Draughtsman: Dawson, Robert
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
This plan covers East Shropshire and part of Staffordshire, with the River Severn Valley depicted down the left side of the sheet. Here, in its middle course, the river becomes deeper and wider, forming a floodplain in which crops such as wheat and barley are grown. Down the right side of the plan is a section of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, built by the canal engineer, James Brindley as part of his 'Grand Cross', a farsighted scheme to link the ports of Hull, Liverpool and Bristol by connecting the rivers Mersey, Trent and Severn. The canal opened in May 1772. Ironbridge on the Severn at the top left of the plan is said to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. This tiny town gave the world its first iron bridge in 1779.