Ironbridge Power Station – Demolished

Unfortunately, this was a site that just slipped through my fingers. However I am glad to have seen what I did, and got what photos I did, few as they are.

Technical Details

Commission Date: 1969.

Decommission Date: 2015.

Capacity: 1,000MW (two units).

Cooling Towers: four pink con toroid cooling towers laid out in a curved manner.

Chimney: one 205 meter (673ft) single flue stack.

Fuel Type(s): coal, later biomass.

Control System: Advanced Plant Management System.

Boiler Manufacturer: Foster Wheeler.

Turbine Generator Manufacturer: Associated Electric Industries.

Architect: Alan Clark of Sir Percy Thomas and Son.

Status: demolished.


Ironbridge B Power Station, also known as Buildwas Power Station, was a coal fired and later biomass fired power station standing north west of the town of Ironbridge on the banks of the River Severn. The later 1,000MW power station was build adjacent to the site of Ironbridge A Power Station which was commissioned in 1932 with a generating capacity of only 200MW. Ironbridge A generated electricity until 1981 whereupon it was closed and demolished – only the pumping station by the River Severn survives. The B station was begun in 1963 and was designed by Alan Clark of Sir Percy Thomas and Son (the same firm who designed Eggborough Power Station) and commissioned on June 11th of 1969. The B Station was equipped with two 500MW turbo-generator units driven by steam from coal fired boilers. Both units used two pink cooling towers to cool the condenser feed water.

From the site’s conception all the way to 1990, Ironbridge B was owned and operated by the CEGB. Upon the privatisation of the electrical industry, Ironbridge B passed to Powergen. In 2001, Powergen was acquired by E.ON, a German company based in Essen, and became E.ON UK. The company decided to guillotine the power station’s future by opting it out of the draconian and dictatorial EU Large Combustion Plant Directive, meaning it had to close after 20,000 hours of operation. Ironbridge B Power Station was finally powered down in November of 2015, bringing about the end of electrical generation in the Gorge. As of 2022, nothing remains of Ironbridge B.

The Explore:

In October of 2019, a former exploring acquaintance and I ventured up to Ironbridge Power Station in Shropshire to photograph the cooling towers before their impeding demolition in December of 2019. Unfortunately we got to the game too late, as workers had stripped out a huge portion of the site. Security was high so we had to very carefully meandre our way around the security measures, eventually arriving at the cooling towers. They were gigantic. And inside, when looking up, I got the sense of being at the bottom of a huge toilet roll tube. Unfortunately, thanks to the other explorer I was with blundering out without looking right into the view of a patrolling security guard, we were caught and promptly turfed off the site before we could get anywhere near the main building. Here are the photographs.

General View

Cooling Towers