Founded by the Romans in 50 AD, Worcestershire's county city is today famed for its sauce and fine porcelain. The city centre has an attractive mix of medieval and modern architecture, with many splendid examples of Tudor, Elizabethan and Georgian buildings. Plus several carefully preserved reminders of its 19th-c industrial heritage. Worcester Cathedral rises majestically above the city, dominating its skyline on the eastern banks of the Severn. Just to the south of the cathedral lies the site of Worcester's 11th-c castle.

Worcester Cathedral
Worcester Cathedral on the Banks of the Severn (by Jimmy Jay CC0)

The oldest church in the city is St Helen's on Fish Street, originating from 680. Friar Street (leading to New Street), is one of the most historic streets in the town, containing several 15th-c and 16th-c buildings, such as Nash House and Tudor House. Also King Charles House, a 16th-c, half-timbered building, where the king hid after his defeat in the battle outside the city walls. It is said he fled through the back door as Parliamentary troops entered at the front. The nearby 15th-c Greyfriars, is one of the few friary buildings to survive the Dissolution of the Monasteries. A little further south, outside the city walls, lies the historic Commandery.

In Severn Street the Worcester Royal Porcelain Works is still producing its fine bone china and porcelain. No trip to the city could be complete without visiting the adjacent Royal Worcester Porcelain Museum, which contains many examples covering all periods of production. To the north of the city, in Foregate Street, is the City Museum and Art Gallery, next to the 19th-c Shire Hall. In High Street stands the grandiose and ornate Guildhall of 1721.

County Cricket is played during the summer season at the Worcestershire County Cricket Ground, noted as one of the most beautiful grounds in the country, set against a backdrop of the cathedral amidst the trees along the Severn. Worcester also has one of the oldest racecourses in the country, where horse racing has taken place since 1718.

Boat trips are available from Worcester Bridge, providing tours of the city along the river and out into the luscious green countryside. Digles Basin, where the Severn joins the Worcester-Birmingham Canal, is one of the busiest junctions on the UK inland waterways network.

The original Worcestershire Sauce recipe was created by two local dispensing chemists, Lea & Perrins, in 1825. They began bottling their celebrated sauce just five years later in Broad Street. The Lea & Perrins factory was later established in 1897, at Midland Road. It is still the main production site to this day.

Tourist Information Centre:

The Guildhall, High Street, Worcester WR1 2EY - Tel: 01905 726311

Content by Steve B

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