Iron Bridge, Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire, c1980-c2017. View of the bridge looking down the River Severn with reflections shown in the water. Abraham Darby established an iron works at nearby Coalbrookdale in 1708. His grandson, Abraham Darby III built this bridge, the first cast iron bridge in the world, between 1777 and 1779. It was designed by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard and opened in 1781.