Introducing Sir Edward Elgar
Elgar is now universally regarded as a composer of the very first rank, and a growing number of visitors to ‘Elgar Country’ are seeking out his associations with the area.
Elgar was born on 2 June 1857 in Lower Broadheath, and died in Worcester on 23rd February 1934. During his life he continually drew inspiration from Worcester and the Malvern Hills.
Come along and explore the journey through England’s Premier Composer’s Beloved Countryside.
You can start and finish the route in the City of Worcester, and begin viewing the Elgar window in Worcester Cathedral. You can also enjoy the ‘Elgar Walk’ around the historic streets of the City.
The Drive takes you past a number of the houses in which Elgar lived and other places with particular Elgarian associations, although it will be necessary to stop and get out of the car to appreciate many of them, particularly in the centre of Malvern.
The Elgar Route:
Start the route on the outskirts of Worcester, in Lower Broadheath, with a visit to Elgar’s birthplace at The Firs (now owned by the National Trust). Then, head off to Great Malvern where you’ll be able to take in the sights of the historic town.
Pay a visit to Malvern Theatres – formerly the Winter Gardens – marvel at the magnificent medieval stain-glass in Great Malvern Priory, walk around Priory Park with it’s marvellous trees and visit the Elgar statue located next to the Enigma Fountain at the top of Church Street.
Once you’ve enjoyed the lovely town centre of Great Malvern, head up to the Worcestershire Beacon before walking the peaks to admire the wonderful view of British Camp full of ‘Pomp & Circumstance’ in the distance.
Alternatively, head out in your car once more and drive up into the Malvern Hills along Wyche Road and Jubilee Drive, onto British Camp and then climb to the top of the historic hill-fort. Once at the top of the Malvern Hills, you’ll understand why this landscape inspired Elgar so much!
After a walk up to the top of the Malvern Hills taking in the spectacular views and amazing scenery, head out towards Malvern Wells to pay your respects at Sir Edward Elgar’s grave situated in St. Wulstan’s Church graveyard.
You’ll then drive past one of Elgar’s former homes before heading out towards the riverside town of Upton-upon-Severn, a great place to stop for a bite to eat and a walk along the riverside.
Your next stop will be the historic city of Worcester after passing close to another one of Elgar’s former homes – Napleton Grange near Kempsey.
Once in the Faithful City, embark on an Elgar walk through the historic streets and admire the intricate Elgar memorial window on the north aisle of Worcester Cathedral. You’ll also be able to view another statue of the man himself in Cathedral Square.
Other city attractions to visit with an Elgar connection include The Guildhall, which is an impressive Queen Anne building dating back to 1722 and No 10 High Street, the former Elgar Brothers’ Shop.
Visit St. George’s Roman Catholic Church in Sansome Place where Elgar succeeded his father as the organist and see a commemorative plaque outside the Alice Ottley Girls School, now part of the Royal Grammar School on The Tything, where Elgar was a violin teacher.
So, take part in the Elgar Route and enjoy a musical meander across the county celebrating the life of Worcestershire’s most famous son.