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Berkeley Castle

Explore Tewkesbury and the Severn Vale

Seven Vale Whats On, Events and Places - Click to view
Seven Vale Whats On, Events and Places - Click to view
Seven Vale Whats On, Events and Places - Click to view
Seven Vale Whats On, Events and Places - Click to view
Seven Vale Whats On, Events and Places - Click to view
Seven Vale Whats On, Events and Places - Click to view

The Severn Vale, steeped in history with wonderful waterscape

The Severn Vale lies between the foot of the Cotswold scarp and the Royal Forest of Dean and Leadon Valley, and stretches from Tewkesbury in the north all, the way to the Severn Bridge in the south west of Gloucestershire.

The Severn Vale's historical past and agricultural significance blends itself into a fascinating part of England with the winding River Severn meandering itself along the vale full of orchards and meadows. The scenery is blessed with an abundance of rich red-bricked buildings, some half timbered and brimming with bygone past memories.

Lying in the north of the Severn Vale is Tewkesbury, an ancient settlement at the meeting of the Rivers Severn and Avon.

The surrounding rivers and flood plain have prevented the old town from expanding so that its long, thin profile has hardly altered since the Middle Ages. Here you will see one of the best medieval townscapes in England with its fine half-timbered buildings, Chapel over-hanging upper-storeys and narrow alleyways.

The Norman Abbey, built in the early 12th century, dominates the town and in 1471 the fields to the south saw the penultimate and decisive battle in the War of the Roses leading the house of York to power. Mustard making, brewing and malting, pin making and the framework knitting of stockings were at one time major industries. Goods were transported on the rivers and a thriving market brought business to the town.

Gloucester located at the centre of the Severn Vale, is linked to Sharpness Docks via the 16 mile ship canal- the Gloucesters-Sharpness Canal, a vital waterway bringing trade in and out, and during it’s peak time in the 18th Century saw Gloucester become the most in-land port of England.

Nestling in the southern plains of the Severn Vale is Berkeley, a quiet but unassuming home to two places of huge historical interest. Berkeley Castle dating back to mediaeval times is steeped in history with stories of murder, the Magna Carta and even connections with Shakespeare. Today the Castle sets the scene for a varied programme of events ranging from re-enactments to musical concerts.

One of Berkeley’s inhabitants became one of the most famous doctors in history, saving millions of lives. Edward Jenner, the father of immunology who famously discovered the smallpox vaccine lived most of his life in Berkeley. His talents not only lay in medicine as can be discovered at the Edward Jenner Museum.

The wildlife blossoms in the Severn Vale and is home to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust based at Slimbridge, and further up in the horseshoe bend of the River Severn you will find St. Augustines Farm, a real working organic dairy farm of over a hundred acres.

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