Public given chance to look at unseen Shropshire archives

Visitors to a Shropshire museum are being given the chance to delve into an amazing collection of archive material never seen by the public before.

Coalbrookdale Company workers, photographed at the Ironworks in 1900
Coalbrookdale Company workers, photographed at the Ironworks in 1900

Georgina Grant, Senior Curator at The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, has been cataloguing and researching the archive of the Coalbrookdale Company Ironworks since October 2021, in a project made possible through the Headley Fellowship with Art Fund.

The project contains decorative ironwork such as railings, gates, lamp posts, verandas, fountains and vases, the items are from some 750 orders undertaken by the Coalbrookdale Company in the late 19th to early 20th century.

Coalbrookdale Company workers, photographed at the Ironworks in 1900

The orders contain the names of former workers and family members of those with ancestors who worked at the Ironworks are being encouraged to come along and view the archive material.

Georgina is now set to welcome visitors to ‘Revealing Research’, a drop-in event in the Coalbrookdale Gallery, adjacent to the Museum of Iron - in Telford.

Visitors will be able to see archive material, talk to Georgina about her work and hear some of the incredible stories that she’s uncovered, while digging into this unparalleled treasure trove.

Blueprint of a cast-iron spiral staircase

The archive contains original draughtsman drawings, blueprints, costings and correspondence with clients.

Georgina said: “Discoveries so far include a cast-iron spiral staircase that was shipped to Japan, balcony railings that adorn some of the most exclusive apartments in London, and one story of embezzlement at the Ironworks.

“Many of the orders contain names of former workers, and we would love to welcome visitors whose families once worked at the Coalbrookdale Ironworks, I think they would find this collection really interesting.”

‘Revealing Research’ is a free to visit event, part of Heritage Open Days, and takes place on September 17-18, between 10am-4pm. Find out more at ironbridge.org.uk/events/

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