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

History of Worcester & Worcestershire

Church Curiosities Articles

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.

The Cardinal's Hat

Worcester Cathedral in the period of 1100 to 1540 was one of the principal places of pilgrimage. Many ecclesiastical inns sheltered near the Cathedral catering for the traveler and pilgrim....


The Anchorite of St. Nicholas

The old church of St. Nicholas was erected in the 12th century and part of the crypt and basement walls appear to date from that period.

St Laurence's Church

The site of St, Laurence's Church was outside the City walls, where the burnt-shell of Sigley's Sweet Factory stood in what then prior the Friar's burial ground. William de Beachamp, Earl of Warwick, was buried there in June, 1298, after much ecclesiastic argument and bad feeling.. 

St Laurence's Church

The site of St Laurence's Church was outside the City Walls, where the burnt-out shell of Sigley's Sweet Factory stands in what was Friar's burial ground 

Grave Stone Ovens

In clearing churchyards, grave stones have sometimes to be removed, and in the last century, some stones were used in the making of bread ovens which were in almost every cottage and house of some size.

A Riotous Penance

In a collection of Stourbridge newspaper cuttings of about 1950, there were items from a 'Century Old Diary' kept by a Mr. B Leadbetter. There was no identification as to the newspaper, but it was thought to be the County Express. The diary entry was for May 5th, 1849, and it was revealed the fact that the custom of doing penance was still in vogue - but the ceremony of penance was more like a circus. Here is Leadbetter's description of the scene:

Mr. Ward's Playhouse, 1752 (Stourbridge)

The first record of a theatre at Stourbridge come's from Aris's Birmingham Gazette of 1752, with the announcement that the playhouse 'would shortly be open by Mr Ward'.

The Anchorite of St. Nicholas

The old church of St . Nicholas was erected in the 12th century and part of the crypt and basement walls appear to date from that period. There exists a record of a female anchorite who attached herself to the east end in the 13th century.


In the cloisters of Worcester Cathedral is one of the most pathetic gravestones in the country. It marks a nameless grave, and has but one word on it: "Meserriums",  a prayer for the unfortunate whose bones lie below.

High Street Public Houses

In High Street there were two sets of public houses. Opposite the Guildhall, at No 31, was The Golden Lion, and next door at 32

Worcester Priors Mitred

All Worcester Priors were mitred. When a Prior walked in procession with the Bishop in the Cathedral, the Prior's crook pointed inward, the Bishop's outward, that distinguished their spheres of office. But if the See of Worcester fell vacant, the Prior automatically acted as Bishop. So until 1981, did his successor the Dean.

William Tyndale, and the Translation of the Bible into English

William Tyndale, one of the martyrs of the Reformation, was born in old diocese of Worcester, somewhere near the Severn Estuary, His translation of the Bible into English was one of the great events of the English Church.

Notes on the Reformation in Worcester

Among the manuscripts in the Bishop's Registry is one entitled Notitia Dioec Wigorn. It is written by the hand of Chancellor Price in about 1700, and records the changes in Worcester resulting from the Reformation

A Penance ordered on Two Clerks of Droitwich

Two Clerks of Droitwich who reseisted arrest by the Bishop's ministers and the Archdeacon of Worcester. 1304 - 'Order to the Dean of Wych to absolve John Colleware and John Barnard, Clerks,

A Penance ordered on a Sub-Deacon and his woman in 1303

Christian teaching was tactitly accepted as the basis of law. The control of the Church over its people and their morals, was complete. The Church not only taught, but punished when it thought necessary.

The Enthronement of a Medieval Bishop of Worcester

The Enthronement of a Bishop in his Cathedral church serves as a formal introduction to the clergy and laity of his diocese.

Rector in Penance at Kemerton

The Rev. Robery Wotton, Rector of Kemerton in the 16th century had to endure a long and humiliating penance. He was sentenced by Bishop Hooper to stand in his church, stripped to the waist, and bearing a horse's saddle on his back. The nature of his crime is unknown.

The Boundaries of the Worcester Diocese

The Boundaries of Mercia was at first co-extensive with the Diocese of Lichfield; the first four Bishops of Lichfield (from 655 to 675) are still recorded as Bishops of Mercia.

Saint Augustine's Oak

One of the most historic of meetings was that between Saint Augustine and the Bishop of the Britons in the summer of AD. 603. When the Romans left these shores, Britain was by no means abandoned to paganism.

St George's Roman Catholic Church and a Fine Painting

The present church in Sansome Walk was built in 1829, the year of the Catholic Emancipation Act, on the site of an earlier chapel of 1764

Local Saints, Fair and Markets

Local fairs were generally held in the churchyard and associated with the feast of a saint; and brought gatherings of people from far distances to a holy shrine, giving opportunity for

A Presentment from St Michael's Church. 1674

The Churchwardens present that; The church is in good order. John Flaye and his wife, Adam Symonds and his wife, John Wood and his wife, Richard Flayer and his wife, John Annen and his wife, Francis Smith and his wife, Mary Stram and Elizabeth Andrews.

We have now collated 487 articles on the History of Worcester & Worcestershire.