About Bromyard Downs
Rising to over 700 ft the Bromyard Downs dominate the local area and form an impressive backdrop to the market town of Bromyard. Today the Downs are a draw for thousands of people, and the local community value the quality of life the Downs gives them. Historically, the Downs have had a complex and chequered past, its heyday probably being in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. For centuries, local commoners grazed their animals on the Downs. This created a very open landscape. As life changed on the Downs and these activities stopped, the wooded scrubby areas have expanded creating the varied and wildlife rich site we see today.
Bromyardians enjoyed playing golf at The Broad Oak and Bromyard Golf Clubs from around 1894 until 1942. Both gentleman and ladies could tee off from Park Head to beyond the Royal Oak pub.
It is thought that the racecourse was built by soldiers after the Napoleonic Wars in 1815- 1816. For almost a century the races attracted thousands of visitors from as far away as Birmingham.
Thursday 18th May 1876
The local newspaper, the Worcestershire Chronicle, covered the meeting and reported that 10,000 people assembled on the Downs at one of the loveliest times of the year. The ‘merrie month of May offered fields looking at their brightest, and apple blossom of varied shades and dazzling colours delighted the eye of the beholder.’
A Victorian rifle range used by the late Victorian Rifle Volunteer Movement throughout the 1800s. Ammunition was discovered in 2016 during an archaeological investigation.
Bowling Green & Cider House
The remains of an old cider mill building dating from 1838 can still be seen at the Old Cider House at Roberts Hill. There was a bowling alley to attract customers and the Bowling Green Inn quenched their thirst until about 1920.
Two Auxiliary Unit Operational Bases used by the British resistance organisation in WWII lie hidden in the National Trust’s Warren Wood. In 2016 the Bromyard Downs Project archaeologists and volunteers excavated these underground bunkers that were built for the highly secret GHQ Auxiliary Units. Local volunteers patrolled the bunkers; they formed part of the stay-behind resistance movement created to carry out acts of sabotage, intelligence gathering and assassination behind German lines.