Sunday 27 May 2012

Olympic torch route - Day 7 Worcester

Worcester Friars Street 
The making of china, vinegar and the famous  'Worcester Sauce' will at one occur to the mind when Worcester is mentioned; but itis a place of many miscellaneous activities.
The cathedral standin beside the Rivern Severn, is a fine spectacular object from many points of vi in length, and has a central tower rising to 170 feet. In general, the exterior, of a dull red-brown sandstone, gives the impression of a 15th century building, but it is in fact of many periods. The crypt, beneath the choir, dates back to 1084 and is, with the Chapter house, the only remaining portion of the Norman Cathedral. The Choir itself, together with the eastern transepts and the Lady Chapel, displays 13th century, or Early English architecture, while the nave is of the 14th century or 'Decorated' period, merging into the Perpendicular style of the next century. In the Cloisters, of 15th century, note a stone in the pavement close beside a doorway into the south side 'Miserrimus.' This covers the grave of a Minor Canon, the Rev T Morris, who died in the time of William III, from grief, it is said, at the ejection of the Stuarts from the throne of England.
The Cathedral has been from time to time restored; notably after the Civil War, when it was left almost roofless. Midway in the choir, in a prominent position of great honour, is the altar-tomb, with a recumbent portrait-effigy of King John, who died in 1216. He was one of the worst of monarchs, but the statue of him is extraordinarily good. Here also is the chantry-chapel to Prince Arthur, eldest son to Henry VII, who died in his sixteenth year, at Ludlow Castle, 1502. There are numerous monuments of bishops and others. 'Edgar's Tower' is the name of a 14th century gatehouse of the Close. Note on the north side of the Close a fine bronze group, representing an angel crowning a soldier with a wreath. Beneath is the inscription: 'In grateful Memory of the Men of Worcestershire who in South Africa gave their Lives for their Country, 1899-1902.'
The 'Commandery' in its origin a hospice for travellers in the Norman period, was re-founded in the 16th century. It is a quaint old building. Here died the Duke of Hamilton, who was wounded in the Battle of Worcester, fought in and about the city, September 3rd 1651. The Royalists, under Charles II, were hopelessly defeated that day, and the King fled, to wander for months, a hunted fugitive, through the land, finally escaping from Brighton to France, October 14th.
Pershore 9, Bromyard 14¼, Bromsgrove 12½, Tewkesbury 15¼, Evesham 15, Great Malvern 8, Ledbury 16, Kidderminster 14¼, Stourbridge 20½, Droitwich 6¾ miles.

London 110 miles. Population 47,982. Market, Sat. Early Closing, Thurs.    
From The Dunlop Book (1920)

The registration district of Worcester was been in existence from 1837 to 1974, consisting originally only of the parishes within the city of Worcester, but expanding considerably during the 20th century. The Worcestershire County Record Office is preparing to move to new premises in July 2012, but in the meantime there is plenty of useful content on its website, including an interactive map.

A General History of Worcester by John Chambers Esq, (1820) can be found on Google Books and the city occupies 5 chapters in Volume 4 of the Victoria County History of Worcestershire. There is more information about Worcester at Vision of Britain


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