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A chronicle of the history of the City of Worcester and the County of Worcestershire

History of Worcester & Worcestershire

Articles

John Noakes, Historian

John Noakes, Historian

Under the pen-name 'Rambler' John Noakes was the senior reporter, and later sub-editor of the Worcester Herald. He came to Worcester when he was 22 years of age and died in Rose Terrace in 1894, in his 78th year, after 56 years devoted to local history researches. 


Tunnel Hill, Observatory

Tunnel Hill, Observatory

High up on Tunnel Hill stands a house on the highest part of the road with 'observatory' windows on the top floor. In the 1800's it had a huge telescope fixed in the windows and many tales were told of the power of the instrument:


The Garden Suburb, Tolladine Road

The Garden Suburb, Tolladine Road

In 1913, a Society called the Worcester Tenants Ltd, bought eleven acres of land from Christ Church, Oxford, just off Tolladine Road, on the south side which then, apart from the Railway works, was in completely rural meadows and hills..... 


Brickfields and Richard Spooner

Brickfields and Richard Spooner

Brickfields Estate was the property of Richard Spooner, an eccentric. He was M.P for North Worcestershire, and partner in the Banking house of Attwood and Spooner of Birmingham..


The Water Gate and the Ferry

The Water Gate and the Ferry

The Priory Ferry, or Cathedral Ferry, worked until the mid-20th century. It had originally been established for the convenience both of monks and milk-maids, who would otherwise have had to be taken the circuitous route through the City to the Severn ridge at the bottom of Newport Street, for there was no riverside walk as there is today. 


Old and New St. Michael's Churches

Old and New St. Michael's Churches

The old church of St. Michael in Bedwardine stood very close to the Cathedral on the north east side. It had been founded in 826, the name Bedwardine meaning 'ground reserved for the supply of the Refectory, a close or field to supply bread'. Around the church were a number of houses which blocked up the northern facade of the Cathedral. It had a tower, and at the west end of St. Michael's stood the ancient clochium or bell tower with its lofty spire.


Changes in the Cathedral Services

Changes in the Cathedral Services

The religious revival that came with church reform brought great changes in public worship. One of the influences for church reform came from the young men of the Oxford Movement, to whom the doctrine and ceremony of the early church were a precious heritage....


The Tomb of King John in the Chancel

The Tomb of King John in the Chancel

The Tomb of King John laid to rest in the Chancel of Worcester Cathedral following his death in Newark in 1216. originally placed between Wulstan & Oswald which sadly was destroyed. 


Worcester Cathedral

Worcester Cathedral

Worcester Cathedral


Worcester City Football Club, St. George's Lane c.1928

Worcester City Football Club, St. George's Lane c.1928

Worcester City Football Club, St. George's Lane c.1928


Cathedral Bell Stolen

Cathedral Bell Stolen

In 1863, the Worcester Chronicle published the startling announcement that one of the great bells of Worcester Cathedral, weighing five cwts, had recently been stolen, 'it was not known how or when but it must have been within the last few months'.

 


Cages of Birds in Cathedral Pews

Cages of Birds in Cathedral Pews

In Walpole's Lord Orford's letters, there is a note about a Worcester lady, who believing that her dead daughter yet existed and might communicate with her as a singing bird, had cages of birds put with her in her pew in the Cathedral, hoping they might attract her.


The Cathedral Charnel House

The Cathedral Charnel House

Immediately north of the main entrance to the Cathedral, at a site where now the roadway widens before the North Porch, stood the Chapel of the Charnel House.........  


Guesten Hall

Guesten Hall

The ruins in the College Green are part of the Guesten Hall, built in 1320, which formed part of a chain of monastic buildings on the south side of the Cathedral......


Three Incidents at the Old Palace

Three Incidents at the Old Palace

The Council of War - James ll Rebuffs the Bishop - The Bishop Locked Out


The Old Palace, Deansway

The Old Palace, Deansway

Until the year 1842, the Old Palace was the official residence of the Bishop of Worcester. He also had Hartlebury Castle and a London House, but a Royal Commission looking into the Church Revenues with reforming zeal, concluded that the Bishop had no need for two palaces, and reduced his income.


Edgar Tower

Edgar Tower

Edgar Tower was, until the late 19th century, known as St. Mary's Gate, was the main gate to the royal castle and priory..... 


Eaton's Concise History of Worcester (1829) - Royal Tombs

Eaton's Concise History of Worcester (1829) - Royal Tombs

Eatons Concise History of Worcester, ends the account of the opening of the tomb with this macabre story: 'On the opening of the Tomb of King John in the Cathedral, a gentleman of this city took a hand-full of the skeletons of skins of maggots that were in and about the abdomen of the body and angled with them in the Severn, and absolutely caught a brace of bleak with them'. 

The King's tomb was moved in to a new location in the Cathedral  which in doing so destroyed the very reason for it being there at all. The last restoration in 1874 was done by the Board of Works, who are responsible for all the royal tombs, and insensitively destroyed the remnants of colour that remained and gilded the whole figure, placing on it's head a tin crown.

Arthur, Prince of Wales, the son of Henry Vlll, was as a boy of eleven, betrothed to Catherine of Aragon, of the same age, in a Machievellian attempt to control foreign affairs of state. Two years later, they were married by proxy, the ceremony on Arthur's side taking place in the chapel of Twickenhill Palace at Bewdley on Whit Sunday, 1449. Catherine came to England two years later, and she and Arthur both 15, were married in St. Paul's Cathedral, and went to spend their honeymoon at Ludlow Castle. At the end of two months, on April 2nd, 1502, Arthur died.

The body was embalmed and a great procession brought the young prince to Worcester Cathedral for burial. It was one of the greatest  scenes of pomp and ceremony ever witnessed in our Cathedral, and one of the most moving. The chronicler wrote:

"but to have seene the weepinge when the offringe was done, he had a hard heart that wept not".