High Street Inns

The last inn in High Street, the Golden Lion, has sadly closed its doors. Much has been written about this historic 'poltical' inn, but there were others in High Street also of historic interest. One door away, on the south side, stood the King's Head. It occupied the site of the old Market Hall, the loss of which was one of the planning disasters of the 1950s. A few doors to the north of the Golden Lion was the Bull's Head, and all three went through to the Shambles. In the 18th century, the King's Head and the Golden Lion had theatres in the yards behind the inn, the King's Head theatre becoming one of the most important 'nurseries' for the British stage.

The Griffin, the Antelope, and the Bell. In the 16th and 17th centuries, these inns flourished in High Street. In the 16th century, the corporation entertained the burgesses of Droitwich at the Antelope.

The Bull's Head, in Bull's Head Alley, at the rear of 33-34 High Street. This inn was one of the oldest licensed houses in the city. For some time the name was changed to the Guildhall Tavern. It was well patronised by shopkeepers and those attending the Guildhall. In the early part of the 19th century it served as a club. It had one of the last, so called 'Smoke Rooms' in the city. The Bull's Head Alley with access to the Shambles had another licensed house lower down, and called, not inappropriately the Bull's Tail.

A feature of High Street from the 18th century until 1930s, was as a centre of printing, of books, pamphets, and a number of newspapers. One of the earliest printers in England, John Oswen set up the first press in this area in 1548, from a house in High Street, and printed highly dangerous works. All but a handful were publicly burnt when Mary Tudor came to the throne, and had not Oswen made a quick exit to the Continent, he would have been burnt with them. In 1753, a rival to Harvey Berrows, published a New Worcester Journal from the Bible & Crown in High Street. From 1822, Berrow's Worcester Journal was published in High Street, (the oldest in the world), as were others. It is no surprise to find a Stationers' Arms in a street with such a past. It closed about 1912.