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Heritage and culture

Worcester’s a forward-looking place with a rich heritage

Built around a magnificent 11th century cathedral, Worcester was a key battleground in the English Civil War.

The stories of its past are easily visible in the landscape of the city, from cobbled Tudor streets to elegant Queen Anne architecture. An important cathedral city for a thousand years, Worcester has played its part in shaping Britain today.

There’s a wealth of history to explore -- you might even study in some of our historic buildings, like the former Royal Infirmary, where modern medicine has evolved over the last 200 years.

Culture and Festivals

Worcester' s Swan Theatre and Huntingdon Hall offer live theatre and you can catch the latest film releases at the city’s two, 3D-equipped multi-screen cinemas. There are also many galleries, open-air markets and exhibition spaces to explore.

Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon is less than hour away.

Worcester and nearby Hay-on-Wye and Cheltenham are world-famous for their festivals, devoted to music, books, science and politics, which attract thousands of visitors to the region.

Search for festivals and events in Worcestershire.

A few facts about Worcester's history

  • Occupation of the site of Worcester can be dated back to Neolithic times, a village surrounded by defensive ramparts having been founded on the eastern bank of the River Severn here in around 400 BC.
  • The River Severn runs through the middle of the city, overlooked by Worcester Cathedral
  • The site of the final battle of the Civil War, Worcester was where Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army defeated King Charles II's Cavaliers
  • Worcester was the home of Royal Worcester Porcelain
  • It is the birthplace of the composer Sir Edward Elgar
  • The British Medical Association (BMA) was founded in the Board Room of the old Worcester Royal Infirmary building in Castle Street in 1832, now the University's City Campus
  • It  houses the Lea and Perrins factory where the traditional and world famous Worcestershire Sauce is made

The famous Worcestershire Sauce was first sold in 1838 by John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, dispensing chemists from Broad Street, Worcester.