Ironbridge is a fascinating place. First Geologically, because of the natural resources presented both at the surface and below it. The river Severn flows through town (how major heavy goods traveled this way in 1709).
Under the ground there is coal, coke, oil, iron ore and clay. A recipe for bricks. Cast Iron, steel, and lots of ground breaking engineering. During the industrial revolution this area was a landmark.
Perhaps because of it geological restrictions the town remains relatively unspoiled (by heavy cheap architecture and commercialism) and now is very touristy but for good reasons.
The entire town of Blists Hill is now a living museum . The heavy industry has of course left, but the steam engine powered lift for the coal mine shaft is still demonstrated. And the hay lift from the river to the canal remains to viewed too.(non operational though).
The culture of the town is well represented too, and while undoubtedly romanticized now, would still have been richly creative town, pottery, iron, copper and tin crafts, textiles and on.
Next door at the forge, they still use the iron ore from the ground and make novel bottle openers and other touristy stuff over a fanned coal fire, and anvil :)
With all the coal burning, brick works, mining noise and iron forging, I'm certain I would not have liked to live in that polluted town back then. It sure is a fascinating place to visit though.