Malvern town, dominated by its great priory church (founded in 1085), is a place of steep streets and Georgian and Victorian buildings, that were built during the 19th-c when it become a fashionable spa town.
The famous spring water brought prosperity to the town of Malvern in Victorian times. More than a million bottles of local spring water are still sold throughout the world every year. Visitors can sample the local waters free at one of its many wells, such as at St Anne's Well (off Saint Ann's Road, WR14 4RG). Traces of Malvern's Victorian heyday can still be seen around the town, in its many fine hotels, houses, baths and pump room. The waters proved so popular that Queen Victoria actually visited Malvern baths and pump room, and it is said that Queen Elizabeth II regularly travels with a supply of this tasty spring water.
St Wulstan's churchyard, on the road to Malvern Wells, contains the grave of the British composer Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934), who composed much of his music while walking on the Malvern Hills.
Tourist Information Centre:
| The Lyttelton Well Courtyard, 6
Church Street, Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 2AY
Tel: 01684 892289
Located in the town's magnificent 14th-c Abbey Gateway. It tells the history of Malvern through the ages, from early iron age to medieval times and on to the discovery and exploitation of the local spa waters. Exhibits also cover early Victorian enterprise and advances in Radar research.
Opening times: Mar~Oct, 10:30am - 5pm Admission Charge
Location: Priory Gatehouse, 1 Abbey Gateway, Abbey Rd, Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3ES
Tel: 01684 567811 - Website
The Malverns are a range of hills that rise out of the Worcestershire plains, the highest point is the Worcestershire Beacon (1,394 ft). One of the most impressive ranges in the county, it extends for some 9 miles (15 km). Providing spectacular views over at least ten counties, when the weather is clear.
Malvern's most well known hill is topped by an Iron Age fort circa 300 BC. It was on these slopes that the poet William Langland (circa 1340-1400) is said to have dreamed his Vision of Piers Plowman.
The church of St Mary and St Michael is one of Malvern's greatest treasures. Founded with the priory in 1085, the current building dates mainly from the 15th century.
The church contains a very impressive collection of 15th~16th-c stain glass, comparable in quality to that of York Minster. The north transept window is particularly splendid, incorporating portraits of Henry VII and his son the Prince of Wales.
Little Malvern also has a priory, founded about 1150, of which the church and refectory still survive.
In the centre of this lovely Victorian park is a lake that was once the fishpond for the local priory. There is also an elegant Victorian bandstand where bands play on summer Sunday afternoons.