It cuts a fine period figure
What’s going for it? “A beautiful Georgian town,” the tourist blurbs go, as if the residents still went round in bonnets and barouche landaus. Indeed, Bewdley, or Beau Lieu in a former life, cuts a fine period figure, well supplied on its narrow wooded valley with Georgian cottages, town houses and the pretty St Anne’s Church, the very image of civilisation in the provinces. Though its 18th-century civic improvers were, in the end, no match for nature, in the figure of local rogue, the river Severn. While earlier generations stuck to its upper banks – the High Street is literally that – the Georgians decided to take on and tame the river, with promenades and plum properties which in recent years, 2000 being the worst, take a regular dousing. Maybe modern-day improvers will have better luck with new flood defences. Should The Big One happen, the humboldt penguins in the West Midland Safari Park on the edge of town might make a break for freedom, while the humans, ostriches and Bengal tigers, whose roar echoes exotically above the rooftops, tread water. Nature will be contained only so far.
The case against Do your flood research: there’s often a reason why this or that property is a bargain.
Well connected? There was once a railway; now there’s the Severn Valley (steam) version. So the car it is: an annoyingly convoluted route to the M5 (25 minutes) via Kidderminster; 45-minute commute to Birmingham.
Hang out at… The Cock & Magpie serves a picturesque, riverside pint, plus live music and comedy.
Where to buy It is a truly gorgeous old town, with plum period properties. High Street and Red Hill are the showcases, and have a wander across the river to Wribbenhall’s lovely nooks and terraces (eg Westbourne Street). South of Cleobury Road, and up Sandy Bank and Wyre Hill for suburbans.
Market values Large detacheds, £350,000-£600,000. Town houses, £220,000-£500,000. Detacheds, £150,000-£350,000. Semis, £145,000-£275,000. Terraces, £120,000-£210,000.
Bargain of the week Remarkable looking 17th-century town house in the centre, with six bedrooms, six reception rooms, a one-bedroom annexe and a workshop/studio: £425,000, with Andrew Grant.
From the streets…
Neville Farmer “I moved here two years ago to escape the rat race. I live in the old town, and within two or three minutes’ walk I have every shop I want, good restaurants and pubs, live music, an art gallery, museum, fields and forests.”
Peter Barnett “A tremendous level of energy and talent for a small town. The standard of musicianship is highlighted daily in pubs such as The Cock & Magpie, which features everything from ageing guitarists to a teenage The Voice competitor.” .
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