The original Worcester Guildhall was built as a meeting place for local merchants in 1227. The current building was built by Thomas White, a pupil of Sir Christopher Wren, in 1722. It is a wonderful, ornate Queen Anne building.
The Guildhall is the current home of the Town Council and is an impressive building that dominates the lower High Street near the Cathedral. It was built in the early 1700’s and replaced an existing timber framed building that dated back to the 13th Century. Two Corinthian pillars stand either side of the entrance with the Hanoverian coat of arms and a statue of Queen Anne above. On the roof the three central statues represent Peace, Justice and Plenty. The building has two wings that were added a little later and the left hand one is where the Tourist Information Centre is now located.
Take some time for a look around the inside of the Cathedral, it really is a place of beauty.
Marvel at the high vaulted ceiling of the Nave with the beautiful West window at the end. Take a look at the decorative altars and interesting tombs. There are medieval cloisters off of which you will find an old circular Chapter House which often hold exhibitions.
Cathedral tours are available and details can be obtained by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A visit to the Cathedral is one of the things you must do, there is so much to see and it is all very impressive.
The current building dates back to the 11th Century although the site was a place of worship around 400 years beforehand. It holds the tomb of King John, Prince Arthur’s Chantry and a 12th Century Chapter House that looks as if it has had some restoration work done recently. There is also St Wulfstan’s Crypt and some medieval cloisters with beautiful gardens (when it’s not raining as it was when I was there).
There is the usual tea room and souvenir shop and guided tours are available. Daily services include 8.00am Holy Communion and 5.30pm Evensong.
It is difficult to get a good exterior photo of the Cathedral due to the surrounding trees, the best view I found was from the gardens inside the cloisters, but unfortunately I didn’t have my camera.
We arrived at the Cathedral in the middle of a Saturday fair, just after we had lunch. The whole area in front was taken up with tents and people selling food etc.
When we went in, they asked us for a donation of £3 per adult. I understand that photography permits cost £3 and video or tripod permits cost £5 but we didn't pay anything for that. I put some money (change) into the box for us.
This is a historic building which was begun in 1084. It is, of course, Church of England. We walked around the church and looked at King John's Tomb, Prince Arthur's Chantry, and went down into St Wulstan's Crypt. Entry is free.
We saw that the tower was open as it is (weather permitting) on Saturdays , Bank Holidays and school holidays 11am-5pm from Easter until end September. Last admission to the tower will be 4.30pm. All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Adults - £3.00 and for children/students under 16 - £1.00
My mom and dad didn't want to climb the tower so my mom sat in one of the pews and listened to the music rehersal for the performance that was scheduled for that evening, but my son and my husband and I went up the tower.
The inside of the peaceful Chapter House of Worcester Cathedral is the earliest example of its type (circular). It was built between 1000 and 1115, and has 95 seats for the monks' daily meeting. The roof is beautiful........delicate ribs fanning out like the spokes of an umbrella.
The Battle of Worcester was the final battle of the English Civil War, where Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians defeated the Royalist, predominantly Scottish, forces of King Charles II. It took place on September 3, 1651 in and around the city of Worcester.
The story of the Battle of Worcester is recounted in exhibits at The Commandery, a complex of timber-framed buildings that were used by Charles as his headquarters for the battle.
I was lucky enough to be at the reenactment of the battle in 2001, it's 350th anniversary. The next time this will happen will be in 2051 - hopefully I'll still be around to see it!
Built in 1368-9, the Edgar Tower is an imposing gateway into what were the precincts of the Priory of St Mary (after the Dissolution this area became the Kings School, with other monastic buildings housing secular cathedral canons etc). It was originally known as 'St Mary's Gate', but in the eighteenth century it was thought to date from the reign of King Edgar (10th century) and the name stayed.
A particularly colourful and pretty tomb in the western aisle of Worcester Cathedral, dating from the late 1300's. Sir Thomas Beauchamp and his lady (we think) lie side by side, their heads resting on black swans. Sir Thomas rose quickly to knighthood in 1385, in the reign of Richard ll, but was executed for treason in 1388. Poor man obviously trod on some influential toes in his rise to power and glory!
