Bewdley to Upper Arley

Fallen shaped blocks by the Severn near Upper ArleyBetween Upper Arley and Bewdley the Severn Valley Railway line follows the path of the River Severn. The rocks beneath are carboniferous in age, mainly green and buff coloured sandstones. To the west lie the mudstones and sandstones underlying the Wyre Forest coalfield, also Carboniferous in age and a source of local coal, and to the east initially soft Devonian sandstones which quickly change back to hard Carboniferous sandstones as both the river and the railway approach Upper Arley.

Dotted along the banks of the River Severn you can find large blocks of cut stone which were, for one reason or another never made it onto the boats after being transported down to the River bank. There are faint lines in the hillside that could be taken for extraction route ways, but as yet have not been fully investigated. Only this year, when the River Severn was low, a volunteer of the Trust who was undertaking some site reconnaissance for the project spotted the remains of a wharf through the reeds.

The Georgian Town of Bewdley in Worcestershire sits on the River Severn and was a busy port in its day. This together with varying ages of the rocks that underlie and surround the town contributes to the diversity of building stones found in the immediate area.

To the west of the river, the ground rises up beyond the town centre. This area is underlain by rocks which formed during the Carboniferous, a period of time when the area was covered by a tropical rainforests and swamps. These green-grey rocks have been used in constructing St Ann’s Church and the river bridge. The bridge is also built of the rocks that make up the land to the east of the river. These are red sandstones of Triassic age and can also be seen in the viaduct.

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