For those with an interest in engineering and industrial history, Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire, England, could be the centre of the universe. It was here that the Industrial Revolution first took hold, and the area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a mainstay of the European Route of Industrial Heritage.
Among 35 historic industrial sites and 10 Ironbridge Gorge Museums is an intriguing subterranean passageway known as the Tar Tunnel. The origins of the 18th century structure lie in a major infrastructure project proposed by the industrialist William Reynolds.
Reynolds’ plan called for a canal tunnel to connect the lower mine galleries around Blists Hill with the Coalport Canal, which ran alongside the River Severn.