Conservation of the iconic Iron Bridge.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, a Scheduled Monument and a Grade I Listed Building, the Iron Bridge was erected over the River Severn in Shropshire in 1779 and is internationally recognised as one of the earliest examples of industrially produced iron. This pioneering single-span cast-iron structure was a turning point in British design and engineering and has become a symbol of the industrial revolution.

Ferguson Mann Architects were brought on to assist with the development of conservation strategies, the presentation of recommendations and submissions for consent. In addition to the traditional responsibilities for the masonry repairs to the abutments and piers, and re-surfacing the deck, we also helped to ensure that the conservation strategies were incorporated into the decision making process throughout the project. This included commissioning historic paint research to determine the most authentic colours which uncovered that the bridge had originally been painted red which led to the decision to reinstate the bridge to its striking original colour.

We were responsible for developing the visitor engagement and learning opportunities during the course of the project, in line with the aspirations of English Heritage. The project itself realised its considerable visitor attraction potential by installing a temporary accessible walkway during the construction allowing the public full access to view work in progress.

The works, part of a major £2m conservation project for the English Heritage Trust was completed in early 2019.