Place:Droitwich, Worcestershire, England

Watchers
NameDroitwich
Alt namesSalinaesource: Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (1976) p 798; Romano-British Placenames [online] (1999) accessed 17 August 2004
Droitwich Spasource: Wikipedia, many maps, etc
TypeCivil parish, Borough (municipal)
Coordinates52.267°N 2.15°W
Located inWorcestershire, England     (1835 - 1974)
Also located inHereford and Worcester, England     (1974 - 1998)
Worcestershire, England     (1998 - )
See alsoHalfshire Hundred, Worcestershire, Englandhundred of which the parish was a part
Wychavon District, Hereford and Worcester, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area 1974-1998
Wychavon District, Worcestershire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area from 1998 onward
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Droitwich Spa (often abbreviated to Droitwich) is a town in northern Worcestershire, England, on the River Salwarpe.

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.

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 Dead Sea.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Droitwich from John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles of 1887:

"Droitwich, municipal borough and market town with ry. sta., on river Salwarpe, a tributary of the Severn (with which it ia connected by canal), in [county] and 7 miles NE. of Worcester and 125 NW. of London -- mun. bor., 1,849 ac., population 3,761; [Post Office], [Telegraph Office], 1 Bank. Market-day, Friday. Droitwich depends entirely upon its salt springs (or wyches), which were probably worked by the ancient Britons and the Romans, and certainly by the Saxons. Many thousands of tons of salt are manufactured annually, and nearly half the total amount is exported to other countries. The [borough] returned 1 member to Parliament until 1885."

Droitwich was made a municipal borough in 1835 when municipal boroughs were first created. The borough was made up of the following civil parishes:

Droitwich Civil Parish was not formed until 1920 when it absorbed the three ecclesiastical parishes and part of Dodderhill. Since 1974 it has been part of the Wychavon District, first in the county of Hereford and Worcester, and then, since 1998, in Worcestershire again.

Research Tips

  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Worcestershire illustrates the parish boundaries of Worcestershire when rural districts were still in existence and before the West Midlands came into being. The map publication year is 1931. The map blows up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
  • British History Online has a collection of local maps from the Ordnance Survey 1883-1893. Rural areas are included, but these may be especially useful for investigation the suburbs of large towns.
  • GENUKI makes a great many suggestions as to other websites with worthwhile information about Worcestershire as well as leading to a collection of 19th century descriptions of each of the ecclesiastical parishes.
  • The Midlands Historical Data project produces searchable facsimile copies of old local history books and directories of interest to genealogists. It specialises in the three counties of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire, working closely with libraries, archives and family history societies in the area. Digital images are made freely available to participating organisations to improve public access. Free search index on its web-site to all its books. In many cases payment will be required to see the extract.
  1. organization charts of the hierarchies of parishes within hundreds, registration districts and rural and urban districts of the 20th century
  2. excerpts from a gazetteer of circa 1870 outlining individual towns and parishes
  3. reviews of population through the time period 1800-1960
  • More local sources can often be found by referring to "What Links Here" in the column on the left.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Droitwich Spa. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.