Alcester, Warwickshire, England

We travelled on from Morecambe to Alcester in Warwickshire which is a small town with around 9,000 inhabitants. Of course you’ll know that when an English place name has chester, caster or cester in it it means that their was a Roman camp there. Castris is Latin for camp. So it’s no surprise that there’s an interesting wee museum in Alcester (which the locals pronounce Ulster, exactly like the place in Ireland) and it has quite a lot of things in it which have been found locally. Apparently Roman Alcester is only a few centimetres below the soil. As someone who was brought up in Scotland and north of the Antonine Wall, the Roman Empire stopped just a few miles south of Dumbarton, I find it really exciting to think that you could be digging in your garden and discover Roman artefacts. If I lived in Alcester I think I’d be forever poking around in the soil.

Anyway the town is only 8 miles from Stratford-on-Avon which we also visited but Alcester turned out to be a really lovely wee town although like many places it’s feeling the pain of the downturn in the economy. There are lots of charity shops, which I’m not really complaining about because as you can imagine – I did rather well out of them bookwise!

This is the main street, I think it’s really lovely, it’s pretty enough to be on a jigsaw puzzle or chocolate box. I’m used to grey stone buildings which can be quite depressing at times so whitewashed buildings make a nice change.

The Main Street in Alcester
This is one of the pubs, I have to say that Alcester is well served with boozers!
The Three Tuns

This road is just off the main street in Alcester and I just had to take a photo of it as the buildings are leaning every way you can imagine but still managing to stay up somehow.

Tudor/Elizabethan houses.

This small road or alley way close to the main street feels like Shakespeare could have been a frequent visitor, I’m sure the place has hardly changed since those days.

Tudor alley

This is the buildings on the opposite side of the street. Our own house is over 100 years but it always amazes me that there are actually people living in these types of houses which must be about 500 years old, or maybe even older.

Tudor alley

These brick houses are at the bottom of the same street.

Tudor alley

Yet more cute, chocolate boxy English buildings.

Tudor /Elizabethan street

Obviously Jack took this one as that’s me in my raincoat on the left hand side, not realising that he was taking a photo. As you can see it wasn’t actually raining at this point, things did get much worse!

Tudor /Elizabethan street

So that’s Alcester, a small town that I would definitely visit again, I’m sure there’s much more to explore in the area. We hadn’t even heard of the place until we bought a grandfather clock for a spot in our hall which was just crying out to be filled with one. I had wanted a Scottish clock but I had been looking for years but in Scotland they tend to go for silly prices so I gave up and bought an English one as you can see.

It has the name T. Jorns ( a very unusual name) and Alcester painted on the clock face and when we looked it up we discovered that it was in Warwickshire, which accounts for the apples painted in the corners of its face as it’s apple growing country. I’m sure that when I started to do some research that I discovered that there was still a shop in Alcester which was owned by a Jorns, an electrical shop. Sadly there’s no trace of one now, which isn’t really surprising as there are hardly any independent electrical places around now. Thomas Jorns did actually make the clock, sometimes the name and place on a clock just tells you where it was bought rather than made. It’s just a 30 hour one which means that you pull a chain to wind it up instead of using a key but it keeps good time and has a lovely sound to the bell when it strikes the hours, and as it’s nearly 200 years old I think that’s not at all bad. If I forget to wind it up and it stops – I notice immediately because it sounds as if our house’s heart has stopped.

Clock Face T Jorns Alcester

6 thoughts on “Alcester, Warwickshire, England

  1. What an amazing little town! Those houses and the leaning and crookedness are mind boggling! And your clock is beautiful. I so love the sound of a clock in the house.

    • Peggy Ann,
      I’ve come to the conclusion that towns with about 10,000 inhabitants are just about the perfect size. This place was so cute and really not at all well known. I’m going to have to find space for the clock when we move on as I really love it!

  2. Beautiful clock, and lovely that you have visited the place where it originated.

    Alcester looks so higgedly piggedly with the buildings, and certainly not designed for cars in some of them streets! Visions of locals chucking out their dirty water from above for some reason.

    Looking forward to your next stop.

    • Jo,
      Thanks, I’ve wanted to go to Alcester ever since we got the clock but I had no idea it would be so historical and pretty. Yes there were probably a lot of gardyloo moments along the years – or was it only in Edinburgh that they shouted that as a warning?

  3. I love grandfather clocks – well I love clocks in general! Great that you got to see Alcester, and yes, isn’t it pretty! I still prefer our “grown out of the rock” stone houses though! There’s something solid about them. However those half timbered houses must be solid enough to have lasted all these centuries. What stories they could tell! I reckon the inhabitants way back also had gardyloo moments!

    • Evee,
      The timbered houses are pretty but they seem as fragile as cakes to me, I think the white must remind me of icing! Sometimes when there is a huge gust of wind you can actually feel our house shudder, despite the fact we have 18 inch thick stone walls. I think they can’t have such wild storms down there. I don’t think they bothered shouting a warning about what was being chucked out of a window – obviously they were more genteel in Edinburgh!

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