Rhydd Ferry

by H W Gwilliam

The name Rhydd comes from the Welsh word rhyd, meaning a ford or a ferry. The ferrry house still stands but greatly altered. It is not known when the ferry was last worked, but it was said to have worked up to the 1914 War. On the Malvern side, there are two very good roads converging at Rhydd Green and a good road down to the Rhydd and the river but, again, on the east bank, only a footpath to Clifton, though it looks as if there was once a road to Sheepcot, where a good road runs to Severn Stoke. The ford at the Rhydd is thought to have been one of the prehistoric crossings of the Severn on a route to the hill camps on the Malverns. As at Clevelode, it was a distributing point for river-borne coal and bricks for Malvern Wells and Great Malvern in the 19th century.

Navigation at the rock bar of the Rhydd was a hazardous operation at low water, for the trows could not sail over, and it was necessary to get horses to haul the vessel over, or the owners were obliged to double the men by using two companies of hauliers. A channel was blasted in the rock bar but, when a strong tide was running, it was very dangerous. The trow ‘Prince’ struck the bar in 1847, and went down.

Copyright © H W Gwilliam 1982

Other pages in WHE

Severn Ferries and Fords in Worcestershire Worcestershire History Encyclopaedia