Tenbury Wells

From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
Tenbury Wells
The Pump Rooms, Tenbury Wells.jpg
The Tenbury Wells Pump Rooms
Location: 52°18’-0"N, 2°34’48"W
Population: 3,316  (2001)
Post town: Tenbury Wells
Postcode: WR15
Dialling code: 01584
Local Government
Council: Malvern Hills
West Worcestershire

Tenbury Wells is a small market town in northern Worcestershire. It stands on the south bank of the River Teme, which here forms the border between Shropshire and Worcestershire. Opposite the town, across the river in Shropshire, is the village of Burford.


The history of Tenbury Wells is extends as far back as the Iron Age. The town is often thought of as the home to the Castle Tump, but this is now in Burford, Shropshire due to boundary changes. Though the Tump, believed to be the remains of an early Norman motte and bailey castle, can be seen from the main road (A456) there are no visible remains of the castle, which was constructed to defend and control the original River Teme crossing.[1] It has also been described as "... the remains of an 11th century Norman Castle."

Originally named "Temettebury", the town was granted a Royal Charter to hold a market in 1249.[1] Over time, the name changed to "Tenbury", and then added the "Wells" following the discovery of mineral springs and wells in the town in the 1840s.[1] The name of the Railway station, which was on the now-defunct Tenbury & Bewdley Railway, was changed in 1912, in an attempt to publicise the mineral water being produced from the wells around the town.

For over 100 years Tenbury has been well known throughout the country for its winter auctions of holly and mistletoe (and other Christmas products).[2] It is also known for its "Chinese-gothic" Pump Room buildings, built in 1862, which reopened in 2001, following a major restoration Photo. They are now owned by Tenbury Town Council, having been transferred from Malvern Hills District Council[3] in September 2008.


One notable architectural feature in the town is the unique (often described as Chinese-Gothic) Pump Rooms, designed by James Cranston in the 1860s, to house baths where the mineral water was available. One of the baths is on show at Tenbury Museum as is the drinking fountain from the Pump Rooms. Other notable structures in Tenbury include the parish church with a Norman tower, and a number of monuments.

The part-Mediæval bridge over the River Teme, linking Tenbury to Burford, Shropshire was rebuilt by Thomas Telford following flood damage in 1795.

The Victorian era Workhouse, designed by George Wilkinson, has been sold to a private investor having formerly been used as the local Council Buildings. The Workhouse's infirmary currently survives, but is scheduled to be demolished[4] during 2012 to create car parking. The unique Victorian era corrugated iron isolation hospital was demolished on October 24, 2006.[5]

Local interest

Markets are held on Tuesday mornings, Friday mornings, and Saturday mornings, in and around the town's Round Market building, which was designed by James Cranston in the 1850s.

Tenbury was also known as 'the town in the orchard' due to the large numbers of fruit orchards of apple trees and also pears, quince and plum trees, in the immediate vicinity of the town. This heritage is revisited every October during the Tenbury Applefest.


For several centuries Tenbury has been subject to regular flooding on many occasions, and most recently in 2007 and in 2008. At the 2007 flood, the River Teme and the Kyre Brook burst their banks. Later, 0.59 in of rain fell in an hour and the town's drainage system (much of which was blocked) failed to cope, creating flash flooding. A third flood again involved the River Teme and the Kyre Brook bursting their banks. The 2008 flood damage was caused by a combination of the drainage not having been upgraded since the 2007 floods and the wall on Market Street (which should hold back the Kyre Brook) not having been rebuilt following the 2007 floods.

Regal Cinema

The Regal Cinema on Teme Street in Tenbury Wells opened in 1937.[6] It operated as a commercial cinema as one of six in the Craven Cinemas chain, until the decline of British cinema forced its closure in 1966. Following purchase by Tenbury Town Council to prevent demolition of the building, various volunteer groups have run cinema showings in the building.

The Regal is currently undergoing a Heritage Lottery Fund supported restoration project which will restore many of the original internal features including original auditorium lighting schemes, 1930s mediterranean murals by artist George Legge and detailing and lights on the front of the building.

Outside links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Ten facts about Tenbury Wells". BBC News. 2006-05-03. http://www.bbc.co.uk/herefordandworcester/content/articles/2006/05/02/tenbury_wells_facts_feature.shtml. Retrieved 2006-07-14. 
  2. Carey, Jackie (2004-12-01). "Tenbury Refuses to Kiss Goodbye to Mistletoe". BBC News. http://www.bbc.co.uk/herefordandworcester/content/articles/2004/11/30/misteltoe_feature.shtml. Retrieved 2006-07-14. 
  3. Malvern Hills District official website
  4. Malvern Hills District Council Planning Committee decision 7th March 2012
  5. Teme Valley Times Festive Special 2006 p2
  6. "Regal Cinema Website". 2012-02-03. http://regaltenbury.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 

Further reading

Miller, Howard (2004): Tenbury Wells and the Teme Valley ISBN 978-0-7524-0722-7