Trustees from the Ironbridge Coracle Trust (ICT) have announced that it has secured funding to preserve a historic coracle shed on the banks of the River Seven. Much of the funding has come in the form of a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, which will ensure the shed is stabilised, repaired and established as a visitor attraction.
The shed dates from the 1920s, but it is believed coracling on the Severn may date back to Roman times. The shed was owned by the Rogers family until the death of Eustace Rogers in 2003 and used by Eustace and his father and grandfather before him for building Ironbridge coracles. While it’s no longer owned by the family, many friends of the family, along with other concerned residents, are still involved in the ICT. The Trust bought the shed in 2017, with the help of funding from Telford & Wrekin Council’s Community Pride Fund.
ICT chair Terry Kenny said, “Thanks to the support of the National Lottery, we have the opportunity to really tell the story of the coracle’s place in Ironbridge through the conservation of the shed, an exciting programme of activities, and the creation of the coracle trail.”
Works began on site at the end of January and are expected to finish in May. A new Coracle Stories Hut has been built on a site donated by the Small Woods Association at Coalbrookdale’s Green Wood Centre while renovations are ongoing. The ICT will also work with the local community to document and record some of the memories of those who knew the last coracle men, and there will be a programme of activities to enable young people to discover traditional skills. Visit coracleshed.org for details.