Things to do at The Commandery, WorcesterAlice Benbow2023-08-08T11:55:12+01:00
Saturday 9 - Sunday 31 December
Living History 2024
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February
Discover Worcester's Civil War Story
Gardens to explore
A beautiful building
Top 10 things to do at The Commandery
1 | Step into Worcester's Civil War Story
The Commandery’s most important moment in history was its role in the Battle of Worcester of 1651.
Join a regiment and find out how you would have fared during the battle in Worcester’s Civil War Story. Have fun with the interactive exhibition that will take you back over 350 years into a murky, conflicted 17th-century Worcester of fiery debates.
Experience life as a soldier 300 miles from home, test your skills at battle strategy and come face-to-face with Oliver Cromwell…
Look out for events all about The Commandery’s fascinating history – complete with re-enactors to bring it all to life!
2 | Explore the spacious gardens
Enjoy beautiful walled gardens at The Commandery – a wonderful space to connect with nature in the heart of the city.
It’s the perfect spot for children to let off steam, for you to relax in a deckchair in the summer, and – of course – learn more about the history of Worcester with the brilliant interactive audio benches.
3 | Refuel at Commandery Coffee
Enjoy artisan coffee, loose-leaf teas, and a delicious range of homemade food at the wonderful independent café, Commandery Coffee.
You can visit by entering through The Commandery or via the canal-side entrance. Gluten-free and vegan options are available. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 4pm, and Sunday 11am – 3pm.
4 | Admire the oriel window
The beautiful oriel window in the Great Hall features wonderful 15th-century glass panels painted with designs of birds, including a peacock and a swan, flowers, and the word “Emanuell”, meaning “God with us”.
These remaining fragments are all that remain following a catastrophic fire at the workshop where the glass had been sent for repair work in 1879 – they are a precious remnant of The Commandery’s past.
5 | Dress up!
Become a civil-war soldier or try on a Georgian-style dress – don’t forget to strike a pose!
There are costumes and accessories for grown-ups too…
6 | See Oliver Cromwell's death mask
Cromwell died on 3 September 1658, exactly seven years after his victory at Worcester during the English Civil War.
A wax mould was made of his face from which several plaster casts were made, some a century or more after his death. You can see an example in the Civil War Story exhibition at The Commandery.
7 | Run around in the Nature Play Area
Head across the grassy lawn and through the trees to explore the Nature Play Area.
Have fun playing – and see what you can make in the mud kitchen!
8 | Walk in the footsteps of the Tudors
Head upstairs to explore The Commandery as it was when the Wylde family owned the building. Several generations of the family lived here from the mid-1500s until 1764.
The family transformed it into a grand family home, establishing beautiful wood-panelled living quarters overlooking the gardens. Have a look around and see if you’d fancy living there too!
9 | Hear about haunted happenings...
A building as old as The Commandery inevitably generates ghostly tales over the years… Read stories from staff, visitors, and volunteers in the Haunted Happenings room.
Want to hear more? Look out for the torchlit after-dark tours every October.
10 | Marvel at the Medieval Great Hall
At the heart of The Commandery, the Great Hall continues to be the principal room in the building.
From its curved timber beams to the minstrels’ gallery which overlooks the spacious room, it shows many of the classic design features of a medieval open hall.
A fantastic place to begin your journey through The Commandery…