College Street, Worcester is currently undergoing a transformation. But this isn’t the first time!
This plan from the Worcester City museum collection drawn by Christopher Hubbold in 1794 shows the planned route of the first College Street when it cut through the dense streets between the cathedral and the city’s high street and markets. The extract from a 1829 guidebook to Worcester below describes the views seen taking this new street.
Christopher Hubbold, the draftsman who created this plan, was recorded in 1794 as living at 34 New Street, Worcester and we know he was a subscriber to Valentine Green’s book City and Suburbs of Worcester 1796. He died in 1809.
College Street, meanwhile, underwent some transformation in the 1840s and then again, most famously, in the 1960s with the construction of Worcester’s ring road.
A Concise History and Description of the City and Cathedral of Worcester by Thomas Eaton, 1829
The traveller reaches the flat ground on which the city stands and will observe on the left the road to Bath and Bristol. Passing this corner he is in what is now called Sidbury and in a short time comes in sight of Edgar’s Tower showing one entrance to the College precincts.
Going directly forward he leaves Friar Street on the right and proceeds up towards the gate of the College church yard leading to the principal entrance of the cathedral. One whole side of the cathedral is here open to view with the exception of the north eastern corner which is concealed by the unsightly obstruction of St Michael’s Church and other buildings. The view of the cathedral is however from this point the most advantageous that can be obtained nearly the whole length being visible.
At the top of College Street commences the High Street turning to the right is Leech Street and opposite on the left at about fifty yards from the street the entrance and principal front of the bishop’s palace presents itself to view.