The Spirit of Enterprise exhibition tells the story of Worcester's
great trade and industries, and the enterprising people who made them
great enterprising spirit has always thrived in the city; however
Worcester's good location along with transport networks and
skilled labour enabled Worcester to prosper particularly during
the Victorian period. Many internationally recognised industries
flourished during this time, such as quality gloves, prestigious
porcelain and the 'original and genuine' Worcestershire sauce.
Ancient Beginnings - While most of these industries have
their roots in the Victorian period, Worcester's importance
as an industrial centre began far earlier. An iron smelting
industry was founded in the city after Roman occupation was
established during the 1st century A.D. This industry helped
to satisfy the demand for raw materials that the Roman advance
brought. Evidence of this industry has been found by archaeologists
in the form of furnaces as well as Roman roads containing iron
slag throughout the city centre.
During the middle ages
many industries were active in the city however the cloth trade became
the most dominant, enabling Worcester to become one of the largest
producers of broadcloth in England. Due to the abundance of good quality
cloth and also leather in the city, it was at this time that the gloving
industry took root. This industry was to have far reaching effects
on the city until the late 20th century.