Upton Upon Severn

Upton Upon Severn

Upton Upon Severn is a picturesque town that sits alongside the River Severn.

Upton Upon Severn is a small lively town that sits on the river Severn just a few miles from Malvern and the lovely village of Hanley Swan. Upton Upon Severn was founded in 897 and until the latter half of the 20th century, the bridge at Upton was the only one across the River Severn between Worcester and Tewkesbury. Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers crossed the Severn here to win the battle of Upton before the main Battle of Worcester in the English Civil War.

Upton upon severn white lion hotelThe White Lion Hotel is a popular place to eat and was a 16th-century coaching inn and parts of the building date back to 1510. Over the centuries the building has undergone many transformations. It is on the high street and its distinctive portico, adorned with its very own lion make it easy to find. The White Lion’s history suggests that it played a part in the English Civil War, with soldiers from both sides enjoying the hospitality of this local hostelry prior to the Battle of Worcester.

The bridge over the river was rebuilt in 1853 and the present bridge was built in 1940.

Upton upon severn marinaThe main bulk of visitors to Upton Upon Severn come to attend one of the many music festivals that take place throughout the year and we’ve listed these below. You can take a stroll along the river via the Ham Nature Reserve, or visit the Marina and enjoy the moored boats or a bite to eat at The Wheelhouse restaurant.

In 2000 some low-lying areas of Upton suffered serious flooding, and in the 2007 flood levels exceeded these, and the town was inaccessible by road. In 2013 the second and final phase of a £4.5m flood prevention scheme was completed in Waterside with a permanent flood wall, which has relieved the flooding problem for the town.

Tudor House Museum

Upton upon Severn Tudor House MuseumThe Tudor House was built in the 17th Century and the three floors are devoted to local and interesting historical objects. Once a restaurant it was turned into a museum by Lavender Beard to display her collection of glass, china, and pottery. She later added household goods and kitchenware, an extensive gallery of photographs of old Upton and most recently a tailor’s workshop.

Open from Easter to October afternoons Tuesday to Sunday & Bank Holidays 1.30 – 4.30 pm – Winter Opening Sundays 2.00 – 4.00pm
Admission £3.00 Concessions £2.00. Children (must be accompanied by an adult) Free. Website; Tudor House Museum

The Bell Tower or Pepperpot

Upton upon severn bell towerThe Bell Tower sometimes referred to as the ‘Pepper Pot‘, dominates the main approach into Upton Upon Severn and is the highest value local landmark and oldest surviving building n the town. The main part of the Tower is likely to be fourteenth-century, with a base dating back to the thirteenth century, and quite possibly there was an even earlier wooden structure of Saxon foundation that once stood on the site.

In 1651 there was considerable damage to the church when it was held by Commonwealth troops against the Royalists during the Battle of Upton during the Civil War. The defeat of the Royalists and the loss of the important river crossing put Charles II at a serious strategic disadvantage, and he was to be defeated shortly afterwards at the Battle of Worcester.

The church was left to deteriorate until in 1754 when it was decided to erect a new naive in the then currently fashionable but simple ‘classical’ style. By 1770 the spire of the old tower was declared unsafe and was replaced with a wooden hexagonal lantern and lead cupola (later sheathed in copper) designed by architect Anthony Keck, giving the Tower its ‘pepper pot’ proportions.

Upton Upon Severn Cholera burial groundBack in 2011, whilst they were excavating to prepare the flood defence wall, some skeletons were found by the bridge as part of the Cemetery that did extend over the area, but now covered by the bridge. The remains from this graveyard date back to the 19th century and was definitely an extension to the graveyard around the old church. By the 1830’s the graveyard was full and negotiations for an extension were made when the 1832 cholera outbreak led to the creation of an entirely separate temporary burial ground on Glebeland out of the town. The negotiations eventually meant that a permanent extension was acquired in 1836. This was used until 1866 when the Enclosure Award had allocated land for a cemetery off Rectory Road. All burials then took place there apart from a few in pre-existing tombs in the old church graveyard.

By the nineteenth century, the church was deemed too small and a Neo-Gothic replacement was completed in 1979 at the end of Old Street. The nave of the old church was eventually dismantled in 1937 and the churchyard was laid out as a garden and in 1953 the church was declared an Ancient Monument.

This site provides more history of the Bell Tower with old photographs

Clive’s Fruit Farm

Clives fruit farm upton upon severnA popular destination for locals is Clive’s Fruit Farm, a successful family business founded in 1917. Charlie’s father, Felix returned from France after WW2 with new ideas from the Continent. He was a pioneer of ‘Pick Your Own’ back in the 60’s and the innovation is still very much evident today.

