We start this academic year with a theme of “engineering” – and where better to begin than in the tranquil little village of Coalbrookdale in Shropshire?  Why Coalbrookdale? 

Coalbrookdale is a UNESCO World Heritage site, often referred to as the ‘birthplace of the industrial revolution’. Today, building with iron and steel is quite normal but, back in the late 18th century, this had never been done before. The first large-scale iron construction in the world was the bridge built across the gorge in Coalbrookdale, leading to the village and surrounding area being know as “Ironbridge’.

There is so much to see in the Ironbridge area – there are 10 museums devoted to its industrial past, including a Victorian village where you really can step back into the past, dressing as a Victorian and buying things in Victorian shops (with Victorian money!) – you can also have the slightly-scary experience of being a child in Victorian school.

Below are some memories of our visit to Ironbridge: 

In the scary Victorian school …


With scary Victorian teacher!


OK, I know it’s not Downton Abbey – but not bad


Well!  This is more like it – very classy – courtesy of Blist Hill’s Victorian photographer.  Thanks to Cornelia and Wini for this image.


At the tile museum designing and making our own tiles


On our visit to the Coalport China Museum, they let us loose on the clay…

Not all of our work focused on engineering from the past. At Enginuity, we concentrated on some very modern technologies in order to design and make simple pewter artifacts:

Computer-aided design

 And here’s a little video showing the laser cutting of the design …

A finished article


Finally, here we all are outside Blist Hill Museum  – we were all very sad to leave after this final visit – thank you to all in Ironbridge for a truly great learning experience.