Vistoria Square

Whilst the rest of Droitwich Spa had developed through the centuries around the salt springs and the junction of the Roman roads, Victoria Square was developed by John Corbett in less than 20 years during the 1880s and 90s, to become the 'new' centre of a fashionable Victorian spa town.

vsquare.jpg

The original Salters Hall had been built in 1881 and the construction of the St Andrew's Brine Baths, the Worcestershire Hotel, Post Office and Banks were completed by the end of the 19th century.

Although Salters Hall and St Andrew's Brine Baths (now St Richard's House) were replaced by new buildings in the 1930s, the general view of the square has changed little to the present day. An innovation is the large paved area over the original line of Ombersley Street on which markets are now held.

A statue of a man, woman and child, commemorating the salt workers of Droitwich Spa, was erected in 1998.

Salters Hall Library - building work started on the original Salters Hall in 1879 and it was opened in 1881 by John Corbett. He saw it as a place of recreation for the salt workers and townspeople. It could hold up to 1,500 people and the ground floor became a popular venue for dances, lectures, concerts and bazaars. There was a balcony, a library and a reading room above.

There was great disappointment in the town when the terms of Corbett's will were known and the hall did not become the property of the town as he had promised in his speech during the opening. It remained the property of the Corbett Trustees until the early 1930s when they sold it to Mr Charles Henry Everton. He demolished the hall in 1933 and built the Salters Cinema in its place.

Victoria Square

With the demise of cinema in the early 1960s, Salters Hall went through a period of neglect and was threatened with demolition. However, an enlightened plan to convert it into a public lending library was drawn up and accepted by the Town Council. The building still retains the gallery and the proscenium arch of its cinema architecture.