During the 13th Century, monks from Evesham Abbey planted a vineyard on the terraced slopes of Clarkes Hill in Hampton. As the only bridge across the river was two miles from the vineyard, they installed a rope ferry to make the journey easier. They also raised a building where they could make and store the wine.
The ferry proved popular with the villagers of Hampton and other villages to the east of Evesham, as a faster way to reach the markets and courts of the town. Over the centuries, even after the closure of the abbey, people still preferred to cross the river via ferry. The winery was converted into a private house, rebuilt many times over the centuries.
In September 1929, Ernie Huxley moved in with his wife, Eileen, intending to sell plants and run the ferry. The fare across was a ha’penny return and on that first day, he took six shillings and three pence ha’penny (£17.10 today), a total of 151 fares!
Today the ferry is still owned by the same family and still carrying people safely across the river.