Worcester History

Visit your historic Worcester

Worcester is one of the oldest cities in the country, with evidence of settlements here dating back to 700BC. The city was fortified in Saxon times and our history can still be seen in the landscape today, from cobbled Tudor streets to elegant Queen Anne architecture. The street layout hasn’t changed since the middle ages and the city’s High Street follows the Roman thoroughfare.

You can visit the remaining walls of the city which surrounded the centre and there are many beautiful and picturesque historic buildings to visit during your stay.

Musical Heritage

Be inspired by the scenery which would have surrounded Sir Edward Elgar as he composed some of his most famous pieces during his time in Worcester. Elgar’s Birthplace, The Firs, is located a short drive from the city centre and there are various plaques throughout the city to acknowledge the large part it played in Elgar’s life.

Worcester is also the shared home of the oldest non-competitive music festival in the world. The Three Choirs Festival is still hosted in the city every three years.

Worcester has an excellent medical pedigree as the birthplace of Dr John Wall, one of the founders of Worcester Royal Infirmary which was one of the first voluntary hospitals in the UK.

The British Medical Association (BMA) was founded by Sir Charles Hastings in the Board Room of the old Worcester Royal Infirmary building in Castle Street in 1832. This is now the site of a dedicated museum as well as the University of Worcester City Campus.

 

Home of the Sauce

The name Worcestershire is known the world over thanks to the sauce which is still made here to this day. The Lea and Perrins factory on Midland Road is not currently open to the public but the smells of the sauce creation drift across the city.

Civil War Story

Worcester played a large part in the English Civil War and you can still visit the resting place of Charles II used during his battle with Cromwell’s New Model Army (King Charles Pub on New Street). Fort Royal Park is of critical historical significance to the city, as the site of the 1651 Battle of Worcester, the final battle of the war. It is well worth the short climb to the top of this hill for the spectacular views across the city.

Cathedral City

Worcester has a unique and varied history, with the magnificent Worcester Cathedral witness to many conflicts, as well as an assortment of ancient, cultural, industrial events. The city is said by some to be the ‘birthplace of democracy’, thanks in part to its function in the creation of the Magna Carta and its roles in the Civil War. Also, Edward Winslow – one of the founding fathers and inspiration for the American constitution – was educated here at the Cathedral.

Explore the story of “Bad” King John who is buried in Worcester Cathedral. He is most famous as the King who was forced by Barons to agree to the Magna Carta – one of the most important documents in history. Without this, our legal system would not be the same as it is today because for the first time, the rule of law was given precedence over the rule of the monarch.