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

History of Worcester & Worcestershire

Church Curiosities Articles

St.Peter's Parish Workhouse

St.Peter's Parish Workhouse

In 1746, a parish workhouse was set up in a old half-timbered building in St.Peter's Street, which existed well into the 20th century. Here for £10 per annum, 'a proper person was employed to instruct young persons and others in working trades such as leather, gloving, etc'. At that time, Robert Tasker (a good name) was governor, and received £185 p.a. 'to keep, lodge and manage the poor'.....

 


St Peters Church

St Peters Church

In early times St. Peter's Church was known as 'the Great' to distinguish it from 'St. Peter the Little' , which was a chapel at the castle of Worcester. In the 1830's nit was picturesque, but in a ruinous condition.....


'Heaving' in Dolday

'Heaving' in Dolday

The strange custom of 'heaving' took place in Dolday on Easter Monday. A chair decorated with ribbons and coloured streamers was placed in the street and the women would wait for the unwary male to pass along the street...


The Black Friars

The Black Friars

The Black Friars, or Dominican Friary, occupied the site between Broad Street and the City Walls at the Butts, and from the Sheep Market west to Dolday. Their habit was a black cloak and hood over a white cassock. They came to England in 1221, but when they settled in Worcester is not known, 


The Jews Patch

The Jews Patch

There was undoubtedly a considerable number of Jews living in Worcester in the Middle Ages and, as at other places, they did not have an easy time here. In 1218, Henry lll issued a writ to the Sheriff ordering him to require all Jews wherever they walked or rode abroad within or without the city, to fix on the head of their outer garments two white patches of cloth.....


The Spire & Curious Incidents

The Spire & Curious Incidents

Some curious incidents are connected with the repairing of St. Andrew's spire. In 1801, while some repairs were being made, a barber named Baylis, shaved several of his customers on the top of it, and about the same time, a china painter named Cotterill, took up a small cup, which he painted on the top. One of the men shaved on the top was Joshua Bridges, a Seven carrier, an eccentric, weighing when he died 21 stone. For two years he kept a massive stone coffin ready for his burial.


The Three Choirs Festival

The Three Choirs Festival

The Three Choirs Musical Festival is the oldest and most distinguished of its kind in the world. It started in 1715 as an itinerant music club, giving performances of church music. Later, concerts were given at the shirehalls, and it was not until 1759 that oratorios were performed in the Cathedral.


Strange Happenings in the Cathedral Churchyard

Strange Happenings in the Cathedral Churchyard

There is an area between Collage Street and Edgar Street where curious and tragic events have taken place, all of which were well reported in the press of the day. In November 1718 the whole of Worcester was talking about a girl named Mary Bentall who was troubled with a poltergeist.........


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 a 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 it's lofty spire...


Cathedral Bell Stolen

Cathedral Bell Stolen

In 1863, the Worcestershire 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'. A ring of eight bells had existed at the Cathedral, and an America, who had visited the Tower, guided by a young ringer, informed the Custos that there were only seven......

 


The White Ladies

The White Ladies

The present house incorporates fragments of the Cistercian Nunnery called White Ladies, founded by Bishop Cantelupe, the friend of Simon de Mountfort, in 1250. Bishop Gifford, Cantelupe's successor, added to the endowment's and gave land bought from the de Flagge family. Some accounts say that Alice Flagge  entered the Convent and brought to the Nunnery lands leading up to Perdiswell, part of which, after 700 years, is still called Flagge Meadow. The Nunnery was further endowed by 53 acres of land ................


The Execution of Father John Wall

The Execution of Father John Wall

For several centuries the public gallows for Worcestershire stood at Red Hill on a piece of wasteland, but long since enclosed by the Sebrights. It is still possible to place the site of execution, for two ancient roads crossed here and these roads are now very narrow footpaths. The one, the old London Road, runs up the hill at the back of the houses; the other goes from north to south, crossing the traffic roundabout, and has a sign marked 'Footpath to Upper Battenhall'. Like many other ancient roads, it has been used as a marker, or boundary of property, and so has remained.