Old Worcester - Architectural Miscellaneous Information

  • 26 Oct 2021
  • Historical Studies
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Until 18c, the carpenter was most important in the building of Worcester, but then gave way to the mason and bricklayer, just putting in parts of roof timbers. The City Corporation helped with grants to rebuild the churches damaged in the Civil War. Worcester became an essentially brick town, built from Severnside bricks. Still up to 1800 many merchants was still living inside the City walls with large gardens. The City was not keen to have merchants because loss of rental and rates. The highest valued land was the Quays, with rents high. The first move outside the walls were into The Tything and to Sidbury area.

Worcester had three periods of growth in Georgian period: 1715-1750, 1780-1800, 1820-1830.

Of the first period, Berkeley Almshouses were the first and a little early, 1703, and a few houses in Broad Street, around 1700 but then West of High St. c.1720; Mealcheapen Street 1730; Paradise Row, Tything, 1730-40; Synagogue c.1740; Foregate St 1741; (Hastings House-grand Palladian) Shades, Mealcheapen St. c1750; The Guildhall and City Churches.

The second period includes; Sheepmarket 1792, Bridge St 1771; Tything, Nurses Home and others c.1780; High Street 1800; College Yard 1794; Victoria House; Foregate St c.1790; New Shambles c1780-1800; Trinity House 1766-70.

The third includes Britannia Square 1820-30; Easy Row 1827; Barbourne Terrace 1817; St. George's Square 1820-33; Knapp's Castle Lowesmoor 1819; Boughton Fields 1811; Severn Terrace c.1820.

The removal of the City gates; Sidbury 1767 and St. Martin's 1773, and the road cut through the Wall into the Butts in 1771, opened the City greatly.

Slates were first used in Worcester in 1762 or 1768. They were brought round the coast from Cumberland, and up the Severn. Some were still on a house in Lowesmoor until recent times - all showed to be very large, twice the normal Welsh size- which were used later- much later. Cumberland slates were on sale at Worcester two years before Bristol, and ten years before London.

The development of the City was greatly helped by a flourishing Social life in Worcester in the 18c with drawing schools and dancing schools in the Tything and in the Cathedral enclaves.