"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre

We decided to pay a return visit this year to the Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre. It is a really atmospheric event with over 150 stalls, carol singers, street entertainers and morris dancers.

The only downside is that it does get rather crowded - I think it was even busier this year than last and at times you do shuffle along trying to get a glimpse of the stalls!

The Guildhall, which is a beautiful building, dates back to 1721 and is believed to have been designed, in the Queen Anne style, by a local stonemason, Thomas White.

There is a good selection of stalls and shops selling Christmassy items, local crafts and produce.

An interesting sign outside the barbers!

I was tempted by these lovely bee tiles and hyacinth pot until I spotted the prices!

The Battle of Worcester, the final action of the English Civil War, took place on 3rd September, 1651, when Charles II and his army were overwhelmed by Oliver Cromwell's New Modern Army. Charles II managed to escape through Worcester leaving by St Martin's Gate.

Who can resist a turn on an old-fashioned merry-go-round

although you wouldn't get me on these rides.

Time for a hot chocolate or a glass of mulled wine - I am sure you can guess which I chose.

Cupcakes were tempting but this time I resisted.

Finally, I managed to drag the rest of the family away from the streets to visit the craft fair in Worcester Cathedral's cloisters. I am sure it was much busier than last year!

I wouldn't mind one of these for Christmas!

The craft fair and cathedral shop had many tempting items - I came away with a new fridge magnet (the one I bought last year broke when it fell on the kitchen floor), an advent candle, lots of beeswax candles and honey from a local beekeeper and a holly wreath for the front door.

Time for tea and cakes. The tearoom is in the 12th century Chapter House.

The ruins of the Guesten Hall built in the 1320's. The prior received and entertained guests here. It was demolished in the 19th century.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time this year to look round the interior of the cathedral which is superb and steeped in history so if you missed last year's post and would like to read about it please click here

I hope we can visit Worcester in the future when it is quieter as there is so much to see. The National Trust has a property called Greyfriars and there is also the Commandery containing a museum about the English Civil War.


Countryside Tales said...

Such an interesting and informative post. It all looks very festive. x

amanda peters said...

Nice to see you have managed to get out again, all looks very lovely.I like looking at all the Christmas decorations the garden "gnomes" made from wood and terracotta pots are cool as are the bee tiles.
The merry-go round was one of my favourite when I was a child and would have been on there, cupcakes look yummy.
Amanda xx

Rosie said...

I love Worcester, we visited a couple of summers ago and had a great time. I don't remember either of the statues though, perhaps we missed them. The Victorian Market looks wonderful and it sounds as if you had a great time and managed to see everything on offer - plus tea and cake and mulled wine too. The cathedral is lovely inside isn't it? I thought it was beautiful both inside and out:)

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks so much - came home feeling very Christmassy :)

Amanda Peters - Thanks very much Amanda. The garden ornaments were rather lovely and I was very tempted to buy a bee tile until I noticed OH was watching me!!!! I thought of you when I was there as several stalls were selling floral ribbons and other items ideal for scrapbooking! :) The merry go round was great :)

Rosie - Thanks so much Rosie. I was lucky to see those statues so easily missed (they were in the part by St Martin's Gate (The Shakespeare one by the Maltster Pub and the Charles II by a black and white old house). I suspect there may have been more! I see you guessed I would have the mulled wine :) Yes, the cathedral is superb although on both visits it was so dull outside it was gloomy within and difficult for photography. I really wanted to revisit King John's Tomb and Prince Arthur's Chantry Chapel again but that will have to wait until next time! Just wish they would hurry up and finish M5 roadworks as Worcester would be even quicker to get to!!

Bovey Belle said...

What a great post - I learned so much about Worcester and didn't know that Shakespeare had married Ann Hathaway there. The Victorian market looked great. Nothing anything like as festive in old Carmarthen!

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Many thanks - it did look very festive although if I am honest it was a bit too crowded for me!!!

I've just tried to do a bit of research into where Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway married - it appears to be a bit of a mystery! I couldn't find much in the biography I have by Anthony Holden but online it is suggested that Worcester Record Office has the Marriage Bond and the registration of the Marriage Licence but the actual church seems unknown although St Andrew's Temple Grafton and St Martin's Worcester are among several suggestions. It would be interesting to know if anyone knows any more???

ps Worcester is well worth a visit - very interesting place! :)

Wendy said...

Worcester has so much interesting history. I enjoyed reading about it and seeing some of it in your lovely photos. It's many years since I've been there. I didn't know Shakespeare married there either. I like the idea of Christmas markets and the festive atmosphere but they all seem so crowded. I've just come back from a visit to Birmingham and saw the huge crowds around the market in the centre there (which I know you'll know about!)

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Thanks so much Wendy - last year and this were the first time I had visited Worcester for donkey's years. Last time I was in my early twenties and went to a cricket match! It does look worth further exploration when quieter.

The crowds are the one thing I hate about Christmas markets :( I've never been to the German market in Birmingham City Centre! although my husband, son and daughter used to go a lot until they realised it was the same each year! TBH I don't like Birmingham at all these days ever since they built the Bull Ring. Road system is horrendous and I only go in when I have to i.e. theatre trips! When I need to go shopping I tend to go into Solihull Town Centre (much quieter, easier to park, smaller and has all the shops I need :) ).

Anonymous said...

Very good as usual Caroline...

Merry Xmas,

Kevin and Seri

Ragged Robin said...

Anonymous (Kevin and Seri) - Thanks so much. Often think of you - hope you have a lovely Christmas.

Romance Book Haven said...

I loved this interesting post. Very informative too.

Ragged Robin said...

Romance Book Haven - Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment. So pleased you enjoyed :)