Visit Droitwich and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Droitwich, Worcestershire, is an old town. The Romans called it Salinae as its natural brine springs were already known. The Anglo-Saxons called it Wic (pronounced with a “ch”) and to this the first element of the name, meaning customary right or perquisite, was added in Norman times. The radioactive springs rising from beneath the town are said to be 10 times saltier than ordinary sea-water and even saltier than the waters of the Dead Sea. Droitwich was perfectly sited for its development as a spa in the early part of the 19th century because of its position in an undulating plain, sheltered by the Malvern and Lickey Hills. This development was due to a far-seeing businessman, John Corbett, who by 1828 realized its tremendous possibilities, taking the waters being then fashionable. He not only built St Andrew's Brine Baths, which were rebuilt twice during the last century, but he remodelled the ancient timbered Raven Hotel, then a l6th century house, and established other luxurious hotels. He may have been influenced in all this by his French wife. For her, just outside the town at Dodderhill, he built an imposing French château in the style of Francis I. Set in a well-wooded, 70-acre estate, it is now transformed into a hotel.
Droitwich is not large and a tour on foot is the best way of discovering its 16th, 17th and 18th century houses. St Andrew's Church, in St Andrew's Street, has some good 13th-century features. St Peter's, 1 mile south of the town, has a good Norman chancel and chancel arch with a Perpendicular timber-framed clerestory. In the south transept is some early l4th-century stained glass in the typical yellows and dark greens of the period. Nearby is St Peter's Manor, a 300-year-old timbered building which has been considerably restored. It has an old dovecot with 750 holes. The Roman Catholic church on the Worcester Road attracts a large number of visitors by its splendid series of mosaics depicting the life of Droitwich-born St Richard, who became a much-loved Bishop of Chichester in the reign of Henry III. The mosaics by Gabriel Pippet are in the manner of Ravenna but are inclined to harshness, perhaps because of their newness.
Just a little way south of the town the Droitwich - Worcester Canal is cut through the little village of Salwarpe between the l6th-century half-timbered Salwarpe Court and the sandstone Norman church. It is a tranquil place, its valley watered by both the canal and the River Salwarpe. The gabled court with tall chimneys was once the home of the famous Talbot family. There are a number of memorials to this family in the church, which has a fine Transitional arcade but was much spoilt in the mid-Victorian restoration. However, there is some good l5th-cent. stone carving in the screens, and the richly chasubled effigy of a priest in the sanctuary marks the tomb of William Richepot, rector here between 1367 and 1401. The rectory is a good Georgian building. The Old Mill House reflected in the canal completes the peaceful scene.
Nearby cities: Worcester
Nearby towns: Bromsgrove, Kidderminster, Redditch
Nearby villages: Elmbridge, Hadley Heath, Hadzor, Ladywood, Saleway, Westwood, Wychbold,
Have you decided to visit Droitwich or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Droitwich bed and breakfast (a Droitwich B&B or Droitwich b and b)
- a Droitwich guesthouse
- a Droitwich hotel (or motel)
- a Droitwich self-catering establishment, or
- other Droitwich accommodation