Fascinating facts about Worcestershire
- The Severn is the longest River in Britain, stretching 220 miles to the sea at the Bristol Channel. The River Severn flows from north to south through Worcestershire meandering its way through a variety of town and villages including Bewdley, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcester and Upton upon Severn.
- The railway bridge at Hagley Railway Station in north Worcestershire was used as a model for the toy bridge sold by the makers of Hornby train sets.
- For many centuries the Malvern Hills formed a barrier to invaders from the west, with the highest point, the Worcestershire Beacon, standing at an impressive 1400 feet above sea level.
- The Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire is a fruit and vegetable paradise growing plums and asparagus in abundance.
- The Queens favourite tipple is Malvern Water and she takes this all over the world with her.
- Worcester was formerly one of Britain’s leading glove-making areas and some leather companies employed people living in surrounding villages who made fine gloves by hand in their cottages.
- The remains of a 4,000 years-old Bronze Age burial site have been incorporated in a car park at Perdiswell, Worcester, making it the first park-and-ride scheme in Britain to be part of the nation’s historical heritage.
- Worcester once had a prosperous river fishing industry and Fish Street was filled with cottages inhabited by fishermen’s families.
- Stourport-on-Severn is the only town in Britain to be built solely as a result of the canals. It was here that James Brindley built the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal to link the River Severn with the Trent and Mersey, following the Parliamentary Act of 1766. After Birmingham, Stourport was then the busiest inland port in the Midlands.
- The village of Belbroughton, near Kidderminster, was once the world’s leading producer of scythes which found their way onto country estates, farms and smallholdings across five continents.
Interesting historical facts about Worcestershire
- The Commandery located in the city of Worcester served as King Charles II headquarters in the Battle of Worcester in 1651 where he was defeated by Oliver Cromwell.
- When C.S. Lewis found a Victorian gas lamp burning in the middle of a wood he was so intrigued that he wrote about it in his phantasmal “Tales of Narnia”. Amazingly the same street lamps are still in use today and can be seen around the Wyche in Malvern.
- Berrow’s Worcester Journal is the World’s oldest surviving newspaper. It has been continually published each week for over 300 years. Most back copies are now kept bound in Worcester City Library.
- The Shelsley Walsh hill climb course, near Great Witley, is the oldest motor racing circuit of its kind in the country.
- During the Roman occupation Droitwich Spa was known as Saline, meaning ‘Place of Salt’. The Victorians took advantage of the natural brine, its strength second only to the Dead Sea, and developed the town into a fashionable spa.
Places to visit
Avoncroft Museum, Bromsgrove
An amazing open-air museum of historic buildings.
Established in 1751 along the banks of the River Severn, Royal Worcester nestles amidst Victorian factory buildings, just 2 minutes walk from the Cathedral and historic City Centre. Something of interest for everyone whether you take a guided tour and see skilled craftsmen at work or try your hand at paint a plate. Royal Worcester Bestware & Seconds Shops offer an extensive range of quality bone china, porcelain and giftware with great savings and special offers throughout the year. The Shopping Court, home to many famous names, offers an unrivalled array of Home Accessories, Cookware, Linens, Luggage, Glassware and Cutlery.
Severn Street, Worcester, WR1 2NE
Severn Valley Railway
A standard-gauge railway line running regular steam-hauled passenger trains between Kidderminster in Worcestershire and Bridgnorth in Shropshire, a distance of 16 miles. The journey is full of interest, for the route follows closely the meandering course of the River Severn for most of the way on its journey between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. One highlight of the trip is the crossing of the River Severn by means of the Victoria Bridge – a massive 200-foot single span, high above the water.
The Railway Station, Bewdley, DY12 1BG
The Ark Animal Sanctuary
Arrow Valley Country Park, Redditch
Green Frog Pottey, Barnards Green, Malvern
The Handsam Boat Company
Honeybourne Pottery, Honeybourne
Little Acorns Adventure Soft Play Centre
St. John’s, Worcester
Madhatters Family Play Centre, Worcester
Waseley Hills County Park
West Midland Safari Park
Worcester Woods Country Park
For more information on these and other places to visit in Worcestershire, visit www.visitworcestershire.org
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