A PLAQUE has been unveiled in memory of one of the city’s most prestigious composers.

The blue sign was seen for the first time on Thomas Tomkins’ old home, in College Green, Worcester, today (July 29).

Dr Peter Nardone, the organist and director of music at Worcester Cathedral, paid tribute to the distinguished 16th century composer.

The 51-year-old said: “He was a great composer of church music. He was one of the greats of the late Tudor period into the English Civil War.

“He lived here [in Worcester] for 60 years and was organist for all that time. People come and ask ‘which is Tomkins house?’ People read that it exists but they don’t know which one it is.

“I said to the steward we need to have a plaque for Tomkins. He approached Worcester Civic Society and they got it sorted.”

Tomkins’ used to live in 9 College Green, Worcester, and his home became known as ‘high house’, according to Dr Nardone.

He added that Tomkins used to go up into a turret above the house to compose pieces.

The Very Reverend Dr Peter Atkinson, the Dean of Worcester, said: “Worcester has a very rich musical heritage of which Tomkins comes in the middle.

“Earlier than that we have the monks singing their music every day in the Cathedral. In the library we have one of the oldest and most important of medieval music – the Antiphoner.

“It’s a very long tradition of making music in the Cathedral, right back to Saxon times. He [Tomkins] comes during the English Civil War.

“Come Cromwell and those services were shut down. He was out of his job and died before it all came back again. It was a sad end to his life.”

Dr Atkinson said the city’s musical tradition continued after Tomkins’ death, with the establishment of the Three Choirs Festival and Edward Elgar.

Some of Tomkins’ famous compositions include ‘A Sad Pavan for these sad distracted times’ and ‘When David heard that Absalom was slain’.

Thomas Tomkins was born in Wales in 1572 and died in Martin Hussingtree, Worcestershire, in 1656.