The Guildhall was erected on the site of an earlier civic building in 1724, and has been a forum for judicial and formal occasions for both town and county ever since.
From medieval times the city was a vital regional centre of commerce and power-broking. Following the skirmishes between the army of King Charles I and Parliamentary forces in 1642, Worcester enhanced its reputation as the “the Faithful City”, though some would argue that the average Worcester man or woman in the street merely kept their heads down hoping for peace, health and prosperity, whoever might provide such rare commodities.
We can discover the breadth of the Guildhall’s function by scanning Turberville’s 19th century history of the county: 1838 – the poor treated to a dinner to celebrate Her Majesty’s coronation; 1839 – Robert Owen censured for his speech promoting the Chartists; 1840 – a ball held in honour of Queen Victoria’s marriage; 1844 – Oxford and Worcester Railway Company shareholders resolved to proceed vigorously with their planned line; 1848 – meeting of citizens condemned the use of capital punishment by county judges.
Demonstrable loyalty to the Crown has ensured Worcester maintains vital status in the form of royal charters. The Guildhall has been the venue for the public presentation of many of these iconic gifts, and some of the original documents (or very convincing replicas) are still held in the
Georgian building, under impressive security conditions.
The Mayor’s Parlour is a fine oak-panelled chamber within the Guildhall, combining office space and an array of impressive memorabilia. Recent Mayors have been determined to spotlight the artefacts of the noble history of the city.