The town was called Salinae in Roman times, then later called Wyche, derived from the Anglo Saxon Hwicce kingdom, referred to as "Saltwich" according to Anglo Saxon charters, with the Droit (meaning "right") added when the town was given its charter on 1 August 1215 by King John . The "Spa" was added in the 19th century when John Corbett developed the town's spa facilities. The River Salwarpe running through Droitwich is likely derived from Sal meaning "salt" and weorp which means "to throw up" i.e. "the river which throws up salt" which overflows from the salt brines.
Droitwich is within the
On 4 November 2013
The town is situated on massive deposits of salt, and salt has been
extracted there since ancient times. The natural Droitwich brine
contains 2½ lbs. of salt per gallon – ten times stronger than sea
water and rivalled only by the
* 1 History
* 1.1 Salt and brine * 1.2 Asylums and workhouses
* 2 Industry and commerce
* 2.1 Transport * 2.2 Broadcasting * 2.3 Retail
* 3 Amenities
* 4 Places of worship * 5 Sport * 6 Location * 7 Notable residents * 8 Twin towns * 9 References * 10 Further reading * 11 External links
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During the Roman era the settlement was known as Salinae and was located at the crossroads of several Roman roads . Railway construction in 1847 revealed Roman mosaic pavements, and later excavations unearthed a Roman villa or corridor house some 44 yards (40 metres) long.
Droitwich remained a fairly small town until the 1960s, when the
population was still barely 7,000, but since then it has grown
considerably from overspill from
In July 2007, Droitwich was hit heavily by the UK-wide flooding caused by some of the heaviest rainfall in many years. The flooding was pictured in UK-wide news, having flooded the majority of the heavily subsided high street. Many shops in the high street remained closed almost a year later. The flooding crossed from the stream and canal in Vines Park, crossed Roman Way, and spilled across to the High Street some 110 yards from the source stream.
Following specialist inspections at
SALT AND BRINE
Saltworkers by British sculptor John McKenna in the town centre.
Rock salt and brine was extracted by the Romans and this continued
through to the
Brine rose naturally to the surface at three sites along the River Salwarpe within Vines Park in the centre of Droitwich. Unusually the brine was fully saturated with sodium chloride, and was extremely valuable because it was economic to boil, and the yield of salt was high. Because of its value the brine was divided into shares, one share comprising 6,912 gallons which produced eight tons of salt annually in the set boiling period. When it rained, particularly in the winter when brine was not being boiled, the rain water which is less dense that saltwater, settled on top of the brine and was readily removed.
Originally brine for boiling was extracted with buckets lowered into the pits which were naturally replenished. Upwich, the deepest of the three pits at 30 feet, supplied most of the brine, while the pit at Netherwich was only 18 feet deep. The Middlewich pit, located between the two, was adversely affected by brine extraction at the other two pits and fell into disuse. Steynor in the 17th century discovered the pit and set up business for himself, but eventually due to the lack of brine he failed to compete with the town monopoly.
The underground brine reservoirs were only 200 feet deep and in 1725 bore-holes were sunk to the base of the pits, accessing brine in almost unlimited quantities and independent of the natural brine flow, and the monopoly ceased. With this production increased and pumps were used to draw brine, however, as a result parts of the town succumbed to subsidence.
In the mid-19th century, Droitwich became famous as a Spa town . Unlike other places, the medicinal benefits were not derived from drinking the spa water, which is almost saturated brine, but from the muscular relief derived from swimming and floating in such a dense, concentrated salt solution, at the town's brine baths (first opened in 1830). The spa water at Droitwich is the warmest in the United Kingdom outside Bath , but it does not meet the most common definition of a hot spring as the water is below standard human body temperature.
Brine Baths have long since closed, but a new brine bath
(part of the
The salt industry was industrialised and developed in the 19th
century by John Corbett who built the nearby
Opened in the 1930s was the town's lido , a large open-air swimming
pool, which used diluted brine from beneath the town. After many years
of closure it was reopened in 2006. See:
ASYLUMS AND WORKHOUSES
Droitwich's first workhouse was set up on Holloway in 1688 and were finally abolished in the 1920s.
Droitwich Lunatic Asylum was established in 1791. Records at the
INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE
In 1714 the first Turnpike in
Collectively known as the
Droitwich Canal , two canals met in the
town centre. These are the Droitwich Barge
The railway station , formerly on the
Great Western Railway
3 mi (5 km) north-east of Droitwich is the central longwave
broadcasting facility for the UK, (
Droitwich shopping is mainly focused in the traditional town centre around Victoria Square, leading to the St Andrew's Square shopping centre and down to the original High Street, with its local pubs and an eclectic mix of traditional shops. Farmers\' markets are also held regularly in Victoria Square.
In the central St Andrew's Square shopping precinct are several chain
stores. On 14 July 2005,
Waitrose opened a new supermarket in the
grounds of the old covered market, directly behind the
heavily-subsided High Street. Also, in early 2008, a new
opened on the small retail park by Roman Way while the new Parkridge
Retail Park was opened in late autumn 2007 with two new stores,
Land of Leather . There is now also a Horsatack
Saddlery store on the same park, which was opened in 2009. The park
already has DFS and
The Norbury Theatre hosts regular shows year-round, including an annual pantomime, and also shows films. The Norbury has an active youth theatre for ages 12 to 18.
On the outskirts of the town is the famous
Most of the entertainment taking place throughout the year in the town can be found on the website www.droitwichspa.com, a portal for the town of Droitwich.
ARTS IN THE AREA
The scope of the network includes visual arts, performing arts, photography, media, written and crafts.
The network provides an opportunity to be involved in the various events and projects that are planned in the town, and to take the opportunity to display your work, etc.
DROITWICH SPA HIGH SCHOOL AND FEEDER ESTABLISHMENTS PLUS OTHER SCHOOLS
Droitwich children are also educated at schools outside the town
PLACES OF WORSHIP
St Peter's Church, Droitwich
There are six churches in Droitwich including the Anglican church of St Andrew's, a Norman building where St Richard was probably baptised. The church tower was demolished in the 1920s after becoming dangerous due to land subsidence . St. Augustine 's at Dodderhill , completed in 1220 and rebuilt in the 18th century on a hill, was the site of a former Roman fort and a later Anglo-Saxon church. St Peter's, built on the site of a former Saxon church, has parts, including the chancel, that date from Norman times, and has a memorial to Edward Winslow , one of the Pilgrim Fathers , who was born in the parish.
Droitwich leisure centre at Briar Mill has gym facilities, sports halls, a swimming pool and squash courts . There are also outside football and astroturf pitches with floodlighting. The centre also runs a squash league. Droitwich Archery Society, based at the Droitwich Rugby Football Ground, is a target archery club that was formed in 1967, and is affiliated to The Grand National Archery Society . Other local sports include boxing , football, judo, Tae Kwon Do , Karate , Ju Jitsu and tennis.
Vines Park Bowling Club is a green bowling club situated by the canal
in Vines Park. Bowling also available in the
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DESTINATIONS FROM DROITWICH SPA
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in the
* ^ "History of Droitwich Spa" at droitwichspa.com Accessed
* ^ "Can you help find 800-year-old Droitwich Town Charter?" at
droitwichstandard.co.uk Accessed 2017-05-31
* ^ Full text of "