The Iron Bridge is in a town called Ironbridge (very creative). It is an arch bridge over the River Severn that was built in 1779
. It spans 100 feet and rises 60 feet over the water. Like a lot of new innovative structures, the Iron Bridge was created as a solution to an inefficiency problem. Nobody wanted to take the ferry across the river anymore, it just took too long. A nearby coal burning plant had made the price of building with iron a little cheaper, so the engineers and architects could think outside the box and build the first iron arch bridge. All the members of the bridge were individually casted. There were over 800 in total. Since there was no previous iron designs to go off of, the building techniques mimicked that of carpentry, including using blind dove tails for the joints. The deck of the bridge ramps slightly on both sides and meets in the middle. Really quite impressive for 1779. A lot of people say this bridge is really what got the Industrial Revolution started. Nice little side trip that was! Back in the car we got, to carry on to Cheddar. Mmmm Cheddar.
One of the sweet things about having a car, is we get to choose whatever path we want to take, and stop wherever we want along the way. During our stay in Conwy, Jess started talking with a lady staying in her room. Jess told her about our trip and that we planned to head south towards Bristol. The lady asked Jess if we planned to go see the Iron Bridge along the way. "What's that?" Jess inquired for her husband's sake. "The first iron bridge ever made!" the lady exclaimed. Turns out the Iron Bridge was really close to the route we chose (with the help of other people we met at the hostel), so yes we are stopping to see it. The drive was a lot less stressful today, and way more scenic. I got lots of practice on the narrow windy UK roads, and I only accidentally hit the wiper blades once.