The Tar tunnel is located along the banks of the River Severn at Coalport, the tunnel starts near the foot of the Hay Inclined Plane and runs under the hill for at least 1000 yards. It was dug from the hillside in 1787 - probably in connection with the nearby coal workings. The miners struck a gushing underground spring of thick, treacle-like natural bitumen that was one of the great curiosities of the eighteenth century and still oozes from the walls today.
It was used to treat ropes and for caulking ships however small amounts of the bitumen was processed, bottled and packaged as 'Betton's British Oil'. It was sold as a remedy for 'rheumatic and scorbutic affections'.
It is now part of the Ironbridge Museum in Shropshire.
|camera||Canon EOS 50D|
|exposure mode||shutter priority|