Worcester ( (listen) WUUS-tər) is a city in Worcestershire, England, 31 miles (50 km) southwest of Birmingham, 101 miles (163 km) west-northwest of London, 27 miles (43 km) north of Gloucester and 23 miles (37 km) northeast of Hereford. The population is approximately 100,000.
The River Severn flanks the western side of the city centre, which is overlooked by Worcester Cathedral. The Battle of Worcester in 1651 was the final battle of the English Civil War, where Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army defeated King Charles II's Royalists. Worcester is known as the home of Royal Worcester Porcelain, composer Edward Elgar, Lea & Perrins, makers of traditional Worcestershire sauce, University of Worcester, and Berrow's Worcester Journal, claimed to be the world's oldest newspaper. The trade route which ran past Worcester, later forming part of the Roman Ryknild Street, dates to Neolithic times. The position commanded a ford over the River Severn (the river was tidal past Worcester prior to public works projects in the 1840s) and was fortified by the Britons around 400 BC. It would have been on the northern border of the Dobunni and probably subject to the larger communities of the Malvern hillforts.