Great MalvernGreat Malvern
Malvern Hills
Worcestershire WR14 3HJ

 

Great Malvern is the largest town in the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire, and the administrative centre for the district. The town is on the eastern flanks of the Worcestershire Beacon.

The town centre comprises two main streets at right angles to each other: the steep Church Street and Bellevue Terrace, a relatively flat north–south extension of the A449 which forms Malvern's western extremity along the flank of the hills.

The altitude of the town ranges from about 164 to 656 feet (50 to 200 metres) above sea level. The River Severn runs roughly north-south about 4 miles (6.4 km) to the east of the town.

History
Great Malvern is the original main urban centre of the area of Malvern that began with the founding of an 11th-century priory. During the 19th century, it became a popular spa town. Many of the major suburbs and settlements that comprise the town are separated by large tracts of open common land and fields.
 
The Hills, town and villages are now often referred to as The Malverns. The whole area is scenically striking and full of history ranging from pre-historic, through medieval to early 20th century. The oldest part of the town is Great Malvern Priory which is now the Parish Church of SS Mary & Michael, Great Malvern and the Priory Gatehouse, Great Malvern which now houses the Malvern Museum.
 
Throughout the town are fountains, statues and memorials to Malvern’s greatest assets – pure spring water and Sir Edward Elgar. Unlike many mineral springs, Malvern water is pure and tasteless and a delight to drink. There are many wells and spouts on the hills where you can sample it.
 
The town has a number of beautiful parks and cultural centres. It is a very elegant town with some Regency houses, large Victorian and Edwardian villas and hotels, some of which were turned into boarding schools.
 
The town has an excellent variety of small shops such as butchers, bakers, grocers etc., as well as specialist shops selling books, antiques, arts and crafts, healthfoods, and complementary therapies. There are galleries, plenty of cafes and restaurants and two modern supermarkets, both in Edith Walk.
 
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Railway
The coming of the railway in 1860 was responsible for the growth and expansion of the town. The present station was completed in 1862 and is the work of renowned Victorian architect, E. W. Elmslie. It has two platforms and is a Grade II listed building.
 
The station is built of local Malvern Rag stone with awnings over the platforms supported by beautifully decorated cast-iron pillars. The pillar capitals are decorated with high relief mouldings depicting different arrangements of flowers and foliage.
 
There are two unique features at the station. One is the drinking fountain which is a Malvern spring water spout. Naturally, this well is decorated by local school children during the Well Dressing Festival in early May.
 
The other feature is a dedicated (now derelict) tunnel to the basement of Malvern St James Girls College, directly opposite the station. This 19th century school occupies a former hotel building. Children would travel unaccompanied with their trunks by rail to their boarding school near the station. The tunnel is still clearly visible from both platforms.
 
To mark the station’s 150th birthday some of the highly decorated lighting columns were reinstated around the cab road at the front of the station.
 
Great Malvern Station services two train operating companies: London Midland and First Great Western. Even if you are not travelling by train, the station is well worth visiting to admire its classical Victorian architecture. It is very close to the town centre.
 
Getting There
Excellent ‘Getting There’ information plus maps and car parking information on the Visit Web: Malvern’s TIC Travel
 
Google Map - Great Malvern