The City of Worcester, commonly known as Worcester is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Birmingham and 29 miles (47 km) north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 94,000 people. The River Severn runs through the middle of the city, overlooked by the twelfth-century Worcester Cathedral.
The site of the final battle of the Civil War, Worcester was where Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army defeated King Charles II's Cavaliers, resulting in the English Interregnum, the ten-year period during which England and Wales became a republic. Worcester was the home of Royal Worcester Porcelain and the birthplace of the composer Sir Edward Elgar. It houses the Lea and Perrins factory where the traditional Worcestershire Sauce is made, and is home to one of the UK's fastest growing universities, the University of Worcester.
Occupation of the site of Worcester can be dated back to Neolithic times, a village surrounded by defensive ramparts having been founded on the eastern bank of the River Severn in around 400 BC. The position, which commanded a ford on the river, was used in the first century by the Romans to establish what may at first have been a fort on the military route from Glevum (Gloucester) to Viroconium (Wroxeter) but which soon developed – as the frontier of the empire was pushed westwards – into an industrial town with its own pottery kilns and iron-smelting plants.