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Festival celebrates landmark 400th anniversary of Worcester City Charter

Published: 05 July 2021

On 2 October 1621, James I put his seal to the Charter that granted Worcester the rights and constitution which still form the basis for modern governance of the city today.

A series of events are being held to celebrate the 400th anniversary and explore the significance of the Charter.Over the summer you can join a walking tour to explore the story of Edward Hurdman, first Mayor of Worcester; enter a writing competition with prizes worth up to £500; pit your wits at a pub quiz; watch a comic play performed by the Worcester Festival - and much more!

"This 400-year-old Charter gave Worcester greater powers over the way it was governed, and also saw the appointment of the city's first Mayor," explains Cllr Adrian Gregson, Deputy Mayor of Worcester and Chair of the Charter Festival.

"This summer we will celebrate our heritage, culture and 400 years of endeavour, as we welcome visitors back to the City to enjoy its attractions, hotels, bars and restaurants."

Perry Wood Primary School is one a number of Worcester schools which will be using the Charter's 400th anniversary to engage pupils will local history.Their plans include building junk model buildings based on the city in 1621; researching James 1 and designing a new 21st century outfit fit for future Mayors!

Charter Festival: What's on this summer

Charter writing competition

Write a stand-out essay, and you could win a prize worth up to £500.Winning entries will be published.

There are three categories to enter:

Children aged 8 – 12 (School Years 3-7):

First prize:£100 worth of book tokens

Young people aged 13 to 18:(School Years 8-13)

First prize: £250 worth of book tokens

Open competition for age 16 +

First prize:£500 cheque

The competition is supported by Worcestershire Historical Society, Worcestershire Archaeological Society and the Friends of Worcestershire Archives.The deadline for entries is 3 September.Winners will be publicly announced on 2 October.

For full details and to enter, go to

Charter 400 Walking Tour

Discover History has developed a new heritage walking tour that looks at how the city was governed, the privileges it received in 1621 and the personal story of Edward Hurdman, the first Mayor of the city. The tour will run throughout the year. To book call 07949 222137 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

From Saturday 3 July: St Peter's Heritage Trail.

A leisurely two-hour stroll encompassing 15 key location points, which reference the people and places which have shaped St Peter's Parish from the early 1600s to the present day. The trail follows established Parish pedways including, parks, play areas, picnic spots and pubs.

Start point: St Peters Village Hall, WR5 3TA (next to Tesco). Self-led, via leaflet or Facebook – St Peter's Festival. At each key point the physical route is signposted with QR codes for more detailed information.

Organised by St Peter the Great County Parish Council.

Saturday 15 August: Worcester Show
This year's Show has several specially themed classes, which allow entrants to use their creative talents to explore Historic Worcester.

They include photography, art, baking and floral decoration classes.

Find more details on entering the Worcester Show

Friday 20 August: 400 Years of Worcester - A Play in 45mins
A humorous and entertaining look at the main events in Worcester over the past 400 years. Performances at 10.00, 12:00 and 14:00 at the Guildhall. High St Worcester WR1 2EY. Free entry. More information

Find out more about other Charter-related events

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