The farm shop is open all year round with ready picked fruits and vegetables available straight from the farm fresh or frozen and a local butchery. When in-season they always have freshly picked strawberries, raspberries, and other soft fruits and when out of season their policy is to buy as locally.

They produce their own apple and pear juices and offer a number of other facilities including a children’s play area with ducks and chickens roaming around along with some other farmyard animals.  Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome and delicious snacks are served in Godfrey’s coffee shop.

Boat Trips go from Upton Upon Severn

Severn Leisure Cruises has the largest passenger vessel on the River Severn, the MV Conway Castle and the sailing season runs between March and December. They offer Afternoon Tea Cruise, Fish and Chip Lunch Cruise, Tewkesbury or Worcester Waterbus, Sunday Lunch Cruise, Evening Party Cruise and private hire.

  • Wednesday you can take the Tewkesbury Waterbus and enjoy a 1¼ hour cruise each way with 2 ½ hours stop in the Medieval Old Town of Tewkesbury. Take the chance to visit the 12th Century Abbey, the famous network of alleyways and the famous local market. Boarding times are at 10.45am, you don’t need to book and there are light refreshments are on board with a full bar on the lower deck.
  • Thursday take the Worcester Waterbus, which is a 2¼ hour cruise each way. Pass the water meadows, heron cliffs and the villages of Severn Stoke and Kempsey to arrive at Diglis Lock. Once through the lock, you will see the view of the city and the boat will moor on south quay just below the Cathedral. You have 2¼ hours to visit the Cathedral, Royal Worcester Porcelain Museum or explore the many shops and restaurants. Boarding is at 10.15am and there is no need to book

Here are some of the top restaurants and cafe’s in Upton Upon Severn

The Sunshine Festival

upton upon severn music festivals

The Sunshine Festival (formally Upton Festival), is run by a small team of extremely dedicated and passionate people. Their vision is to create the UK’s greatest family festival, so it’s a very popular August event. Set on the riverside at Upton upon Severn, this festival hosts internationally renowned stars and great local talent.

There is a huge Campsite that is open from 12 pm on Friday until 12 pm on Monday, so campers can enjoy a long weekend.The Arena is open from the Friday, 5 pm to midnight and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to midnight

In addition to the various music tents and The Arena, there is the FOOD VILLAGE  and a carefully selected group of brilliant traders with diverse types of cuisine. Prices have been kept fair to keep in line with a family friendly festival and the types of food on offer range from Caribbean jerk chicken, award winning fish & chips, mouth watering hand-made sausages and create your own sourdough pizzas to choose from.

The Sunshine Festival website

Upton Upon Severn Jazz festival

upton upon severn Jazz music festivalThis Jazz weekend in June is full of jazz, swing, dance, fun and good company. There are 60 plus concerts over the 4 days, across two main areas of the town. There are 3 marquees on the Sports Ground with a large camp site and venues right throughout the town.

Down by the Riverside, there are six town venues including the ever popular Conway Castle Jazz river trips and Jazz under the Bridge, plus the ‘All Welcome’ jam sessions. There is a Jazz Bus running and there is a magical Church Service.

Each year the camping improves and just a short walk to the town is a bigger choice of stalls, food, and drink, plus free car parking next to the Sports Ground. Everything you need in one lovely place, with a guaranteed warm welcome from the town. There is always a stellar line-up of bands from right across the Jazz spectrum, so there is something for everyone.

The Jazz Festival website

Upton Upon Severn Blues Festival

upton upon severn Blues music festivalThe Blues Festival is held in July in and around the pubs and streets of Upton upon Severn and was ‘Festival of the Year’ in the British Blues Awards 2015. You can expect plenty of stage slots and an all day Friday session on the Upton Sports Field and a bigger educational program, offering better facilities.

The Upton Blues Festival has grown from a small event in a couple of pubs, into a music festival that swamps the town with many thousands of music fans, two main stages, an acoustic stage and ten pub venues creating over 100 performances in three days!!

The Blues Festival Website

Upton Upon Severn Folk Festival

upton upon severn music folk festivalThe Upton Folk Festival features a usual range of great performers, with regulars, old favourites, and new guests. There are sessions in the pubs, dancing in the streets and good company and fellowship throughout the town.

The Upton Folk Festival hosts five thriving competitions: The Andy Scarf Memorial trophy for Morris Announcements, The southern heat of The John Birmingham Cup for Songwriters, The Upton In Bloom Duck Race, The Decorated Duck Race and The Demon Barbers Clog Competition.

The Folk Festival Website

If you need any accommodation you will love a stay at Orchard Side Bed and Breakfast as its just 3 miles away in the village of Hanley Swan.

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