The Severn Princess

Chepstow, United Kingdom
Posted on 14th April 2016 / 2169
Site Type : Relic
Category : Ship / Vessel
Industry Type : Transport
Power Type : Diesel
Public or Private Site? : Public Access
Condition : Partially Restored

The MV Severn Princess was the last ferry, built in 1959, to carry passengers and vehicles between Aust and Beachley across the River Severn.

Ferries were essential until the Severn road bridge was opened in 1966.

The Severn Princess ferry could take 19 vehicles and 98 foot passengers and while queues for the crossing could be long, it was still often quicker than taking the long land-route via Gloucester.

With the opening of the road bridge in 1966, there was little need for the ferries, so she was sold across to Ireland where she was used as a ferry for a time before eventually being abandoned in 1995.

She was built at Yorkshire Dry Dock and has the wheelhouse and funnel in the centre of the car deck!

In 1999 she was brought back over the Irish sea and has ended up dragged-up onto the shore of the River Wye, in the shadow of Brunel’s tubular railway bridge, at the Chepstow Buffer Wharf.

Key dates and passenger numbers can be found HERE!

The Severn Princess Restoration Group is a group of enthusiasts committed to the cosmetic restoration of the last of the River Severn ferries that plied the River Severn from 1931 until the opening of the Severn Bridge in 1966.

Check out more images of the Aust Ferry HERE!


Chepstow Buffer Wharf, River Wye, Chepstow, Gwent

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  • Christine Reece says:

    My ex philip reece and Martin peebles worked on her when she was recovered from Ireland and I got quite attached to the lady unfortunately the sea claimed her again and work stopped I heard she was in Chepstow and I would be very interested in knowing her progress I am hoping to visit her soon where she is moored

    • Chris. Parnell says:

      I visited the area twice recently in late 2016 and early 2017 and could not find her. I suspect she is out of view behind where new flats are being built. Without trespassing, even with a large scale ordnance survey map and some local help, I was unable to find an access point. The last photo posted that I found was at Buffers Wharf Chepstow.

  • Steve Roberts says:

    We tried to view the Princess in February 2017 then a year later in 2018. Though we thought the construction of the flats had cut off access, a chap in the office of the builders told us that though access will be restored around the river frontage in July 2018, this won’t extend as far as the Princess – he thought that access had never been possible this way. We tried via the other side, but ran into a security guard at the gate of a factory of some sort. In the event, the only view we could obtain was from the other side of the Wye on the road to Beachley using binoculars! Internet references to preservation work seem to end at 2014, so it looks as if the money and/or enthusiasm have run out.

  • Malcolm Williams says:

    Can’t get access at the moment as even more new apartments are being built on the land either side – but eventually (5 yrs or so??) there will be a riverside walk

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