BATTLE OF WORCESTER
with POWICK BRIDGE
The Civil Wars of the mid seventeenth century were a reflection of a profound political, constitutional, religious and social conflict which was expressed in a struggle for control between King and Parliament.
The acceptance by the Scots of Charles I's heir, Prince Charles, as Charles II initiated the Third Civil War (1650-51). Charles marched steadily southwards, harried all the way by Oliver Cromwell, but England failed to rise in his support. By the time the Royalist army of 12,000 men reached Worcester it was facing nearly 30,000 Parliamentarian troops.
Cromwell prepared carefully before he attacked on 3 September 1651 and after several hours of hard fighting Royalist resistance collapsed. The battlefield area relates the main cavalry action to the south of the city.
Charles II made good his escape to France but this final battle of the English Civil Wars crushed the remaining Stuart military strength in Britain.
The battlefield includes the site of the skirmish at Powick Bridge, the first action of the Civil War, which took place on 23 September 1642. A small Parliamentarian force failed in its attempt to raid a Royalist treasure caravan on its way to the King at Shrewsbury, largely due to the dash and courage of Price Rupert and his cavalry.
The interpretation of the Battle of Worcester had been well developed. Key sites include the Civil War Museum at the Commandery, Fort Royal which is now a public park, the view from the Cathedral, Powick Bridge, and a viewpoint just off the southern link road, which specifically interprets the battle action. There is also a Civil War trail, which takes in all of the above sites.
There is public access by footpath to the site of the bridge of boats and around the open ground across which the cavalry action took place.
There are two main designations affecting the main battle areas. These are the Green Network, policies NE5, NE6 and L7, and the Flood Plain Boundary, policies NE17 to NE19. The Commandery, Fort Royal, Perry Wood, and River Teme (North Bank) have been designated as Green Spaces. In addition, Perry Wood is a Local Nature Reserve and the River Teme is a Special Wildlife Site. Powick Bridge is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Bund, J W W, 1905, The Civil War in Worcestershire 1642-46 and the Scotch invasion of 1651
This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment to the Selected Sources on 10/04/2019