HEREFORD & WORCESTER


BROMSGROVE.

The town's museum at 26, Birmingham Road, contains a reconstruction of a chemists shop.

DROITWICH.

The Royal Brine Bath was built in 1836 in response to the cholera epidemic of that year. Dr Charles Hastings who founded the British Medical Association was a proponent of brine baths in the treatment of cholera. The Old Brine Bath was demolished in 1959. John Cobett built the St Andrew's Brine Baths in 1887.

A completely new brine bath was built in 1985 by Compass Health Care on the site of the original bath and now joined to a private hospital. The bath is open to the public most afternoons. Bookings for parties may be made and the experience of bathing in the brine is akin to floating in the Dead Sea.

 

HEREFORD

Cathedral Library With 1444 volumes secured to their shelves, the library houses the largest collection of chained books in the world. It is open daily except Sundays. Curiously the nearby church of All Saints has the worlds second biggest chained library.

The Cider Museum in 21 Ryelands Street  has some exhibits relating to cider colic and lead poisoning.

LEDBURY

St Katherine's Hospital was founded 1232 and rebuilt in the early 14th century ; the infirmary hall and chapel survive.

MALVERN

Dr John Wall who founded the Worcester Porcelain Works, published an early account of Malvern water in 1756 and the first guide book appeared in 1796. Princess Victoria paid a visit to the in 1830.

The former pump room and baths in Worcester Road were designed by Samuel and John Deykes in 1819 and opened in 1823. In 1845, Dr James Wilson opened a hydropathic establishment in Park Road which he called Priessnitz House in honour of the German physician whose enthusiasm for cold baths left its mark on British bathroom habits for the next one hundred years. The severity of the treatment which included a shower of ice-cold water and being wrapped up in cold wet blankets did not seem to deter patients, including Charles Darwin and Lord Lytton. The house is currently called Park View.

OMBERSLEY 

14th century plague stone  Looking more like an old horse-trough but containing vinegar or other "disinfecting" fluid, coins would have been placed by villagers in payment for food. This is not the original location of this stone as it was moved by the local council when road building necessitated removal from its original  site.

ROSS ON WYE

The churchyard cross to the north-east of the parish church is inscribed on its base Plague, Ano Dom.1637. Burials 315. Libera nos Domine. It commemorates a mass burial in a plague pit which lies west of the cross. This part of the churchyard has never been used for burials since that time.

TENBURY WELLS.

The house at 18 Teme Street, in which Henry Hill Hickman (1800-1830), pioneer of anaesthesia practised in his last year of life is currently a restaurant. It is marked with a commemorative plaque. Hickman was the first to use inhalation of carbon dioxide gas for painless surgery, though it was animals rather than humans who were rendered insensible by this means.

Substantial remains of the spa buildings survive.

WORCESTER.

The complex of half-timbered and brick buildings called the Commandery which stand just down hill from the cathedral in the street called Sidbury was once the mediaeval Hospital of St Wulstan. The present buildings have undergone extensive restoration in recent years and date mainly from the fifteenth century though the hospital was founded sometime before this, possibly after the canonisation of St Wulstan in 1203. The first reference to matters of health concern an inmate called Thomas who was blinded and mutilated in a duel and whose sight was subsequently restored with prayer and the ministrations of a certain Ysabel who was a sister at the hospital. The hospital was under the patronage of the Bishops of Worcester and provided shelter for poor travellers as well as the infirm.

In 1935, several painted panels were uncovered in an upstairs room depicting scenes of saints invoked in healing the sick. On one part of the ceiling the saint associated with the cure of stomach problems, St Erasmus, is being tortured on a rack (right) whilst St Michael is on another, going about his usual business of weighing souls. Originally, the entire room would have been covered with painted panels so that the infirm might receive inspiration by comparing their own sufferings with the misfortunes of those depicted

The cathedral has a herb garden in the Cloisters.

There is a collection of pharmaceutical porcelain in the The Worcester Porcelain Museum, Severn Street (Tel: +44 (0)1905 746000) e-mail: museum@royal-worcester.co.uk

 

George Marshall Medical Museum at the Worcester Royal Infirmary opened in January 2003. The museum leads the visitor through the history of medicine with room settings and interactive displays complementing the exhibits, which include an early nineteenth century operating theatre. There is a section devoted to Sir Charles Hastings, the Worcester physician who founded the British Medical Association. The Museum is open between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday, with free admission. Group visits with guided tours may be booked by telephoning 01905 760738. There is a small charge for group visits. The old infirmary building has been redeveloped as the University of Worcester's City Campus and there is now a new museum in the building called The Infirmary.   It features the history of the Infirmary, and the stories of people who worked and were treated there during the past 300 years. The Infirmary exhibition is open all day 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, all year round.  Nearest parking is at Croft Road, by the Pitchcroft Racecourse.


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