St Nicholas Street and Percy's Alley

  • 27 Oct 2021
  • Worcester People and Places
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The old name for St. Nicholas Street was 'Gaol Lane'. The deeds of an old house, which stood next to the Imperial Hotel, dated 1585, were in existence in 1910, though the house had gone with the widening of the road. The house was known as 'Ye Gaol Tower, close to ye Postern Gate leading to Losemoor (today known as Lowesmoor) near ye Garden Market' and 'within hail of the High Cross in Gaol Lane'. The old house used to have a doorway with some pretention to ornament, led up to by a flight of steps. The deeds show that it had been occupied by personages of distinction in local affairs. In the mid 19th century, there was a court in Lowesmoor called 'Percy's Alley'. Later it was given a number, but it bore its ancient name from the great border family, a branch of which was long resident in Worcester.

About 1519, during Wolsey's power, a Percy appeared at Worcester and prospered slowly. When the plague ravished the City in 1611, they narrowly escaped extinction, two children being carried off. A surviving son, Thomas Percy, layer became Mayor of the City, as did John, the son of Thomas, during the Civil Wars.         

The Percy's eventually lost the connection with Worcester but it had continued for more than two centuries, and their deceased family where laid to rest in St. Swithin's Church.