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Edward Elgar was one of England’s greatest musical composers; his works include the Enigma Variations and Land of Hope and Glory. He was born on 2 June 1857 in Lower Broadheath, about three miles from Worcester, and died at his home, Marl Bank, in Worcester on 23 February 1934. He is said to have been inspired by the countryside around Worcester and the Malvern Hills. Elgar's birthplace, a cottage called the Firs, is now a museum with a garden and visitor centre owned by the National Trust. Elgar's father William had an established music business in Worcester, some three miles from Broadheath and only spent weekends at the cottage. Apparently, the cottage in the countryside was his mother’s choice, rather than his father’s. However, they later moved to 10 High Street in the city, living above the music business. The shop is no longer there, but a plaque on the Gifford Hotel marks the approximate location. Sadly, and inexplicably, his house at Marl Bank was demolished in 1969. Next to Cathedral Square is a bronze statue of Elgar, situated so that he is looking at the Cathedral he loved. The statue was the work of Kenneth Potts and was unveiled by HRH Prince of Wales on 2 June 1981.
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