Telford (// (listen)) is a large town in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England, about 15 miles (24 km) east of Shrewsbury, 21 miles (34 km) south west of Stafford, 19 miles (31 km) north west of Wolverhampton, and 28 miles (45 km) from Birmingham in the same direction. With an estimated population (for the borough) of 175,271 in 2017 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.
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From top, left to right: Telford skyline, Southwater, Telford Town Park and Telford Plaza
|OS grid reference|
|• London||140 mi (230 km) SE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||TF1–5, TF7|
It is named after civil engineer Thomas Telford, who engineered many road, canal 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 towns. Like other planned towns of the era, Telford was created from the merger of other settlements and towns, most notably the towns of Wellington, Oakengates, Madeley and Dawley.
Telford Shopping Centre, a modern shopping mall, was constructed at the new town's geographical centre, along with an extensive Town Park. The M54 motorway was completed in 1983, improving the town's road links with the West Midlands conurbation.
On Telford's 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.