Withybed Ford, Diglis, Worcester

  • 16 Jan 2012
  • Bridges and Ferries
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The improvements in the Severn above Worcester had given a constant navigation to Stourport of 10 feet, but for some time after the building of the locks and weirs at Diglis and beyond to Lincomb, the stream below Diglis was affected by the tide. When the tide was out, the Severn here was often a shallow stream, save where pools existed in its bed, or where a channel a few feet wide had been dredged, and held stagnant water. At the outfall of Duck Brook, the Withybed Ford allowed a crossing by way of the gravel shallows, where the water barely came up to the knees. The later building of the lock and weir downstream, at Lower Lode, Tewkesbury, in 1858, raised the river levels so that the tide only minutely affected the Severn between Diglis and Tewkesbury, and obliterated the ancient fords on that stretch of the river. This crossing of the Severn beneath Bunns Hill at Timberdine, was used by travellers back in the long distant past, for in dreging operations at this spot, a bronze spearhead and other ancient relics have been found. It was here, in 1651, that Cromwell built his bridge of boats and so bring troopers to attack both sides of the City at the Battle of Worcester.