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A cathedral city and district of Worcestershire, situated in central England’s West Midlands region, on the Severn River, to the north-west of London and south-west of Birmingham. Its primal location was monumental to the growth and expansion of this market town historically, with its dominant trade route accelerating Worcester’s distribution of goods and produce, stemming from its river crossing on the bridge and positioning on the road network. In the late 18th to early 19th Centuries, the city became a major hub for glove-making and porcelain. It once employed half the glovers in England – at its peak this equated to over 30,000 people. With the development of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal came new avenues, allowing goods to be transported to larger cities. Today you can walk or cycle along the Malvern Hills, part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and retrace Worcester’s historical trade significance dating back to 400 BC, all whilst taking in the breath-taking views of the countryside. It’s noted that here lies the most ancient rocks in England, which are around 680 million years old.


Alongside, its pivotal location, it was also the centre of Church and wealth, even prior to the first millennium it was the pinnacle of monastic learning. Now counted alongside England’s most stunning cathedrals, Worcester Cathedral was rebuilt in the 11th Century – to the start of the 16th Century, the time period and scale of which the works lasted is reminiscent through its architectural formation, which ranges from medieval, to Norman Romanesque and its Pedicular Gothic tower –  the 39 misericords in the choir, date back to 1379 and carved with the Labours of the Months. It’s also said that Worcester is home to one of the only two pubs built on holy ground – the Mug House, located in Claines Church -dates back to the 15th Century. There have been various reports from past landlords stating the pub has paranormal activity, from glasses smashing on their own or strange knocking noises coming from the beer cellar at night.

Another art form that took place from 1751, was the rise and popularity of Worcester Porcelain. In 1751, Dr John Wall a physician, and William Davis, an apothecary alongside a group of businessmen from the local community, established a porcelain factory, with the earliest work painted in blue under the glaze. By 1756 Robert Hancock had arrived at Worcester and was the first man to apply transferring of prints directly onto porcelain.  The largest collection of Royal Worcester porcelain in the world can be explored today at the factory’s former building on Severn Street. The plethora of porcelain that is on offer perfectly encapsulates the influence of the time period of when it was produced, showcasing various styles and methods – with works incorporating and deriving from the Georgian and the Victorian eras – all the way through to the 20th Century.

A further piece of innovation we have to thank Worcester for a means of communication. In 1840 – England saw the arrival of The Penny Black Stamp,  the first adhesive postal stamp. It was the brainchild of Worcester’s Sir Rowland Hill a postal and social reformist, who later went on to set-up a revolutionary new school which had heating and a science laboratory. On the topic of invention, we wouldn’t be doing Worcester justice if we didn’t mention one of the most famous sauces known worldwide Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, which has been made and bottled in the city since around 1837 and was developed by Chemists John Lea and William Perrins, who were experimenting with sauces from 1835. On the request of a local nobleman they were asked to replicate a sauce he had tasted in India. Initially after tasting it, they found it to be unpalatable and abandoned the batch in the cellar of their shop, only to discover 18 months later the sauce had matured and through its fermentation it had developed a complexity of flavours and the hence phenomenon was born. The methodology of producing the sauce remains this same and till to this day, the world has been enjoying the taste of this delicious sauce with Lea & Perrins remaining a much loved staple that is used in or on numerous dishes world over.


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