The Tenbury Wells Pump Rooms
Tenbury Wells shown within Worcestershire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||TENBURY WELLS|
|Fire||Hereford and Worcester|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
|UK Parliament||West Worcestershire|
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 villages such as Stoke Bliss, 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.
The history of Tenbury Wells 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, possibly 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 that was constructed to defend and control the original River Teme crossing. It has also been described as "... the remains of an 11th century Norman Castle."
A legal record of 1399 mentions a place spelt perhaps as Temedebury which may be a further variation in spelling.
Originally named "Temettebury", the town was granted a Royal Charter to hold a market in 1249. 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. 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). 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 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.
The Victorian Workhouse, designed by George Wilkinson, was used as the local Council Buildings from 1937 to the early 21st century and is currently being converted into residential housing. The Victorian infirmary behind the workhouse is scheduled to be demolished to create car parking for a new Tesco Superstore.
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. In 2013, a new monthly 'local producers market' started, initially held near the Pump Rooms, more recently on Teme Street. Photo
Apple and fruit heritage
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 Photo. This heritage is revisited every October during the Tenbury Applefest. 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. The proposal continued to attract protests, and in July 2007 a petition against the plans was signed by more than 2,300 people. In July 2009 it was announced that the £965,000 grant offered to the power station had been withdrawn and the project shelved.
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. Since then much work has been done in respect of improved drainage and particularly defences in Market Street.
The Regal Cinema on Teme Street in Tenbury Wells opened in 1937. It operated as a commercial cinema as one of six in the Craven Cinemas chain, until the decline of British cinema led to 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 has been subject of a Heritage Lottery Fund supported restoration project. Replicas of the 1930s mediterranean murals by artist George Legge have been painted around the auditorium, the detailing on the front of the building has been recreated, and neon lighting has been erected on the canopy at the front of the building. The building, owned by Tenbury Town Council is now under the management of a trust. Modern equipment now allows the showing of recently released films, live broadcasts and live acts.
Paul Daniels is the patron at The Regal in Tenbury.
For primary education Tenbury Wells is served by Tenbury CofE Primary School on Bromyard Road. Tenbury High Ormiston Academy on Oldwood Road is the main secondary school for the area, while King’s St Michael's College (also on Oldwood Road) is an independent international boarding school.
- Acton Adams, New Zealand Politician
- Archer Baldwin, Member of Parliament (MP)
- Harold "Barehands" Bates, Royal Navy officer
- Dean Vincent Carter, author
- Henry Hill Hickman, pioneer of anaesthesia
- Jason King, DJ and television presenter
- Tom Matthews, mayor and chairman of former Leominster District Council
- Frederick Ouseley, composer, organist, and musical scholar.
- Wilfred Shorting, cricketer
- British History Online Retrieved 21 May 2009.
- Herefordshire Council web site. Retrieved 21 May 2009.
- "Ten facts about Tenbury Wells". BBC News. 2006-05-03. Retrieved 2006-07-14.
- Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas. National Archives; CP 40/555; http://aalt.law.uh.edu/H4/CP40no555/aCP40no555fronts/IMG_0225.htm; 4th entry, towards the end of the first line.
- Worcestershire Family History Guidebook, Vanessa Morgan, 2011, p20 The History Press, Stroud, Gloucestershire.
- Carey, Jackie (2004-12-01). "Tenbury Refuses to Kiss Goodbye to Mistletoe". BBC News. Retrieved 2006-07-14.
- Malvern Hills District official website
- Malvern Hills District Council Planning Committee decision 7 March 2012
- Teme Valley Times Festive Special 2006 p2.
- "Opposition to power station plan". BBC News. 2007-04-24. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- Fry, Claire (2007-08-10). "Protestors concern over power plant". Worcester News. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- "Thousands sign power petition". Shropshire Star. 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2009-3 April 2009. Check date values in:
- Birmingham Post (newspaper) 23 July 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2010
- "Regal Cinema Website". 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
- "HLF Restoration Project Blog". 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
Miller, Howard (2004): Tenbury Wells and the Teme Valley ISBN 978-0-7524-0722-7