Hawford Ferry

  • 16 Jan 2012
  • Bridges and Ferries
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Thomas Dix's map of 1830 shows an old road crossing the Severn just north of the junction of the River Salwarpe and the Severn. This was part of the old saltway from Droitwich to Hadley and Chatley, and on to Hawford where it crossed the river and then, by way of the ancient hollow lane to Grimley Church, on to Sinton Green and Ockendall Wood. Previous to 1846, when Bevere Lock and Weir were made, there were a ford and ferry at Hawford. It was called a 'roving ferry' where horses and vehicle could be taken across the Severn, for the tow-path changed from the Camp side on the west bank, to the Ombersley side on the east. The building of Bevere Weir changed the situation drastically, as at Lincomb. The river Salwarpe joins the Severn at Hawford, as does the Droitwich Canal. The old road from Worcester to Kidderminster went by way of Northwick and Bevere, and from there, followed the river to the Salwarpe, but now dies away in a field above Bevere Island. So often that road was impassable because of floods that a crossing of the Salwarpe was made higher up. We still use the word Hawford for the higher ford, but when the new Turnpike road was made in 1726 (the present A449), the lower ford was abandoned; but there were old people at the beginning of this century who still referred to the area of the lower crossing as Lawford.