Thursday, November 10, 2005

There's holy ground in Worcester

There's holy ground in Worcester, claimed duo - This Is Worcestershire archive.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both later Presidents of the USA, but at that time diplomats in Paris and London, came to Worcester in 1768. Standing on Fort Royal Hill, they declared "All England should come in pilgrimage to to this hill." The link, to the website of the Worcester News, tells why.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Modern Antiquarian

"Welcome to The Modern Antiquarian website, based on Julian Cope's epic guidebook of the same name. Since launching in March 2000ce, the site has grown to be a massive resource for news, information, images, folklore & weblinks on the ancient sites across the UK & Ireland, thanks to the remarkable efforts of all those who contribute."

Try a postcode search from your home. Mine came up with 9 sites, including dozens of photographs, and an hour's fascinating reading. There's no need to register to do this, only to add your own photos and text.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Worcester Vista

Here's a good collection of short articles, including memories, descriptions and local observations. It covers the area around Worcester, and comes from the pen (no, probably the keyboard and camera) of Basil Drinkwater. Good work, Basil!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Worcester City Gaol

Laslett's Almshouses in Friar Street may look old, but in fact they are mock Tudor, from 1912. The site was first used as part of the Friary of the Greyfriars, who had their chapel outside the City Wall, where the furniture shop is now in Carden Street.
The City Gaol from the early 1800s was in the former Friary buildings. It was traditional for charitable gentry, usually ladies, to present dinners to the prisoners on Christmas day or Boxing day, and the prisoners would show their gratitude by advertisements in newspapers: "The prisoners in the City Gaol return thanks to a lady: for a dinner of beef, ale and potatoes", thus appeared in Berrow's Journal for January 1st, 1824. The "new" City Gaol (which appears in the picture) was obviously up to date, since the same newspaper a week later says "It is understood that when the new city gaol shall be ready for the reception of inmates, the magistrates will take active steps for reforming them, by introducing a treadmill".
This new gaol was designed by George Byfield, who also built the House of Industry on Tallow Hill and is commemorated in the street name there: Byfield Rise. To help the prisoners, the governor would allow the 'trusties' to wait at table at his dinner parties. One individual was even trusted to carry the lamp to light the guests back to their houses. Until one night he went missing, and so did several items of silver. After the County Gaol was built in Castle Street, William Laslett bought the buildings in 1867 and used the cells as almshouses for poor couples, his money paying for them to be replaced eventually by the present almshouses.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Malverns - Going under the hills

Fascinating story of Malvern's two railway tunnels in this BBC website.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Cornucopia, an online database of information about more than 6,000 collections in the UK's museums, galleries, archives and libraries. Whether you are interested in painters or politicians, dinosaurs or space travel, the Romans or the Victorians, Cornucopia can tell you what is available and where to see it.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Archenfield Archaeology - Worcester

Archenfield Archaeology have been busy in Worcester these last few years. You can see some reports here. I liked the Hadley Porcelain article best. The photo is of the Hadley Works in Diglis in 1901.

Worcester City Museums Web Site

Worcester City Museum features in our programme for September 2005, so I thought you might like this link to their site, illustrated by Young's map of Worcester 1779

Monday, July 18, 2005

Eastnor Castle - photos

BBC - Hereford and Worcester - In Pictures - Eastnor Castle - photos
Eastnor Castle

The castle was the family seat of two families, the Cocks and the Somers. The Cocks' family moved to Eastnor at the end of the 16th century. The latest BBC local history feature.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Geograph British Isles is a site which seeks pictures, at least one from each grid square. A search for Worcester gives 3724 images, or it did when I tried a few minutes ago. Yet there grid square I tried hasn't got a picture yet, so I'll try to be first.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Priest Holes, moats and knots

Harvington Hall features in this photogallery on the BBC local website. The website for the Hall itself is Harvington Hall

Friday, July 01, 2005

A2A - Access to Archives | Home

I came across this reference in the U3A Signpost newsletter.

A2A - Access to Archives
The A2A database contains catalogues describing archives held throughout England and dating from the 900s to the present day.
A2A does not yet offer a full description of all the archives in England, but it is regularly updated, so revisit often for newly-included catalogues.
Please note that our URL will be changing soon to

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Marcel bent over backwards

BBC - Hereford and Worcester - Features - Marcel bent over backwards
Some of you will have known Marcel Callow, Worcester's India Rubber Man. There are some wonderful pictures here.

Edward Elgar

Edward Elgar - Web site of The Elgar Society, Elgar Birthplace and Elgar Foundation deserves a mention as the authoritative place for information on old Eddie.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Battle of Worcester

BBC - Hereford and Worcester - Features - Battle of Worcs
All sorts of material from BBC, Commandery Museum and other local organisations giving background, timelines, pictures and text about the Civil War and its aftermath.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Worcester News

The Worcester News (the new name for the Worcester Evening News) Website on Worcester news and Worcester sport information gateway brought to you by this is Worcestershire has an archive search, which not only helps you with news stories from the last few years, but also indexes Michael Grundy's wonderful articles about local history.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Fountains at South Quay

Friday, April 22, 2005

Ride a Cock-horse (

Here's the origin of the mythical animal the Cock Horse, best known frok the nursery rhyme. Nothing local about it, although I found it because it has Worcester in it as a surname.A Cock-horse (

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Frederick George Dancox VC

Pte Dancox VC

Frederick George Dancox was a soldier of the Worcestershire Regiment who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Boesinghe Sector in Belgium during World War One in October 1917. He was killed in action at the end of the following month.

He is commemorated in Worcester in the name of the sheltered housing development Dancox House in St Clements Gardens

More information on this and thousands of other topics at Wikipedia, the alternative encyclopedia of the Internet.
Dancox Wikipedia Article

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Vesta Tilley

More details. Vesta Tilley was born in Worcester and appeared at music halls here.

Worcestershire Past

Worcestershire Past: "Sir Edward Elgar Statue at Worcester - Photo John Stafford 2001"

Worcestershire Past is my oldest web site. It started as a lottery project by Worcester Writers' Circle as Worcestershire History Encyclopaedia. I kept most of the articles for which I still had publishing rights in this successor site. I add a little more occasionally, so if you have an article illustrated with a digital picture, I will consider it for the site. Any shorter pieces, or just pictures you think others would like to see, can be published here on Vigornia.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Worcestershire Maps

This project provides on-line access to digitised 18th and 19th century maps in the county, together with their attached documentary evidence. Together, these transform flat maps into a powerful searchable research tool.

Only a part of the capabilities of the system can be demonstrated on-line. The full system is available at the offices of the Historic Environment and Archaeology Service.

The site is under development, but the following pages provide access to an internet mapping system, through which you can view modern and historic maps, and also provides information about why the original maps were created.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Railways in Worcestershire

My Worcester Tramways article last month prompted a reply from Tavis Pitt about a site I hadn't seen before.Index page for Railways in Worcestershire.
Thanks, Tavis. It's a really good collection of tram pictures you referred me to.

Worcester People & Places - Articles by Bill Gwilliam

Worcester People & Places has dozens of extracts from the late Bill Gwilliam's published works. Fascinating reading.

Welcome to Project Gutenberg - Project Gutenberg

Welcome to Project Gutenberg - Project Gutenberg: "Project Gutenberg is the oldest producer of free electronic books (eBooks or etexts) on the Internet. Our collection of more than 13.000 eBooks was produced by hundreds of volunteers. Most of the Project Gutenberg eBooks are older literary works that are in the public domain in the United States. All may be freely downloaded and read, and redistributed for non-commercial use"