Worcester – a city and county of itself, 26 miles from Birmingham, 26 from Gloucester, 30 from Hereford, and 111 from London, lying in latitude 52° 9’ N. and 2° 0’ W. longitude. It stands upon the eastern bank of the river Severn, and in circumference about 4 miles. It is a place of great antiquity, yet the principal streets are spacious, well built, and well paved, and, in point of general appearance, is not to be equalled by any place out of the metropolis. The cathedral has a grand and venerable appearance, and notwithstanding its style of architecture, is very diversified, from being built at different periods, yet it is a noble specimen of simple Gothic. It is built in the form of a double cross, the proportions of its exterior being 514 feet in length, 78 in breadth, and 68 in height, with an elegant tower rising from its centre to the altitude of 200 feet, ornamented at the corners by four lofty pinnacles, and battlements of light open work. The principal manufacture is that of gloves, which employs in its various branches nearly one-fourth of the population. Here are likewise several manufactures of porcelain, in which they greatly excel.
Worcester carries on a considerable trade in the article of hops, the average number of pockets sold yearly being upwards of 20,000. The hop market is situated at the S. end of the Foregate-street, and is governed by guardians chosen out of every parish in the city, the profits arising from which are applied towards the maintenance of the poor in the house of industry.
The Worcester and Birmingham canal, began in 1791, was made navigable December 4, 1815, and some very extensive warehouses have been erected at Lowesmoor and Diglis for the housing of goods. A large iron foundry has been establishes on the banks of the canal, under the firm of the Worcester Iron Foundry; and on the opposite side, near Lowesmoor, are the works of the Worcester Gas-light Company.
Among the public buildings in this city, the Guildhall is most worthy of remark. It was built in the year 1723, from a design of Mr. White, a native of Worcester: the hall is spacious and lofty, to the west of which are two courts of justice, wherein the sessions and assizes for the city and county are held. Over the hall is the council-chamber, a most elegant apartment, with adjoining rooms for tea and cards, &c. at the public assemblies. Likewise tow commodious rooms for the city and county grand juries.
Opposite to the town-hall is the new market place, erected by the corporation at an expense of £5050. The principal market days are on Wednesday and Saturdays. Here is also a commodious theatre, a public subscription library, a general infirmary, and a house of industry, with nine endowed hospitals, and six public schools.
The corporation consists of a mayor, recorder, sheriff, six aldermen (who are justice of the peace), twenty-four common councilmen, and forty-eight assistants, and returns two members to Parliament, chosen by the citizens, admitted to their freedom by birth or servitude, or by redemption; the sheriff is the returning officer.
Here are nine parish churches within the city, and two without, viz. All Saints, situate near the bottom of Broad-street; a rectory; the Rev. F. Davis, incumbent; patron, the King. – St. Albans, situate the N.W. corner of Fish-street; a rectory; the Rev. Thomas Bedford, incumbent; patron, Bishop of Worcester. – St. Andrew’s, situate on the North side of Copenhagen-street; a vicarage; the Rev. William Faulkner, incumbent; patrons, the Dean and Chapter. – St. Clement’s, situate near the bridge; a rectory; the Rev. John Davies, incumbent; patrons, the Dean and Chapter. – St. Helen’s, situate in the High-street; a rectory; Rev. Thomas Bedford, incumbent; patron, Bishop of Worcester. – St. John’s, in Bedwardine, situate at St. John’s; a vicarage; Rev. Rev. James Meakin, incumbent; patron, the Dean and Chapter. – St. Martin’s, situate at the N.W. angle of the corn market; a rectory; Rev. Digby Smith, incumbent; patrons, the Dean and Chapter. – St. Michael’s, in Bedwardine, situate the N.E. corner of the cathedral; a rectory; Rev. Thomas Clark, incumbent; patron, the King, by lapse. – St. Nicholas, situate at the cross; a rectory; Rev. Robert Clifton, incumbent; patron, the Bishop of Worcester. – St. Peter the Great, situate near Diglis; a vicarage; Rev. C. Copner, incumbent; patrons, the Dean and Chapter. – St. Swithin, situate at the W. end of Mealcheapen-street; Rev. T. H. Shirley, incumbent; patrons, the Dean and Chapter.
Besides the parochial churches, here are seven chapels and meeting-houses for different sectaries.
But if we include the tything of Whiston, the township of St. Johns, the parish of St. Michael, and those divisions that form part of Worcester, though not actually within the limits of the city, the whole population will be as follows, viz.
|City of Worcester||16,263|
|Township of St. John’s||1161|
|Tything of Whiston||1344|
|Block-house, extra parochial||674|
|Total Population, 1821||20235|
Source: Worcestershire Delineated: Being a Topographical Description of Each Parish, Chapelry, Hamlet, &c. In the County; with the distances and bearings from their respective market towns, &c. By C. and J. Greenwood. Printed by T. Bensley, Crane Court, Fleet Street, London, 1822.
Worcester History Tour
by Ray Jones (Author)
Worcester History Tour takes the reader on a journey through the town of Worcester, which became the focus of manufacturing success with the establishment of its numerous porcelain works. From Worcester Cathedral to the docks from which Worcester’s famed porcelain products were transported, Ray Jones explains the history behind the town’s most significant landmarks. Since then, Worcester has undergone large changes, but remnants of its industrial past remain.