Along with such monuments as the Acropolis, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China, the spectacular Ironbridge Gorge has been classified as a World Heritage Site since 1986.
The Gorge was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO for the area's unique contribution to the birth of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century which had a worldwide impact.
300 years ago this was the world's technological hotspot where Abraham Darby I first perfected the use of coke to mass-produce iron. Entrepreneurs and Iron masters such as William Reynolds and John Wilkinson made good use of this wonder product. Wilkinson was even buried in an iron coffin!
The surviving built and natural environment with its museums, monuments and artefacts, including the world famous Iron Bridge of 1779, serve to remind us of this area’s unique contribution to the history and development of industrialised society.
For over 30 years, UNESCO has been working with countries across the world to identify World Heritage Sites and ensure their safe keeping and protection for future generations. There are now nearly 800 World Heritage Sites worldwide.