The Tar Tunnel

High Street





(Get Directions)

01952 433424

The Tar Tunnel



Type Price Details
Adult £3.25
Child £2.50
Concession £2.75


Dare you enter this narrow, dimly lit tunnel to see a geological curiosity, where bitumen still oozes through the walls. Don't forget to pick up your hard hat!

The Tar tunnel is another remarkable and interesting feature of the Ironbridge Gorge. Located along the banks of the River Severn in the Village of Coalport, the tunnel starts near the foot of the Hay Inclined Plane and runs under the hill for at least 1000 yards. The Tar tunnel 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'.

For group visits, contact the group visits officer for group prices on 01952 435900.

Opening Times

SUMMER OPENING 29/03/2014 – 02/11/2014

Mon – Sun, 10.30am - 4pm

WINTER OPENING 03/11/2014 – 13/03/2015



Picnic Site Parking (free) Groups Acepted Min group size Max group size Guided Tours Available for Groups Educational Visits Accepted Guide Dogs Permitted Visa accepted MasterCard accepted Switch accepted Delta accepted Solo accepted Sterling Travellers Cheques accepted


From junction 4 of the M54 follow brown and white signs to Blists Hill Museum (Ironbridge). Pass Blists Hill and follow the road down. Finish on the right at the Tar Tunnel.


The details displayed on this page are correct at the time of publication however, Shropshire Tourism would like to advise all visitors to check prices & opening times with the venue prior to traveling in case of changes that might have occured since the publication of this page. Whilst Shropshire Tourism endeavours to ensure that the information on this site is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and Shropshire Tourism does not accept any liability for error or omission. The directions above are for planning purposes only and should be used alongside a general roadmap or satnav system. Variables such as road/construction works, traffic, weather conditions etc may cause alterations to the route.

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