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Things to do in Alcester, Warwickshire

Old historic roman market town of Alcester
Old historic roman market town of Alcester ©david hughes - stock.adobe.com

Alcester is an ancient Roman town in southwest Warwickshire.

Lying seven miles west of Stratford-upon-Avon, Alcester has plenty of architectural attractions for visitors to enjoy without the crowds.

Alcester Warwickshire. ©david hughes - stock.adobe.com

The name Alcester, pronounced "Alster", comes from the Roman name of "Alencestre", which means "fort town on the River Alne".

The Roman settlement would have been a walled town and archaeological evidence shows that a Roman fort was once located on nearby Primrose Hill.

Malt Mill Lane, Alcester
Malt Mill Lane, Alcester ©Richard - stock.adobe.com

The site yielded evidence of a tannery, furnaces, wells and a rubbish dump with various intact vessels.

Items of bronze were also recovered from the site including a harness ring typically used by auxiliary cavalry.

Alcester ©david hughes - stock.adobe.com

There are many archaeological dig sites in Alcester - it has become one of the best-researched areas of Roman remains in the country.

In the 12th century, a Benedictine monastery was founded in Alcester by Ralph le Botelier which thrived until the Dissolution of Monasteries in the 16th century.

Present Day Alcester

Alcester has a delightful High Street lined with well-preserved black-and-white Tudor cottages and charming historical buildings of note. It offers an atmosphere of times-gone-by.

Alcester, historic market and roman town
Alcester, historic market and roman town ©david hughes - stock.adobe.com

The War Memorial Town Hall building dates back to 1620 and was an open market on the ground floor, which later became enclosed.

The upstairs function room remains much the same with an interesting hammer-beam ceiling.

St Nicholas Parish Church is in the centre of Alcester and has an unusually placed clock on one corner of the tower, making it visible to the High Street.

St Nicholas Church
St Nicholas Church ©kevers - stock.adobe.com

The churchyard is surrounded by older houses, particularly along Butter Street and Malt Mill Lane.

The Old Rectory was built in Georgian style and stands right opposite the entrance to the church.

Old half timbered houses
Old half timbered houses ©david hughes - stock.adobe.com

Although it is a historic rural town, Alcester is thriving and is a popular place to visit, work and reside.

There is a good range of local shops and services and Minerva Mill Innovation Centre provides space for offices, workshops and start-up companies.

Things to Do in Alcester

Walks in the Alcester area can be enjoyed by picking up a local leaflet and choosing one of the four trails starting from nearby Longbarn Village, a local Conference Centre and events facility.

St Nicholas Church covered in December Snow
St Nicholas Church covered in December Snow ©Richard - stock.adobe.com

Garden lovers will no doubt enjoy exploring the display garden rooms at Longbarn Village for planting ideas and inspiration.

After enjoying the gardens, you can visit the lovely tearoom onsite.

If you're still thirsty, head into one of Alcester's pubs which serve real ale.

Malt Mill Lane, Alcester
Malt Mill Lane, Alcester ©Richard - stock.adobe.com

Three of the pubs are in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide: the Holly Bush, the Three Tuns and the Turks Head on the High Street.

Alcester is a good base for visiting a number of stately homes in the area.

Coughton Court is a lovely National Trust property along with Kinwarton Dovecote.

The grand building of Ragley Hall is the ancestral seat of the Marquess of Hertford.

Ragley hall
Ragley hall ©david hughes - stock.adobe.com

It is open to the public in the summer and the Great Hall with its baroque plasterwork is filled with a collection of paintings, ceramics and antique furnishings.

In the grounds is the Jerwood Sculpture Park.

Alcester ©david hughes - stock.adobe.com

Old half timbered houses
Old half timbered houses © david hughes - stock.adobe.com

Malt Mill Lane
Malt Mill Lane © Stephen Godfrey

Alcester at Xmas - The Old Swan Hotel
Alcester at Xmas - The Old Swan Hotel © left-hand via Flickr

Coughton Court
Coughton Court © left-hand via Flickr

Church Street Alcester
Church Street Alcester © yellow book via Flickr

Alcester at Xmas - St Nicholas Parish Church, Alcester
Alcester at Xmas - St Nicholas Parish Church © left-hand via Flickr

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