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Jackfield

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Jackfield is a village in Shropshire, England, lying on the south bank of River Severn in the Ironbridge Gorge, downstream from Ironbridge.Like many of the settlements in the area, it is notable for its place in the Industrial Revolution.HistoryJackfield grew as a river port for nearby Broseley and Benthall (which are situated high above the Severn) and is a notable part of the area's famous early industrial activity. The first railway in Shropshire and second in Great Britain was built here – by 1605, the lord of the manor of Broseley, James Clifford, had constructed a wooden railway (usually termed a wagonway) from his coal mines to the river at Jackfield. It has recently been suggested that this is older than the Wollaton Wagonway which is generally thought to be the earliest such wagonway. There was a pottery here from at least 1634 and corn mills existed along the stream that flowed into the river. The wooden railway also followed the route of this stream, which is the valley which Calcutts Road runs down.The potteries flourished and became known for their drinking mugs produced, and the Thursfield family from Stoke-on-Trent ("the Potteries") arrived in 1713 to set up a pottery here. Their Jackfield Ware (a highly vitrified black earthenware decorated with gold flowers and figures) became famous around the mid-18th century. Manufacture of pottery continued throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, with specialism moving on to the production of tiles, including high quality encaustic tiles, and this manufacture continues today albeit on a small scale (in part to replace Jackfield-made tiles in conservation work, including on the London Underground and the Houses of Parliament). Jackfield Tile Museum is one of the ten museums of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.
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