Chantries were created as special places where parayers for the dead individual could be made (a sum of money was usually bequeathed to pay for this in perpetuity). Prince Arthur, eldest son of Henry Vll and brother of Henry Vlll, lies in his chantry next to the high altar of the cathedral. He was the first husband of Catherine of Aragon (Henry Vlll's first wife) and his brother's argument wwith the Catholic church about divorcing her hinged on whether her first marriage had been consummated.
Arthur died in 1502, at the age of sixteen. His chantry is elaborately carved (by masons from Westminster Abbey) but was partially defaced during the reign of Henry Vlll's son, Edward Vl. It is still lovely though, and you can see many Tudor roses carved into the exterior.
King John was not a very good king; in fact, he was a pretty bad one. So bad, in fact, that the English nobles forced him (in the end) to sign the first 'statute of liberties'...the 'Magna Carta' ........which laid out exactly what a monarch could and could not do. He died, in 1216, of a 'surfeit of peaches' and asked to be buried in Worcester Cathedral. His elaborate tomb lies in front of the altar, topped with Purbeck marble and an effigy of the dead monarch (minus nose, thanks to the Cromwellians).
Worcester Cathedral has the finest example of a Norman crypt still extant. It is plain, simple and calm; you can still imagine how it was when the monks prayed there over 900 years ago. There are some interesting displays and bits of archaeology on show too.
A light and airy cathedral this, with crypt and cloisters, chapter house and many a fascinating tomb. Dating from 1064, albeit with many additions and changes, it is the burial place of King John (of 'Magna Carta' fame) and of composer Edward Elgar, and has a tower to climb for the wonderful views (open in the summer months).
Each English cathedral is different, each has its own atmosphere and special things. Don't miss out on this one.
The Commandery was used as the Royalist headquarters at the battle of Worcester in 1651. However the building was originally a hospital said to be founded around 1085 by Saint Wulfstan, then Bishop of Worcester. It was a monastic institution, and seems to have been established with the needs of travellers in mind. Its location, just outside the city walls beside the Sidbury gate, put it at the junction of the main roads from London, Bath and Bristol.
At the dissolution monasteries and their possessions were often sold to favourites of King Henry VIII, and this was the case with the Commandery, which ended up in the hands of the Wylde family. During the Civil War, the Duke of Hamilton and other Scottish officers were billeted with the Wylde family in The Commandery. During the Battle of Worcester on the 3rd September 1651 the Duke was shot in the thigh bone. He fell from his horse and was brought back to his headquarters at The Commandery, which was now being used as a dressing station for wounded Royalist soldiers. On 12th September, in the Commandery, The Duke of Hamilton died of gangrene and blood poisoning, he is buried under the Altar in Worcester Cathedral, where a brass plaque marks his grave.
There is always a programme of special events throughout the year, from re-enactments of battles to medieval workshops, ghost hunts to theatrical productions and with the help of staff in period costume Worcester's history is brought to life.
A grand building built by Thomas White, a student of Christopher Wren. Constructed in the early 1720's it still houses Civic Administation, although originally built as a meeting place for merchants. Major restorations in 1870 have left the building pretty much as we see it today.
The exterior of the Guildhall is brick, dressed with stone. White himself is said to have carved the figure of Queen Anne over the entry, as well as those of Charles I and II, a reminder of the city's long history of royal support.The interior is superb, boasting exceptional period decoration
It's open to the public, contains a fine art collection in the Impressive Assembly Rooms and also has a tea room serving light meals and drinks.
Occasionally craft , antique, book and record fairs are held here also.
LOCAL FACT: Look carefully at the entrance way arch... "pinned by his ears to the top of the arch is Oliver Cromwell" forever emphasing Worcesters allegiance to the Monarchy.
The Guildhall is also adjacent (part of the same building) to the Worcester Tourist Information Centre
Tourist Information Centre
Tel: +44 (0) 1905 726311 / 722480
Fax: +44 (0) 1905 722481
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