires or chimneys. Minster depicts how the Industrial Revolution introduced verticality in the landscape that was once only reserved to churches or cathedrals.
Highlights also include a copper and bronze sculpture by Alison Wilding, Her furnace, where the Lancashire-born artist connects the intimacy of the body with the hard edged physicality of the industrial world.
Works by Richard Long, Michael Landy, Jeremy Deller, Clare Mitten, Stuart Whipps and others will contribute to a visually compelling line up of artists who each tackle post-industrial revolution themes in their own unique ways.


Normal admission charges apply


Getting there

The Ironbridge Gorge is on the River Severn, 5 miles (8km) south of Telford town centre in Shropshire. Take junction 4 or junction 6 off the M54. Follow brown and white signs to Ironbridge Gorge.

For Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, Enginuity and Darby Houses, follow Coalbrookdale Museums.

Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron



Visitor Information Centre


Visitor Information Centre

01952 433 424

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.