The city of Worcester (pronounced Wuh-ster) is the county town of Worcestershire in England; the river Severn runs through the middle, with the city's large Worcester Cathedral overlooking the river.
The site of Worcester was first used by the Roman Empire in the 1st century, linking Gloucester to Wroxeter. In 407 AD the village was thought to have been abandoned, only to be resurrected as a settlement in the mid 7th century by the Saxons, giving it the name of "Weogoran cester".
Worcester was the site of the Battle of Worcester (September 3, 1651), in which Charles II's attempt to retake the country from Cromwell and the Parliamentarians was decisively defeated, in the fields a little to the west and south of the city, near the village of Powick. After being defeated, Charles returned to his headquarters in what is now known as King Charles house in the Cornmarket, before fleeing in disguise to Boscobel House in Shropshire and his eventual escape to France.
Worcester was one of the cities loyal to the King in that war, for which it was given the epithet "The Faithful City".
Industry and commerce
Industry is now quite varied; in the 19th and early twentieth century, Worcester was a major centre for glove manufacture, but this has declined greatly. Still located in the city are the Worcester porcelain factory (near the cathedral), and, somewhat out of the centre, the factory that makes Worcester's most famous product, Worcestershire sauce. Worcester is the home of what is claimed to be the oldest daily newspaper in the world, Berrow's Worcester Journal, which traces its descent from a newsheet that started publication in 1690.
Worcester is also the seat of the famous public schools the Royal Grammar School Worcester founded ante 1291, and the Worcester Cathederal School which was refounded in 1541 under King Henry VIII as The King's School, Worcester.
Probably Worcester's most famous citizen was composer Sir Edward Elgar, whose father ran a music shop at the end of the High Street; a statue of Elgar stands near the original location of that shop. His birthplace is a short way outside of Worcester in the village of Broadheath.
Sir Charles Hastings, founder of the British Medical Association lived in Worcester for most of his life.
Poet and Author, Reverend Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy famously known as Woodbine Willy was for some time the Vicar of St. Pauls Church in the City. He rose to fame during World War I when he became an army chaplain, his sermons and poetry helping boost morale to the troops. He aquired his nickname from his habit of handing out of "Woodbine" Cigarrettes to the men in the trenches.
Culture and Arts
Festivals and Shows
Every three years, Worcester becomes home to the Three Choirs Festival, which dates back to the 18th Century and is credited with being the oldest music festival in Europe. The location of the festival rotates each year between the Cathedral Cities of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester. Famous for its championing of English music, especially that of Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst, Worcester is next scheduled to host the festival in August 2005.
The Worcester Festival is a relatively new venture established in 2003. Held in late August, the festival consists of a variety of music, theatre, cinema and workshops, as well as the already established Beer Festival, which now runs under the Worcester Festival moniker.
The Christmas Fayre is a major source of tourism every December.
Announcing a new late night bus at 3am, Worcester councillors claimed that it was a "24-hour town".
Home of Conference North side Worcester City FC (link to official site below) who play at St George's Lane.