Tar Tunnel

Shropshire, TF8 7HT

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The Tar Tunnel is amongst the oldest tourist attractions in the Ironbridge Gorge.

Be prepared to don a hard hat if you want to visit the eerie underground tar tunnel. Over 200 years after miners first struck a spring of natural bitumen, the black treacle substance still oozes through the walls and wells up in puddles.

Along the tunnel path, visitors are invited to crouch and peer inside miniature caverns to see the thick pools of liquid tar. 

Back in the late 1700s, bitumen was turned into pitch, lamp black and rheumatical remedies and a visit to the tunnel will explain how the early industrialists of the Gorge overcame the natural obstacles.

There's also a chance to see the Hay Inclined Plane, an invention from the early 1790s that was designed to move tub boats between the Shropshire Canal at the top of the hill and the Coalport Canal at the bottom.

Venue information

Opening times

Mid Mar – early Oct

Mon – Sun, 11am – 3pm

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)