Ferguson Mann Architects were commissioned by English Heritage to carry out conservation works on the Iron Bridge, Shropshire. Grade I Listed, a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Iron Bridge is internationally recognised as one of the earliest examples of industrially produced iron and has become a symbol of the industrial revolution.

FMA’s heritage team were brought on board alongside the Morton Partnership to address structural defects in the wrought iron structure, carry out repair work on masonry, abutments and piers and to do redecoration on the iron work and re-surface the deck. Paint analysis, conducted as part of the conservation work by architectural paint researchers Crick Smith, uncovered that the bridge had originally been painted red! Their research showed that red lead oil paint had been directly applied to the cast iron surface which included sand particles, a typical historic paint method used for protection or to imitate stone. The restoration work reinstated the bold, red colour to reflect that of the original and the bridge is now open again for the public to enjoy.

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