Ironbridge museums get ready to open for first time in more than a year

Some of Ironbridge’s best-loved attractions are gearing up to reopen to the public after being closed for more than a year.

Enginuity encourages visitors to enjoy the fun of science
Enginuity encourages visitors to enjoy the fun of science

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust is reopening Enginuity, Jackfield Tile Museum, Coalport China Museum, and Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron from May 19, in line with the easing of Government restrictions.

The four museums will welcome back visitors from Wednesday to Sunday.

And Blists Hill Victorian Town, which has been open on weekends since April 17, will also open its doors from Wednesday to Sunday.

The ever-popular Furnace Kitchen is extending its opening hours too, serving customers indoors and outdoors from 9am-5pm, Wednesday to Sunday and until 9pm on Fridays.

Tickets for all museum visits must be pre-booked in advance and are now available.

Nick Ralls, chief executive of The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust – which is a registered charity that runs 10 museums in the Ironbridge Gorge – said that while their doors have been closed for the longest period in their history, there’s been plenty going on behind the scenes at the museums.

“After being closed for so long due to the pandemic, we’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors back to our indoor attractions,” said Mr Ralls.

“We think they’ll be blown away by the changes we’ve made. Enginuity has had a complete refresh, with new interactive exhibits that respond to movement and the introduction of a brand new sensory room themed around industry.”

A storytelling area has also been created at Enginuity to allow visitors to learn more about the history of the area and to be mesmerised by storytellers weaving their magic, while a new interactive screen will reveal the history and personal stories of some of the people who worked in the Gorge in bygone eras.

The Museum of Iron

A design and build area will allow children to unleash their imaginations and channel their inner Abraham Darby, allowing them to create their very own replica of the area’s famous Iron Bridge.

Younger visitors will be well-served with an early-years activity area featuring a huge map of the Gorge on the floor that will allow them to build bridges and structures.

And people will be relieved to hear that the museum’s ever-popular water feature that has enthralled generations of children for hours will remain on site.

Jackfield Tile Museum and Coalport China Museum have both undergone changes too, with lots of refreshed exhibits throughout their galleries, making them more accessible than ever before.

Both museums will feature brand new interactive family-friendly trails that use the latest technology to bring the museum collections to life.

“We’ve also introduced enhanced Covid-safe measures at all of our attractions, including hand sanitiser points, additional cleaning, one-way systems and timed entry slots – which have been working really well at Blists Hill since it reopened last month,” added Mr Ralls.

Tickets are now on sale for timed entry slots via the trust’s website at www.ironbridge.org.uk

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