Telford is a large new town in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England, about east of Shrewsbury, and north west of Birmingham. With an estimated population of 170,300 in 2010 and around 155,000 in Telford itself, Telford is the largest town in Shropshire, and one of the fastest-growing towns in the United Kingdom.
It is named after civil engineer Thomas Telford, who engineered many road and rail projects in Shropshire. The town was put together in the 1960s and 1970s as a new town on previously industrial and agricultural land and smaller towns. Like other planned towns of the era, Telford was created from the merger of other, smaller settlements, most notably the towns of Wellington, Oakengates, Madeley and Dawley. Many of the New Towns newer inhabitants were originally from Birmingham or Wolverhampton.
Telford Shopping Centre, a modern shopping mall, was constructed at the new towns geographical centre, along with an extensive Town Park. The M54 motorway was completed in 1983, improving the towns road links with the West Midlands conurbation.
On Telfords southern boundaries is the Ironbridge Gorge, a scenic tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town advertises itself as "The Birthplace of Industry", due to it having Coalbrookdale and other places in the Ironbridge Gorge area, within its boundary. These areas are internationally recognised as being important to the Industrial Revolution, and being to a large extent constructed on the Shropshire Coalfield.
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