2014 marks the 80th anniversary of the death of renowned English composer Sir Edward Elgar, who penned many classical music pieces, the most famous of which are the Pomp and Circumstance Marches.
Walking the Elgar Route
The most intriguing insights into Edward Elgar’s life is to be seen at the fascinating Elgar Birthplace Museum in Lower Broadheath in the English city of Worcester. They have also created two superb self-guided trails which takes visitors around Elgar Country; both the Elgar Walk and Elgar Drive can be completed at your own pace as you explore the streets, houses and landscapes that inspired the composer.
The Elgar walking trail takes you around the city of Worcester where Elgar spent much of his life. Start off beside Worcester Cathedral on College Street and admire the landmarks and local residences that Elgar called home. Elgar was born on 2 June 1857 at The Firs in Broadheath in the county of Worcestershire which is today home to the Birthplace Museum. His family moved into Worcester in 1859, where he lived at various addresses including 1 Edgar Street (1859), 2 College Precincts (1861) and 10 High Street (1865) where Elgar began work on his wind quartet pieces. He then moved to Loretta Villa and 4 Field Terrace before moving to West Kensington, London in 1889. He returned soon after and lived at various houses within Great Malvern. Spanning just one mile, the trail takes around two hours to complete.
Driving the Elgar Route
Take the extended Edward Elgar Trail on a driving route through Elgar’s Worcestershire, which starts at the Elgar Birthplace Museum, which is located in Lower Broadheath. Elgar lived here until he was two years old and after his death in 1934, his daughter fulfilled her father’s wish to turn the family cottage into his lasting legacy. The route moves on to Birchwood Lodge, where Elgar composed Sea Pictures and Caratacus, no doubt inspired by the rolling countryside of the Malverns. Explore Craeg Lea where Elgar lived for five years and Forli, Edward Elgar’s marital home, which he returned to with his wife in 1889 after his career in London floundered. Finally pass by St Wulstan’s Church where Elgar was laid to rest beside his wife, following his death on 23 February 1934 from cancer aged 76. The 35 mile route will take around ninety minutes to complete, with no stops and dependant on traffic.
Image credit: 1; Springeragh CC – 2; Hikitsurisan CC