Worcestershire (including Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills, Redditch, Worcester, Wychavon and Wyre Forest). It has a population of around 566,000 and covers approximately 174,000 hectares. Here is a list of nearby or neighbouring counties: Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands.
During previous centuries, Worcestershire was strongly associated with the wool industry and the production of items including carpets, needles and gloves. The oldest newspaper in the world, the Berrows Journal, was first published in the country in 1690 and during the 19th century Malvern became a popular spa town. A major feature of the landscape in Worcestershire are The Malvern Hills, which are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and of Special Scientific Interest, due to their geology and biology. It is also believed that Worcestershire inspired the writer J. R. R. Tolkien when he wrote about The Shire in the The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books. The Gordon Russell Design Museum in Broadway is housed within the furniture designers original workshop and the exhibits celebrate his life and work, which was shaped by the arts and crafts movement as well as Modernism and his work continues to influence contemporary design. Performing arts venues in Worcestershire include the Palace Theatre in Redditch, Evesham Arts Centre, the Artrix in Bromsgrove, Malvern Theatre and Huntingdon Hall in Worcester.
The county town of Worcestershire is Worcester, where you can visit Worcester Cathedral, which was built between 1084 and 1504 in architectural styles ranging from Norman to Gothic and is noted for its finely carved woodwork. Set among parkland with features such as orchards, fruit gardens and an orangery, 18th century country house Hanbury Hall, has beautifully decorated interiors that include paintings of scenes from classical mythology. Located in the town of Redditch is Forge Mill Needle Museum, which organises exhibitions and runs workshops. During the Victorian period Redditch dominated the global production of needles and visitors to the museum can learn about the history of the town and how needles produced there were used in the manufacture of textiles. Other attractions in Worcestershire include Worcester Porcelain Museum, Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, Harvington Hall, the Museum of Carpet in Kidderminster, Avoncroft Museum Of Historic Buildings and Broadway Tower and Country Park.
(Born 1857 in Lower Broadheath in Worcestershire), Music
Elgar was an eminent classical composer. One of his works included the Enigma Variations in 1899, which was very popular at the time.
(Born 1817 in Birtsmorton in Worcestershire), Carpentry
Clissett created the West Midlands-style rush-seated ladderback chair. Ernest Gimson was a pupil of Clissett and created variations of the chair.