Houses of Interest: Worcestershire

 The opening salvo in the Worcestershire ECW Travelogue entry... or is it?

The 'big ticket' item for Worcestershire* is clearly Worcester - the Commandery and the Battles of Worcester and Powick Bridge.

The Norman Church of St Augustine in Droitwich was badly damaged in a siege in 1642. The church was occupied by Parliamentarian troops. Royalists attacked, and in the process destroyed the nave, tower and south transept. The church would be rebuilt in the eighteenth century.

It is thought that the area surrounding the church was fortified by the Royalists, a short length of backfilled ditch being discovered during excavations in the early 1980s.

The vicar at the time of the Civil Wars was William Jones, was banished during the Commonwealth, returning in 1660 to resume his ministry. 

Dudley** Castle was garrisoned for the King, the governor was Colonel Thomas Leveson.

Besieged by Lord Denbigh in June 1644, the castle held out against his force of 3500 men and a 32 pounder cannon called the 'Stafford Great Piece'. The garrison  would eventually surrender to a reinvigorated siege led by Sir William Brereton in May 1646. Leveson had made himself so unpopular with the local populace, that if he hadn't been led away as a prisoner (under armed guard), he would probably been lynched.

The castle would be sleighted, with only a few residential buildings left intact. The castle is now the home of Dudley Zoo.

At the onset of the original siege, Royalist reinforcements from Worcester would clash with Denbigh's men at Tipton. The Tipton Green area, mostly in the vicinity of the Malthouse Stables, saw heavy fighting. Both sides withdrew, but  Denbigh would lift his siege of Dudley Castle as a result. There is a Tipton Civic Society plaque located on the side of the building.

Symonds records that Royalist forces, pursued by an advancing William Waller, pulled down Pershore Bridge on the 5th June 1644, in order to slow Waller’s men. Unfortunately 40 men, including the unfortunately named Major Bridge, were lost when the “bridge fell from under them”.

Pershore Old Bridge

Postcodes for SatNavs

St Augustine's Church, Droitwich WR9 8QR
Dudley Zoo, Castle Hill, Dudley DY1 4QF
Malthouse Stables, Hurst Ln, Tipton DY4 9AB
Pershore Old Bridge, Bridge Street WR10 1AT

* for those of you from the former colonies, I'm not going to help you out with the pronunciation. It's funny hearing Worcestershire being mispronounced. Sorry. Not sorry.
** yes I know, Dudley is now in the West Midlands, but I didn't want to upset Yam Yams by lumping them in with Birmingham, so Dudley has been returned to its historic county

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