1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Malvern

MALVERN, an inland watering-place in the Bewdley parliamentary division of Worcestershire, England, 128 m. W.N.W. from London by the Great Western railway, served also by a branch of the Midland railway from Ashchurch on the Bristol-Birmingham line. Pop. of urban district(1901), 16,449. It is beautifully situated on the eastern slopes of the Malvern Hills, which rise abruptly from the flat valley of the Severn to a height of 1395 ft. in the Worcestershire Beacon. The district still bears the name of Malvern Chase, originally a Crown-land and forest, though it was granted to the earldom of Gloucester by Edward I. A ditch along the summit of the hills determined the ancient boundary. Becoming a notorious haunt of criminals, the tract was disafforested by Charles I., with the exception of a portion known as the King’s Chase, part of which is included in the present common-land formed under the Malvern Hills Act of 1884.

Malvern was in early times an important ecclesiastical settlement, but its modern fame rests on its fine situation, pure air, and chalybeate and bituminous springs. The open-air cure for consumptive patients is here extensively practised.

The name Malvern is collectively applied to a line of small towns and villages, extending along the foot of the hills for 5 m. The principal is Great Malvern, lying beneath the Worcestershire Beacon. It has a joint station of the Great Western and Midland railways. Here was the Benedictine priory which arose in 1083 out of a hermitage endowed by Edward the Confessor. The priory church of SS. Mary and Michael is a fine cruciform Perpendicular building, with an ornate central tower, embodying the original Norman nave, and containing much early glass and carved choir-stalls. The abbey gate and the refectory also remain. There are here several hydropathic establishments, and beautiful pleasure gardens. Malvern College, founded in 1862, is an important English public school. A museum is attached to it. Mineral waters are manufactured. At Malvern Wells, 2½ m. S., are the principal medicinal springs, also the celebrated Holy Well, the water of which is of perfect purity. There are extensive fishponds and hatcheries; and golf-links. The Great Western railway has a station, and the Midland one at Hanley Road. Little Malvern lies at the foot of the Herefordshire Beacon, which is crowned by a British camp, 1½ m. S. of Malvern Wells. There was a Benedictine priory here, of which traces remain in the church. Malvern Link, 1 m. N.E. of Great Malvern, of which it forms a suburb, has a station on the Great Western railway. West Malvern and North Malvern, named from their position relative to Great Malvern, are pleasant residential quarters on the higher slopes of the hills.