Vicar Street Conservation Area
Vicar Street and Exchange Street Conservation Area was
designated by Wyre Forest District Council on 16th. July 2003. It
is 1.46 hectares (3.61 acres) in extent and is located within
Kidderminster Town Centre, in the County of Worcestershire.
The Conservation Area encompasses civic, business and other
buildings that date from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries;
parts of an older street pattern; and a short length of the
embankment to the River Stour.
The Conservation Area is almost entirely surrounded by built
development dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Important aspects of the current setting, include the Area’s
proximity to and links with the following:
a) Elements of the surviving medieval street pattern
particularly in the Bull Ring, Church Street, Worcester Street,
Oxford Street, Lower Mill Street, Blackwell Street and Coventry
b) Church Street Conservation Area, which is located approximately
60 metres to the north-west of the Area and like Vicar Street lies
within the medieval urban form albeit now characterised by later
buildings. (Church Street in-turn links to the medieval Church of
St Mary, to the north).
c) Groups of older buildings both within and adjoining the Town
Centre; particularly in the Bull Ring, Church Street, Worcester
Street, Oxford Street, Lower Mill Street, Blackwell Street,
Coventry Street, Prospect Hill, New Road, Green Street, Dixon
Street, Castle Road and Park Lane.
d) The River Stour, which both adjoins or flows close to its
western edge, and is visible from a road bridge at the south-west
end of Exchange Street and a footbridge at the western end of
The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Conservation Area, which
is located approximately 230 metres to the west. (The Staffordshire
and Worcestershire Canal was constructed in 1772 and runs north
south through the Town, following the valley of the River
The Conservation Area’s principal thoroughfare, Vicar Street, is
shown on one of the oldest surviving maps of Kidderminster dated
1753, but is thought to be medieval in origin; whilst Exchange
Street, also within the Area, probably dates from the early
The Area includes seven Listed Buildings that exhibit considerable
unity of character. These buildings date from the nineteenth
century; are constructed of good quality materials, including
Italianate detailing (generally classical); are mostly two or three
generously proportioned storeys in height, and were originally (and
remain in) civic or business use. All exhibit a sense of civic or
business dignity and pride appropriate to their location adjoining
one of the principal streets of the Town Centre. The Area includes
several other buildings that are not statutorily listed but which
sit well with the Listed Buildings and the Street Scene.
Most of Vicar Street and parts of the other streets are
pedestrianised, which increases their importance as public spaces
and provides a dignified setting to the adjoining buildings. The
southern end of Vicar Street, to the fore of the Town Hall, has the
feel of a modest civic square.
The medieval layout of much of the Area, and its redevelopment and
expansion during the nineteenth century (as exemplified by the
Italianate inspired designs of the Listed Buildings) has given it a
distinctive character and appearance; which provides a clear guide
for the design and layout of any further development.
the Vicar Street Character Appraisal (4.27MB)
View the Conservation Area boundary