13 November 2017

Call for public support to help save the Iron Bridge

English Heritage has revealed that a €1 million donation from the Hermann Reemtsma Foundation has helped start the fundraising appeal
The scaffolding ercted around the Iron Bridge.

Work has this week started on English Heritage's major conservation project to save the Iron Bridge. The charity is now calling on the public to help raise the final funds needed to complete the work.

Built in 1779 over the River Severn in Shropshire, the Iron Bridge was the first single span arch bridge in the world to be made of cast iron. It was a turning point in British engineering and the predecessor of today's railways and skyscrapers.

Surveys and extensive investigations has revealed that the Iron Bridge is under threat from cracking and stresses in the ironwork. This is due to ground movement over the centuries and an earthquake in the 19th century.

Now English Heritage has begun a major project to clean, conserve and repair the 378 ton masterpiece. But the charity needs your help and has teamed up with Crowdfunder to raise the final funds needed.

Donate to Project Iron Bridge today.

A worker wearing a hard hat attends to the bridge.

Why the Iron Bridge is so important

The Iron Bridge is considered a symbol of the Industrial Revolution and it was the first bridge to be made entirely out of cast iron. It set a trend for metal to become widely used in bridges, aqueducts and buildings, changing the face of modern engineering forever.

English Heritage has already received a generous €1 million donation from the Hermann Reemtsma Foundation, which has boosted the project significantly.

Kate Mavor, English Heritage's Chief Executive, said:

'The Iron Bridge is one of the most important - if not the most important - bridges ever built. Today we are asking the public to help us save the Iron Bridge so that it can continue to inspire us for generations to come.'

Jochen Muennich of the Hermann Reemtsma Foundation said:

'We immediately recognised the value of English Heritage's project to conserve the Iron Bridge, an outstanding example of the late 18th century engineering skills pioneered in Great Britain and subsequently adopted and developed throughout Europe. Not only do we admire the Iron Bridge as an important technical landmark, but we also see it as a potent reminder of our continent's common cultural roots and values.

'This is the foundation's first funding venture in the UK, a signal of our strong attachment to Great Britain in general, and to the mission of English Heritage in particular. In the current climate it seems more important than ever to raise awareness of the links on our industrial heritage and our broader cultural bonds.'

A close-up of the scaffolding around the Iron Bridge

How can I save the Iron Bridge?

English Heritage has launched its first crowd-funding campaign to contribute to the £3.6 million project, the largest conservation project since we became a charity.

The charity has already received a €1 million donation from the German Hermann Reemtsma Foundation, but needs just £25,000 more to preserve the bridge for future generations to enjoy.

Generous donors will have the opportunity to enjoy a range of rewards including 'conservation-in-action' tours of the Iron Bridge and a limited edition print of the Iron Bridge by renowned designer Paul Catherall.

Be part of the Iron Bridge's story and visit our Crowdfunder page to donate today.

Learn more about this iconic monument and discover the history of the Iron Bridge.

For more from English Heritage, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Keep up with the progress of the project with the hashtag #ProjectIronBridge.

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