The Railway Station, Bewdley, Worcestershire, DY12 1DU
Station Website: http://www.bewdleystation.co.uk/
1) Bewdley background
In geological terms, the River Severn is surprisingly young, forming 25,000 years ago during the last glacial period. A lake, near what is now Shrewsbury, overspilled, carving out a steep sided gorge at Ironbridge and widening out as the river crossed over into Worcestershire.
The River Severn
The river is quite deep, broad and potentially lethal, and so relatively shallow crossing points were extremely valued. A permanent settlement, Gurbehale, was eventually established by the Saxons on the east bank of the river. Ultimately, this became the parish of Wribbenhall which contains Bewdley station itself (Many railway stations were named after the more sizable population nearby and this was no exception). The town of Bewdley was certainly established by the Norman period and became an important inland port, particularly since the river was tidal this far inland until the construction of weirs downstream.
Crossing the river
The earliest bridge was built in 1336, although today’s structure is a Thomas Telford design, dated 1798. The opening of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal in 1772 was to prove a crippling blow to the towns four thousand inhabitants due to the loss of trade downstream to Stourport and it soon became apparent that without action the situation would continue to worsen.