The Old Furnace, in Coalbrookdale Shropshire is to be recognised with an Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ (IMechE) Engineering Heritage Award today, in recognition of it being the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
It was using the Old Furnace in 1709 that Abraham Darby pioneered the use of coke, rather than charcoal as a fuel for smelting iron, an innovation that marked the beginning of the industrial age.
Part of the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron complex, the Old Furnace is cared for by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, a World Heritage Site.
Engineering Heritage Awards recognise artefacts of particular engineering significance and previous winners include Concorde, Mallard locomotive and the code-breaking Bombe at Bletchley Park. The Awards were set up in 1984 and this will be the 100th Award to be presented to a significant engineering artefact.