Country houses for sale

England’s counties: Worcestershire


Best thing: This beautiful and mostly rural county is celebrated for its ancient apple orchards

Local food: Teme Vale’s Malvern Victorian sausage; Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce; Malvern water; hops

Events: Oak Apple Day at Guildhall, Worcester; Pershore Plum Festival; the Asparagus Auction at the Fleece Inn; Malvern Fringe Festival; Three Choirs Festival; Three Counties Show, Malvern

Heroes: Lt Herbert James VC; Nigel Mansell; Stanley Baldwin; Sheila Scott, aviator

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Invention: Rowland Hill, reformer of the postage system and the penny stamp, was born in Kidderminster in 1795

Battle: Battle of Worcester, September 3, 1651, was the last battle of the English Civil War and secured Cromwell’s dominant position politically and militarily

What they say
: ‘Who travels Worcester county takes any road that comes when April tosses bounty to the cherries and the plums’ (John Drinkwater)

Artistic connections: Edward Elgar; Geoffrey Hill; Samuel Butler; Piers Plowman; Charles Dance; actor Cedric Hardwicke; Fay Weldon

One for the road: The Nags Head, Malvern, is The Good Pub Guide 2008’s Pub of the Year

Oldest: Worcester’s Berrows Journal is the oldest continually published newspaper in the world; Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb is the oldest motor-sport event in the world staged on the original course

Local products: Morgan sports car, first made in Malvern; Royal Worcester Porcelain; gloves from Worcester

Houses and churches: Hagley Hall; Hanbury Hall, the Vernon seat with Thornhill ceilings; Harvington Hall, which survives virtually unaltered from Elizabeth’s time; Madresfield Court; Worcester Cathedral, where King John is buried; Witley Church at Witley Court, the finest Baroque church in England

Titbits: St Wulfstan of Worcester, patron saint of vegetarians, was distracted from his devotions by a roasting goose and so gave up meat