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Victoria Square, Droitwich
Victoria Square, Droitwich

Droitwich is a borough and market town, having exclusive jurisdiction, locally in the upper division of the hundred of Halfshire; 118 miles N. W. from London, about 7 N. E. by N. from Worcester, and 14 W. by N. from Alcester; pleasantly situate on the river Salwarp, and on the road leading from Birmingham to Worcester, and the fashionable watering place of Malvern; from which circumstance of thoroughfare the town is materially benefitted: for the accomodation of travellers an excellent commercial and posting Inn, the ‘George and Foley Arms,’ is established. This place was anciently denominated Wich or Wiche, from the wiches or salt springs with which the neighbourhood abounds; and the prefix Droit (right or legal) is conjectured to refer to some exclusive privilege for the manufacture of salt, obtained by the inhabitants. This branch has been traced to have existed here before the Norman conquest, and to this day it constitutes the staple of the place: of the other trades, malting and tanning, together with mills for grinding corn, may be mentioned as the principal ones. The town was originally incorporated by Charter from John, but that by which it is now governed was granted by James I, in the 22nd of his reign: the corporate body consists of two bailiffs, a recorder, two justices, a town clerk, burgesses, &c. A court of record is held every Thursday, before the bailiffs and town clerk, for the recovery of debts under £10, and sessions quarterly, by the bailiffs, recorder, &c. The borough returned two burgesses to the parliaments of Edward I, and to those held in the 3nd and 4th of Edward II, from which period the privilege ceased until its renewal in 1554. The Reform Bill deprived the borough of one of its members; the gentleman returned at the general election in January, 1835, was John Barnaby, of Brockhampton, in the county of Hereford, Esq. The bailiffs are the returning officers. The limits of the borough, as defined by the new Boundary Act (an appendage to the Reform Bill,) comprise the old borough of Droitwich, and certain contiguous parishes and places are added thereto: the same act ordains that the election of knights of the shire, to represent the eastern division of the county in parliament, shall take place in this borough. The old borough comprised the greater part of the united parishes of St. Andrew and St. Mary de Witton, those of St. Peter de Witton and St. Nicholas, and a small portion of that of St. Augustine de Wich, or Dodderhill. The church of St. Andrew, which was re-built after being destroyed by fire in 1293, is of several styles of architecture; the southern entrance, which formed part of the more ancient church, appears to be Saxon; the living is a discharged rectory, in the patronage of the crown, and incumbency of the Rev. John Topham. St. Peter’s church has a tower, in the later English style, and some fine decorated windows. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the gift of Earl Somers, and incumbency of the Rev. J. R. Ingram. The church of St. Nicholas was greatly damaged daring the parliamentary war, and only about half the tower remains: the living is a rectory, in the gift of the crown. The other places of worship are a chapel of ease, and one each for independents and Wesleyan methodists. The principal charities are a hospital for thirty-eight aged men and women, founded by Henry Coventry; in 1686, and a charity school for forty boys and forty girls, who are educated and clothed, and, on leaving school, apprenticed. The neighbourhood of this town is very respectable; the soil is rich, both for tillage and pasturage, and the scenery in many parts of the parish is very pleasing. The market is held on Friday; and the fairs on the Monday before the 20th of June and the Wednesday before St. Thomas’s day. The (old) borough of Droitwich contained, by the government census taken in the year 1821, 2,176 inhabitants, and by that in 1831, 2,487.

POST OFFICE, Canal-street, Richard Allen, Post Master.— Letters from London arrive every morning at ten, and are despatched every afternoon at half-past three.— Letters from Birmingham and the North arrive every night at half-past ten, and are despatched every morning at a quarter past two— Letters from Bristol and the West arrive every morning at half-past two, and are despatched every night at a quarter past ten— Letters from Worcester arrive every afternoon at four, and are despatched every morning at half-past nine.

NOBILITY, GENTRY AND CLERGY.

