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Coordinates: 52°18′N 2°35′W / 52.30°N 2.58°W / 52.30; -2.58

Tenbury Wells

The Tenbury Wells Pump Rooms
Population 3,316 (2001)[1]
Civil parish Tenbury
District Malvern Hills
Shire county Worcestershire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district WR15
Dialling code 01584
Police West Mercia
Fire Hereford and Worcester
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament West Worcestershire
List of places

Tenbury Wells is a market town and civil parish in the north-western extremity of the Malvern Hills District administrative area of Worcestershire, England. The 2001 census reported a population of 3,316.


Tenbury Wells lies on the south bank of the River Teme, which forms the border between Shropshire and Worcestershire. It is in the north-west of the Malvern Hills District. The settlement Burford in Shropshire lies on the north bank of the river.


From 1894 to 1974, it was a rural district, comprising itself and other villages such as Stoke Bliss,[2] Eastham and Rochford. From 1974 Tenbury was in the borough of Leominster until it became part Malvern Hills District when Leominster District Council was taken over by Herefordshire Council in April 1998.[3]

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.[4] 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.[4] 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.[4] 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.

The St. Michael and All Angels Choir School devoted to the Anglican choral tradition by Frederick Ouseley closed in 1985 and the buildings now serve alternative educational purposes.

For over 100 years Tenbury has been well known throughout the country for its winter auctions of 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-Thomas Telford following flood damage in 1795. The Victorian era Workhouse, designed by George Wilkinson, has recently 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[7] to create car parking for a Tesco store. The unique Victorian era corrugated iron isolation hospital was demolished on 24 October 2006.[8] Despite there being a superfluity of supermarkets in nearby Leominster and Ludlow, Tesco has persisted, against considerable local opposition, to gain a foot-hold in this small old market-town. Tesco will build its new store on the very site of the ancient market itself.

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.Photo

Apple and fruit heritage

Tenbury was also known as 'the town in the orchard' due to the large numbers of fruit Tenbury Applefest website.

Tenbury in poetry

Orchards gay with blossom,
Beauty, there to see,
Hollows where breeze is tender,
Moorlands where wind breaks free;
Sowing, Lambing, and Harvest,
Overlooked by Giant Clee,
Hop Kilns, Farmsteads, and TENBURY,
This is happiness for me;

Power station shelved

A proposal to build a biomass power station on a business park failed due to residents' concern about the disruption to local businesses during its construction.[9] The proposal continued to attract protests, and in July 2007 a petition against the plans was signed by more than 2,300 people.[10][11] In July 2009 it was announced that the £965,000 grant offered to the power station had been withdrawn and the project shelved.[12]

Local flooding

For several centuries Tenbury has been subject to regular flooding on many occasions, and most recently in 2007 and in 2008. The first flood was caused by the River Teme and the Kyre Brook bursting their banks. The second was caused by a combination of 15mm (0.59 in) of rain falling in an hour and the town's drainage system (much of which was blocked) failing to cope, creating flash flooding. The 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.[13] 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.[14]

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.

Notable people


Further reading

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

External links

  • Tenbury Museum
  • Teme Valley Times = local paper
  • Tenbury and Burford Civic Society
  • Tenbury Town Council
  • Tenbury Applefest
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