St Richard’s House
The present black and white building dates from the 1930’s and houses the Heritage Centre (Tourist Information, Radio Room & the Salt Museum), plus the Council Chamber, on the ground floor. The Town Council Offices are on the first floor.
History of St. Richard's House
Over the last century St. Richard’s House has welcomed many visitors from all over the world through its doors.
Originally the building was the entrance to the internationally famous Saint Andrew’s Brine Baths that were built by John Corbett, the ‘Salt King’ of Droitwich in 1887. Corbett was the driving force in transforming Droitwich from a salt town to a Spa town. Many of the buildings in and around the town still have links with him. For instance the library was built on the site of Salter’s Hall built by Corbett as a meeting place for the salt workers.
Saint Andrew’s Brine Baths derived their name from an old house that used to exist on the site of the Raven Hotel (another of John Corbett’s buildings). The Brine Baths comprised of many small treatment rooms as well as the Men’s Swimming Baths and the Ladies Swimming Baths. There was no mixed bathing in those days! Over the years, additions and alterations have been made to the building by the Corbett Trustees, and the various companies that owned it.
By 1975 the Saint Andrew’s Brine Baths had fallen into disrepair and Wychavon District Council decided to close them. The building was turned into offices (although no great structural alterations were made) and the entrances to the baths at the back were blocked off. The Council re-named the building Saint Richard’s House after the Patron Saint of the town, St. Richard de Wyche. It is alleged that when the brine ran dry in Droitwich in the thirteenth century Richard blessed the springs and they immediately started to flow again.
Visitors still pass through the doors of St. Richard’s House, which, since 1990, has been home to the Droitwich Heritage & Information Centre. Here visitors can trace Droitwich’s history from prehistoric times to present day and also make use of the Tourist Information desk. The Town Council Offices are on the first floor.