Worcester is a city in the West Midlands of England, divided into two by the River Severn.
The site of Worcester has been occupied since Neolithic times, but was used by the Romans to establish what eventually developed into an industrial town. Since medieval times Worcester has continued to grow, and has since seen prominence in ironfounders, glove manufacture and engineering. Worcester’s industry is still varied, and a considerable amount of the city’s medieval centre remains today.
Still located in Worcester are the Royal Worcester Porcelain factory and the city's most famous product, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce. Worcester is also a major retail centre with three main shopping centres, and has three main parks and two large woodlands within the city.
A magnificent city landmark is Worcester Cathedral, which contains the tomb of King John and the country’s only circular chapter house. Worcester’s most famous resident was probably the late Sir Edward Elgar, one of England’s greatest composers, who was born in the nearby village of Lower Broadheath and lived much his life in or near the city. English twenty pound notes issued between 1999 and 2007 display pictures of both Elgar and Worcester Cathedral.
Just outside the city, the village of Powick marks the site of the Battle of Worcester, the final battle of the Civil War, which took place in 1651. Another historical claim to fame is the British Medical Association (BMA), which was reportedly founded in the old Worcester Royal Infirmary building around 1860.
Worcester also hosts some major festivals, including the Three Choirs Festival (one of Europe’s oldest music festivals), the Christmas Fayre and the Worcester Festival (which consists of various music, theatre, cinema, workshops and the already established Beer Festival).