Amphlett Rev. Joseph, Hampton rectory

Amphlett Richard H. esq. New hall

Amphlett Miss Penelope, Droitwich

Bearcroft Mrs. — , Meer hall

Downing the Misses, Queen st

Edwards Mrs. — , Droitwich

Foley Rev. Edward, Droitwich

Francis Richard, esq. Droitwich

Galton John Howard, esq. Hadsor house

Hughes Rev. Dr. Dodderhill

Kyrwood Miss Ann, Friar st

Norberry Conningsly, esq. Friar st

Pakington John Somerset, esq., Westwood

Penrice Edward Booker, esq. Friar street

Ricketts W. H. esq. Bromsgrove st

Southwell Viscount, Hindlip

Steward John Burdett, M. D. Droitwich

Vashon Rev. James Volant, Salwarp

Vernon Thomas Taylor, esq. Hanbury hall

Vernon Rev. W. Hanbury rectory

ACADEMIES & SCHOOLS.

Jaques the Misses, High st

Taylor Miss Jane, Droitwich

Tomkins Thomas (boarding & day) St. Andrew street

ATTORNEYS.

Cartler Thomas Gale and John, St. Andrew street

Lawrence Thomas, Queen st

Pumfrey Charles, High st

Robeson John, Queen st

Tombs Samuel, Queen st

BAKERS & FLOUR DEALERS.

Gurney Job, High st

Jones John, Hanbury st

Reynolds William, High st

Reynolds William, jun. Queen st

Smith James, High st

Smith John, High st

Wheeler John, St. Andrew st

BLACKSMITHS.

Hale James, St. Andrew st

Manton John, Bromsgrove st

Nokes John, High st

Prisdee William, Hanbury st

Willis Humphrey, Bromsgrove road

BOOT & SHOE MAKERS.

Bluck Thomas, Friar st

Brownell James, High st

Cattle Joseph, Queen st

Greaves George, High st

Harrison Edward, Bromsgrove st

Noke John, High st

Wheeler William, Queen st

BUTCHERS.

Bourne John, High st

Cole Daniel, Queen st

Emuss John, High st

Knight Stephen, High st

Wagstaff William, Hanbury st

CABINET MAKERS.

Emuss James, High st

Emuss William, Hanbury st

Stokes George, Friar st

COOPERS.

Broad Thomas, High st

Knott Henry, High st

Nickols William, St, Andrew st

GARDENERS & SEEDSMEN.

Harris William, Friar st

Harris William, St. Andrew st

Partridge Samuel, High st

Smith Richard, Queen st

GROCERS AND DEALERS IN SUNDRIES.

Allen Rebecca, High st

Bourne Ann, Hanbury st

Gorle Thomas, Queen st

Greaves Ann, Hanbury st

Hollington William, Queen st

Musgrove Christiana, Friar st

Peace Mary, High st

Priddey Harriet, High st

Trehearn William, High st

HAIR DRESSERS.

Onion Edward, Hanbury st

Onion Thomas, High st

INN.

George and Foley Arms (commercial and posting) William Ellis, St. George’s Square

JOINERS & BUILDERS.

Leek Robert, Bromsgrove st

Loughton John, Hanbury st

Morris Henry, Albion cottage

Priddey James, Friar st

Priddey Thomas, Friar st

Shilvock Thomas, High st

Stokes George, Friar st

Wood William, Friar st

LINEN & WOOLLEN DRAPRS.

Allen Joseph, High st

Edkins Ellis, Bromsgrove st

Pumfrey John, Queen st

MALTSTERS.

Lilly William, Wichbold

Moule John, Hanbury st

Smith Edward, High st

Smith John, High st

Wheeler John, St. Andrews st

MILLERS.

Knight John, Brier mill

Lilly William, Wichbold

Perkins Thomas, Town mill

Thould Thomas, Imprey

MILLINERS & DRESS MKRS.

Fisher Emma, Queen st

Greaves Mary, Bromsgrove st

Knight Elizabeth, Bromsgrove st

Manton Maria, Bromsgrove st

Worrall Sarah, High st

PAINTERS, PLUMBERS AND GLAZIERS.

Hemming Elizabeth, High st

Nutt Samuel, Queen st

Peace William, High st

Droitwich Salt Workers
Droitwich Salt Workers

SALT PROPRIETORS.

Bourne Thomas, Droitwich

Caldwell Thomas, Droitwich

Droitwich Patent Salt Works Company — Clay, Newman and others

Fardon, Gossage and Co. (& soap and vitriol manftrs.) Stoke prior

Fardon Thomas, Droitwich

Parker Richard, Stoke prior

Wall George, Droitwich

STRAW HAT MAKERS.

Allen Fanny, Worcester road

Greaves Ann, Bromsgrove st

Greaves Mary, Bromsgrove st

SURGEONS.

