Pictures of Worcester
Apart from being a great Cathedral city, Worcester is also Worcestershire's county town and centre for administration. It is a city dominated by its glorious Romanesque cathedral built between the 12th and 14th centuries. This lies in a dominant position overlooking the River Severn.
The arched and pillared crypt is the oldest part of the cathedral, this was put up around 1084. It was built by Bishop Wulfstan to ensure a place of safety for worshipping the relics of saints.
Amongst the cathedral's ancient possessions visitors can see treasures as diverse as fine carved misericords, and King John's Tomb - the oldest Royal effigy in England. The tomb is carved from Purbeck marble and quite probably was once painted and bejewelled. It was opened in 1797 when the King's body was revealed wrapped in and embroidered monk's robe, his sword and scabbard lay with him. Other cathedral treasures are all too numerous to mention in one short article, but this hallowed place is well worth a visit. The cathedral buildings are confined within one of the oldest parts of Worcester, were they are assembled around a pleasant green.
Just round from the cathedral visitors will find the famous Royal Worcester Porcelain factory. The porcelain from here is renowned world-wide. The factory which was established in 1751 continues to specialise in table-ware and highly decorative ornamental pieces for home and world markets. On the factory site is the Dyson Perrins Museum where rare and very beautiful pieces of porcelain, made in the factory over centuries, are exhibited. Here in the museum you can learn a little of the company history, and afterwards you can all in at the on site 'second's' shop or 'best-ware' shop.
Worcester Commandery is situated close to historic City Walls Road, in a quiet canal side position. The building was originally founded as a hospital in 1085 by St.Wulstan. This has a slightly chequered history, it was used as headquarters for a company of knights until the 15th century, following damage it was later rebuilt and used by King Charles II as headquarters for the Royalist Army engaged in the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The Royalists lost the day and their commander in chief, the Duke of Hamilton was slain and died later in the Commandery. The Commandery is open as a museum.
In the city's traffic free area you will find Worcester's magnificent Guildhall. This was built in 1721 to a design by Thomas White, who was a pupil of Sir Christopher Wren. The fascia of Worcester's Guildhall is one of the finest examples of early Georgian architecture in the country. Inside visitors can see a superb staircase which leads to the beautifully decorated Queen Anne Assembly Room.
Several other historic buildings can be seen along Friar Street and New Street. Greyfriars is a building of 1480, it was built to provide a sanctuary for travellers. The picturesque Tudor House is a fine timber-frame building from the 15th century, and Nash House is a four storey Elizabethan house. King Charles's House, the place to which the King fled following his defeat in the Battle of Worcester, which took place outside the city walls, is in New Street. It was built in 1577, and parts were destroyed in a fire of the 18th century. It was later restored and has had a variety of uses. This lovely old place is currently in use as a restaurant.
The oldest church in the city is St.Helen's - built on the corner of Fish Street. The origins of this church go back to AD 680. The church has been rebuilt many times, with the last restoration taking place in 1880. The church is closed now and used only for the storage of ecclesiastical and secular records.
The City Museum has memorabilia of the Worcestershire Regiment and the Worcester Yeomen Cavalry, it also illustrates Glove making which has continued in the city from the 13th century, surviving almost until the end of the 20th century. Dent's glove factory is now a luxury hotel, and of course it is worth noting that the Dent family occupied Sudeley Castle, which is found a short drive out of the city in the Cotswold town of Winchcombe.
Lea and Perrins sauce factory was founded in 1825 and still remains in Midland Road, whilst Berrow's Worcester Journal, founded in 1690 remains the world's oldest surviving newspaper, its offices are in Hylton Road, close to the racecourse.
Summer in Worcester sees a resurgence of interest as the County Cricket season gets underway. This year when English cricket has met with such astounding success the ground has been a place of great excitement. The home of Worcester Cricket Team is in beautiful surroundings near to the waters of the Severn. Unfortunately, winter rains often turn the ground into a flood plain. The same is true of Worcester's famous racecourse which is set on the banks of the river. Worcester racecourse is one of the countries oldest racing venues, and meetings here are well attended by enthusiasts from all over the county.
As well as a fine shopping centre, the city provides excellent entertainment for visitors. There are music festivals of all types, with the Three Choirs Festival being held in the timeless atmosphere of Worcester cathedral every third year. Regular concerts are held in Lady Huntingdon's Hall, and plays and revues are produced at the Swan Theatre.
On a Sunday in the summer months, the banks of the Severn take on a relaxed continental atmosphere. Local artists turn up to paint, and bands play music from the popular shows, and often the whole area thrills to the sound of Land of Hope and Glory, for this after all is the city of Sir Edward Elgar, he was organist at the local Roman Catholic Church. He lived at Lower Broadheath which is within easy driving distance of Worcester.
You cannot leave Worcester without a trip down the Severn to sample lovely river scenery, and watch the rich river wildlife in the quiet watermeadows running between the city and the pretty town of Upton-upon-Severn. Boats leave from Worcester Bridge at regular intervals.
The city offers excellent hotels, bistro's, cafe's and restaurants. Night Owl's are well provided for with cinema's, pubs and night clubs. There is a good choice of multi-cultural restaurants, and pubs range from English to Irish.
Worcester is an "all year round" place to visit, but it is particularly attractive when gaily decked out for its Christmas festivities, central to which is the annual Victorian Christmas Fayre which draws coach loads of people from all over the Midlands and beyond.
This is a hugely attractive City at the heart of a rural region. It has a unique historic character which blends well with modern times and the demands of the 21st century.
Places to see in Worcester include: Worcester Cathedral, The Commandery, Worcester Porcelain Factory, Dyson Perrins Museum, The Guildhall, King Charles's House, Spetchley Park and City Museum and Art Gallery.
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