'The Town in the Orchard'
Tenbury Wells, once said to have been called "my little Town in the Orchard" by Queen Victoria is now perhaps best known for it's Christmas Holly & Mistletoe sales, but has so much more to offer the visitor.
Situated on the banks of the River Teme (crossed by a unique bridge with a bend in the middle) and marking the border between Worcestershire, Shropshire & Herefordshire, Tenbury is something of a hidden gem. Some days it's a bucolic reminder of times past, other days a bustling market town.
The high street is lined by nearly 100 mostly independent businesses selling everything from Apples to Zebra Polish.
Some talk of the Tenbury stagger due to number of licensed premises, but the wide choice means there is one to suit every taste from the traditional drinking pub to a restaurant providing modern fusion cuisine. There are also several pubs & cafes serving tea, coffee and light refreshments.
Tenbury still retains the kind of retailers that are now distant memories in many towns such as a Bookshop, Ironmongers, Fish Shop, and also has a good range of Gift Shops, Ladies Clothes Shops, a Shoe Shop, and specialist shops such as a Gun Shop, numerous Ladies Hairdressers and two Gents Hairdressers.
Along side local supermarkets other specialist food shops supply a range of local produce. The main Market day is Tuesday, with a smaller market being held on Fridays & Saturdays. On Tuesday, in addition to stalls in Market Square, visit the Country Market in the Scout Hut next to the Swimming Pool.
What else to see
St, Mary's Church, much restored in the 19th century after flood damage, has a Norman Tower and inside the well preserved Acton Tombs and the shaft of an Anglo Saxon Cross.
When walking around Tenbury let your eyes wander and look at the wide range of interesting architecture. Tenbury boasts a large number of listed buildings, and the observant can spot unusual decoration to some of the Georgian buildings.
There are several 17th century half timbered buildings left in Tenbury, although many are obscured by Victorian brick frontages. The obvious 17th century buildings are the pubs of which the most ornate is the Royal Oak, with the oldest probably being the Pembroke House.
The Regal Cinema first opened its doors in 1937. This wonderful example of an art deco cinema has recently been fully restored and fitted out with the very latest projection equiment and now benefits from modern heating and onsite catering facilities.
Tenbury's most bizarre building is the Pump Rooms designed in the Chinese Gothic Style by James Cranston of Birmingham. Inspiration came to him after some greenhouses he had designed, replacing the glass by wrought iron sheets. It was one of the earliest examples of prefabrication, with the sheets being made in Birmingham and assembled on site. Tenbury Wells had the 'Wells' added to its name last century to help promote the Mineral Water Wells that had been found in the town from 1840 onwards.
James Cranston also designed the oval-shaped, Round Market to enable farmers' wives sell their butter and poultry inside, with walls to keep out the winds and rain.
Collect a TownTrail leaflet from the town Tourist Information Centre and follow the route to discover other interesting buildings and facts, or follow the Tenbury Art Trail.
One of the buildings on the trail is the Tenbury Museum on Cross Street. One showcase is dedicated to a set of gruesome old surgical instruments donated by Tenbury Hospital. Local man Dr Henry Hill Hickman (1800-1830) practised in Tenbury and pioneered the use of inhalation anaesthesia some two decades before ether and chloroform began to be used.
The latest edition to the Town's interesting and quirky buildings are the new toilets in Market Street. The design, chosen by public vote, was inspired by the many Hop Kilns that can still be seen in the area.
If you would like to stay in or near Tenbury, there is a wide range of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets. From pub accommodation, through Bed & Breakfast and Self Catering Cottages, Lodges and Rooms to a Country Lodge Hotel - details can be found on the Where To Stay pages.
Further information is available from www.tenburywells.info