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Worcester, officially known as the City of Worcester, is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some 17 miles (27 km) southwest of the southern suburbs of Birmingham and 23 miles (37 km) north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 100,000 people.
Probably the most famous landmark in Worcester is its imposing Worcester Cathedral. The current building, formally named The Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, was begun in 1084 while its crypt dates from the 10th century. The chapter house is the only circular one in the country while the cathedral also has the distinction of having the tomb of King John. Limited parts of the city wall still remain.
There are three main parks in Worcester, Cripplegate Park, Gheluvelt Park and Fort Royal Park, the latter being on one of the battles sites of the English Civil War. In addition, there is a large open area known as Pitchcroft to the North of the city centre on the east bank of the River Severn, which, apart from those days when it is being used for horse racing, is a public space.
Gheluvelt Park was opened as a memorial to commemorate the Worcestershire Regiment’s 2nd Battalion after their part in the Battle of Gheluvelt, during World War I.
There are also two large woodlands in the city, Perry Wood, at twelve hectares, and Nunnery Wood, covering twenty-one hectares. Perry Wood is often said to be the place where Oliver Cromwell met and made a pact with the devil. Nunnery Wood is an integral part of the adjacent and popular Worcester Woods Country Park, itself next door to County Hall on the east side of the city.
The latest landmark is Worcestershire’s new central library, ‘The Hive’, a striking seven tower gold roofed building sited on the north bank of the river on the former cattle market.