Hampton Loade Ferry was a pedestrian cable ferry linking the villages of Hampton Loade and Hampton across the River Severn in the English county of Shropshire and providing a link to Hampton Loade village from Hampton Loade station on the heritage Severn Valley Railway, in Hampton village.
The crossing had been in use for around 400 years, and may have provided a route across the Severn during the Middle Ages.
During flooding on Sunday 13 December 1964 at 3.25 PM the ferry sank drowning the operator and caused inconvenience for the hamlet residents who had to take detours. The service was restored the following year.
In 2004 a new ferry was built by the nearby Ironbridge Gorge Museum to the design of the previous boat, which had seen 38 years' service. The new craft is of wooden construction, measures 20 feet by 9 feet, and carries up to 12 passengers.
The ferry was affected by the floods of 2007, which damaged the river banks and access roads and also affected the Severn Valley Railway, with a consequent loss of tourist revenue to the ferry. As a result, the ferry did not operate during the remainder of 2007 or during 2008, and the owner put it up for sale. Local people created the Hampton Loade Community Trust, a charitable trust, to reopen the ferry. This was achieved in April 2009.
The Hampton Loade Ferry is a reaction ferry, propelled by the river current. An overhead cable is suspended across the river, and the ferry is tethered by a second cable, to a pulley block that runs on the suspended cable. To operate the ferry it is angled into the current, causing the current to move it across the river.
The ferry permanently closed in 2016. The ferry now lies in a state of disrepair half submerged in the river Severn.
- "Hamton Loade Ferry complete". BBC. Retrieved 29 December 2006.
- "Hampton Loade Ferry". BFI Player. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
- "Unique Hampton Loade ferry carries passengers once more". The Countryside Agency. Retrieved 31 December 2006.[permanent dead link]
- Britten, Nick (16 January 2009). "Residents fight to save historic Hampton Loade ferry". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 February 2009.
- "Flood-hit river ferry runs again". BBC. 27 April 2009. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
- Media related to Hampton Loade Ferry at Wikimedia Commons
- Hampton Loade Ferry web site
- Panoramic view of the ferry, courtesy of the BBC
- Hampton Loade: Village and Ferry (Site dormant since 2009)