Many thanks to folks at Hampton Ferry & Raphaels Restaurant for facilitating this camera's location and to The Severn Rivers Trust for capitally funding its installation.
The River Avon, also known as the Upper Avon, Warwickshire Avon, or Shakespeare's Avon, spans a total length of 85 miles. Its source can be found near the village of Naseby in Northamptonshire. Initially, for the first few miles between Welford and the Dow Bridge on Watling Street, it acts as the boundary between Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. In this section, Stanford Reservoir was created by damming the river. From there, it flows generally in a west-southwesterly direction, running not far north of the Cotswold Edge and through the Vale of Evesham. Along its course, it passes through various towns and villages including Welford, Rugby, Wolston (bordering Leamington Spa), Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Welford-on-Avon, Bidford-on-Avon, Evesham, and Pershore before joining the River Severn at Tewkesbury.The history of Hampton Ferry dates back to the 13th century when the Benedictine Monks of Evesham Abbey required a means to cross the River Avon from the abbey to Hampton for tending their hillside vineyard. The solution was the establishment of Hampton Ferry, which has served as a vital link between Hampton village and Evesham for nearly 800 years. Evesham Abbey, once the second largest and wealthiest abbey in England, was mostly destroyed during the dissolution of the monasteries between 1536 and 1541. Today, only remnants of the original structures remain, including The Bell Tower, two churches (All Saints' and Saint Lawrence), the Almoner's House (now the Almonry Heritage Centre), the cloister arch, and a portion of Abbot Chyryton's wall. Limited information is available regarding the ferry's history after the abbey's closure, but its continuous operation and the ongoing need for a crossing between Hampton and Evesham suggest its uninterrupted use since its inception.In 1929, Ernie and Eileen Huxley settled at Hampton Ferry to manage a smallholding market garden and operate the ferry, which remained the sole connection between Hampton and Evesham. As an avid angler, Ernie devoted much of his time to fishing the waters and began receiving requests from other anglers seeking permission to fish there as well. The growing popularity led Ernie to organize the first of many angling competitions. The success of these events propelled Hampton Ferry to become a central hub for angling in the Midlands, attracting renowned anglers who frequented the site.Eileen established a cafe to cater to the increasing number of anglers, specializing in popular favorites such as sausage and bacon sandwiches. As a resourceful businesswoman who abhorred waste, Eileen ingeniously used leftover bread crusts to create a delectable Bread Pudding, which, prepared according to the original family recipe, became renowned in the area and remains a beloved item on the menu to this day. Over the years, the cafe has evolved into Raphael's Licensed Restaurant, cherished not only for its picturesque riverside setting but also for its excellent Sunday roast. Diana, Ernie and Eileen's daughter, and her husband Sam Raphael joined the business as partners, and their son Robert now carries on the family tradition.The original camping site, initially established for visiting anglers, has transformed into a holiday caravan site featuring seventy privately owned caravans. Accessed exclusively via the ferry, this traffic-free environment offers a serene sanctuary with breathtaking river views. Additionally, a strategically positioned Farson streaming webcam contributes to monitoring water levels, river traffic, and the potential for flooding.