Jaques William R. High st

Kitsell James, Queen st

Ricketts Martin, Friar st

TAILORS.

Clutterbuck Joseph Wood, Friar st

Hooper Mary (& draper) High st

Nichols Samuel, Queen st

Pumfrey John (& draper) Queen st

TANNERS.

Smith John and Thomas, Queen st

Taylor William, Hanbury st

TAVERNS & PUBLIC HOUSE8.

Barley Mow, John Moule, Hanbury st

Crown, John Alldridge, High st

Hole-in-the-Wall, Hny. Jones, Bromsgrove st

New Rising Sun, Wm. Kirkham

Star and Garter, Thomas Robins, High st

Talbot, William Chatterton, High st

Wheat Sheaf, Edward Smith, High st

White Hart, John Butler, High st

Retailers of Beer. 

Bourne Sarah, Vines

Chipp Samuel, Bromsgrove st

Emuss William, Hanbury st

Greaves James, High st

Harris John, Friar st

Martin William, Worcester road

Morris Henry, Worcester road

Partridge Thomas, Hanbury st

Tandy Edward, Friar st

Webster Sarah, High st

Wood William, Friar st

WHEELWRIGHTS.

Bowles Edward, Droitwich

Lawrauce William, Hanbury st

Martin William, Worcester road

Mason William, Bromsgrove st

Miscellaneous. 

Fisher John, saddler, Queen st

Green Isaac, chymist, druggist and stationer, Queen street

Henderick John, clock and watch maker, High st

Hunt Edward, turner & patten & chair maker, High street

Noke Charles, salt pan maker, Friar street

Partridge Edward, salt basket maker, Bromsgrove st

Partridge Samuel, salt basket maker, Bromsgrove st

Savings’ Bank, Queen street (open on Friday)— Samuel Tombs, actuary

Smith Richd. corn dealer, Worcester road

Taylor Joseph, farrier, Friar st

Trehearn William, currier, High st

Weaver George, whitesmith, High st

Wedgberrow Ann, brazier and tin-plant worker, Queen street

COACHES.

All call at the George and Foley Arms Inn.

To BATH, the York House (from Birmingham) every morning at half-past ten; goes thro’ Worcester, Tewkesbury, Gloucester and Cheltenham— and the Mercury, every forenoon (Sun. excptd.) at a quarter before eleven; goes thro’ Worcester, Tewkesbury, Gloucester and Petty France.

To BIRMINGHAM, the Royal Mail (from Worcester), and the Wellington (from Bristol) every afternoon at a quarter before four—the Star (from Worcester) every morning (Sun. excepted) at a quarter before nine, and the True Blue, every day at a quarter before 12 — the Alert and the Defiance (from Cheltenham) every afternoon (Sun. excptd) at one— the Hero (from Bristol), & the Mercury (from Bath), every aiternoon at a quarter past five— and the York House (from Bath) every evening at a quarter before six.

Source: Pigot and Co’s National Commercial Directory 1835.


Droitwich Through Time Paperback – 15 Aug 2014
by Roger Peberdy (Author), Helen Peberdy (Author), Paul Jones LRPS LRPS (Author)

For more than 4,000 years, Droitwich based its existence on the unique, natural subterranean resource of Droitwich brine, one of the purest and most concentrated, naturally occurring solutions of salt in the world. Known internationally, first as a salt manufacturing town, and later as a medicinal spa specialising in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism, Droitwich has now all but severed its salt connections to become a pleasant West Midlands commuter town.

The grime and steam of the saltworks are now long gone and little remains to mark that once all-important industry. There are more remains of the town’s time as a spa, and even some hope of a small-scale revival, but, in the meantime, new housing developments are enlarging the town, and changing its shape and appearance beyond all recognition. In this book, a selection of photographs, both old and new, records some of those changes.


A Short History of Droitwich Town Mill in Worcestershire, England.
by Paul Jones L.R.P.S. (Author)

A short history of Droitwich Town Mill in Worcestershire, written shortly before the remains of which were demolished in November 2012.

This fully referenced book discusses the history of mills from Roman times up to the 1950s, including how a mill of the type to be found in Droitwich actually worked.

Evidence relating directly to the Droitwich Town Mill is discussed, dating from Mediaeval times up to 2012. This includes a full description of the 1909 and 1947 mill fires, and a full list of the millers/mill owners from 1802-1948.

A site plan with dates is included on the book cover.