St. Andrews Street
St Andrews Street is a home to St Andrews Church, the old Town Hall, the site of the old Raven Hotel and a range of shops.
The main part of the existing St Andrews Church was built after 1290 when the previous church was burnt down in the great fire that destroyed most of the town. The south isle, the nave arcades and the small chapel opening out from the eastern arch of the tower date from about 1310, when the church was restored after the fire.
The chapel is dedicated to St Richard de Wyche and it is thought that at one time relics connected with his life could be viewed through the narrow opening between the chancel and the chapel. The font is from the 17th century and there is some ancient glass in the east window. There is a tablet in memory of John Browne who spent 32 years collecting salt dues. Another commemorates the life of Captain Norbury.
Subsidence caused the tower to be declared unsafe an part of it had to be dismantled in 1928 and the remaining part strengthened. The bells are stored in the north aisle of the church.
The Old Town Hall - this building was erected in 1825 on the west side of the site of the old Exchequer Building, which had been used by the salt traders for hundreds of years. In medieval times the town stocks were situated in the square here. The ground floor of the Town Hall was originally an open fronted floor to give easy access to the market stalls, with any overspill into the square. These openings were partially blocked in during the Second World War to make office space and completely enclosed in 1946.
The Town Hall was used by the Borough Council. The Council Chamber was on the first floor. The Mayor and four Alderman sat on a raised dais and the other members of the council sat around a long table. It was also used as the borough Magistrate's Court, the Mayor being Chairman of the Magistrates. Two dark and dismal cells for prisoners were situated behind the market area on the ground floor and the police station was adjoining.
With the expansion of the town during the 1960s, the Old Town Hall became too small for the amount of work generated. Around 1970 the Council Offices were moved into the first two floors of Norbury House.
The site of The Raven Hotel building is reputed to be the birthplace of St Richard de Wyche. The Old Manor House of Wyche, along with most of the town, was destroyed in the great fire of Droitwich in about 1290. It was rebuilt in the early 16th century and was then known as St Andrew's House. In 1879 it was bought by John Corbett and, after extensive remodelling, opened as a luxurious hotel in 1887. In recognition of his Norman forebears he named it The Raven Hotel, a play on the French version of his name, corbeau, meaning a raven.
There is a stained glass window in the hotel, that is thought to have come from the old Exchequer House in the town, which displays the armorial bearings of those who held the rights to extract salt. These included the Corbett, Newport, Froxmore, Russell, Astley, Beauchamp, Winter and Warwick families. Elizabethan coins have been found in an oak beam or safe hole in the bar. Charles II is reputed to have lodged here for three days, en route to storming the city of Leicester in May 1645.
Please note: the hotel is currently closed.