A HIDDEN face has been discovered underneath a historic bridge – believed to be that of the man who built the iconic structure.
The world-famous Iron Bridge, in Shropshire, was built in 1779 by Abraham Darby III but only recently has the ‘guarded secret’ come to light.
For hidden underneath the bridge, lies a mysterious profile of a man- said to bare a striking resemblance to Darby.
The suggestion is that the brains behind the world’s first Iron Bridge had his profile built into the structure, just under the apex of the bridge.
Ironbridge resident Kerrie Vaughan was astonished when walking under the
bridge to look up and see the face.
“I was amazed, to be honest,” said Kerrie. “Even my 80-year-old grandad who lived in the area knew nothing about it. It seems to me to be quite a guarded secret.
“I was doing canvassing for work and walked under the bridge with a businessman who asked me to look up and see if I could see anything.
“I couldn’t really see. But when he pointed it out, on both sides of the bridge, I was amazed by it. Not a lot of people seem to know about it.
“You can see his forehead, his nose, his chin, and his long hair.
“If you go underneath the bridge and look up at a particular angle, that’s the only way you can see it. I have been told that when the sun shines it reflects the face of Abraham Darby on to the river, although I haven’t seen that myself.”
Trawling the internet, Kerrie has come up with only one reference to the mysterious face, with an image carried on the Flickr website.
She took her own photo on a mobile phone.
Paul Gossage, of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum, said: “There is no historical reference to it.
“It’s a well known local legend, more than anything else. We can only put it down to folklore.
“It definitely would not have been implemented by the Darby family because they were Quakers and anything capturing their image would be highly frowned upon, which is why there are no portraits of them.”