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This article is about the area governed by the civil parish and its environs. For the town centre see Great Malvernmarker

Welcome to Malvern, on an approach road to the town centre.
Malvern is an urban area in Worcestershire, England. At its core is the civil parish governed by Malvern Town Council that includes the shopping and commercial centre of historical Great Malvernmarker on the steep eastern flank of the Malvern Hillsmarker, and the former urban district of Malvern Link with which it merged in 1900 to form a single town council. The major settlements are separated by large tracts of open common land and fields, and together with smaller civil parishes adjoining the town council boundaries, and the hills, the area is often referred to collectively as The Malverns or "The Vern".

Archaeological evidence suggests that Bronze Age people had settled in the area around 1000 BC, although it is not known whether these settlements were permanent or temporary, and the area is marked by the remains of Iron Age civilisation and Roman activity. The town itself was founded in the 11th century when Benedictine monks established a priory at the foot of the highest peak in the range of Malvern Hills. During the 19th century Malvern developed rapidly from a village to a sprawling conurbation due its popularity as a hydrotherapy spa based on its spring waters. Immediately following the decline of the spa tourism towards the end of the 19th century, the town's focus shifted to education with the establishment of several private boarding schools in former hotels and large villas. A further major expansion took place from 1942 during World War II when several thousand scientists engaged in secret defence research were relocated from the south coast to the inland town for safety. Malvern is the largest urban development in the parliamentary constituency of West Worcestershiremarker and according to the 2001 United Kingdom Census the civil parish had a population of 28,749. Malvern is also the administrative seat of the area governed by Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) and lies adjacent to the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beautymarker.

Urban infrastructure

Town centre

Malvern post office, town centre
The town centre comprises two main streets, the steep Church Street and the perpendicular Bellevue Terrace, a relatively flat north-south extension of the (A449). In the heart of the town is a statue of Edward Elgar the composer, who lived in the town, while other statuary is dedicated to Malvern water. Among the many shops are two large modern supermarkets, both in Edith Walk, a former steep and narrow back lane that runs parallel to Church Street. Most of the traditional high street shops such as clothing, butchers, bakeries, groceries, etc., in the town are now tea-rooms, health food shops, specialist cafés, building societies, second-hand books shops, charity shops, law firms, and real estate agents. On the Worcestermarker to Herefordmarker line is the Victorian Great Malvern railway stationmarker, a listed example of classical Victorian railway architecture close to the former nearby Imperial Hotel. In 1893, following the sharp decline in Malvern's importance as a spa after the cessation of Gully's water cures, the imposing Victorian building which housed the hotel became the Malvern Girls' Collegemarker, now renamed Malvern St James.
Detail of buildings and shops in Church Street, Great Malvern.

Suburbs and neighbourhoods

Malvern's rapid urbanisation during the latter half of the 19th century spread eastwards and northwards from Great Malvern, the town centre on the steep flank of the Worcestershire Beacon, engulfing the manors and farms in the immediate area. It was often the farms, such as Pickersleigh, near Great Malvern, and the Howsels in Malvern Link which merged with Great Malvern in 1900, that gave their names to many of the new neighbourhoods.The urban agglomeration continued to spread, and by the middle of the 20th century had reached the suburban parishes of West Malvern, Malvern Wells, Newland, Madresfield, and Guarlford.


Early history

The name Malvern probably comes from the ancient British language meaning 'Bare-Hill', the nearest modern equivalent being the Welsh moelfryn (bald hill). It has been known as Malferna (11th century), Malverne (12th century), and Much Malvern (16–17th century).
Iron Age earthworks, British Camp.

Flint axes, arrowheads, and flakes found in the area are attributed to early Bronze Age settlers , and the 'Shire Ditch', a late Bronze Age boundary earthwork possibly dating from around 1000 BC, was constructed along part of the crest of the hills near the site of later settlements. The Wyche Cutting, a mountain pass through the hills was in use in prehistoric times as part of the salt route from Droitwich to South Wales. A 19th century discovery of over two hundred metal money bars suggests that the area had been inhabited by the La Tène people around 250 BC. Ancient folklore has it that the British chieftain Caractacus made his last stand against the Romans at the British Campmarker, a site of extensive Iron Age earthworks on a summit of the Malvern Hillsmarker close to where Malvern was to be later established. The story remains disputed, however, as Roman historian Tacitus implies a site closer to the river Severn., There is therefore no evidence that Roman presence ended the prehistoric settlement the British Camp. However, excavations at nearby Midsummer Hillfort, Bredon Hillmarker and Croft Ambreymarker all show evidence of violent destruction around the year 48AD. This may suggest that the British Camp was abandoned or destroyed around the same time.

History waits another thousand years before describing ... an hermitage, or some kind of religious house, for seculars, before the conquest, endowed by the gift of Edward the Confessor..., In the additions to Dugdale's Monasticon is an extract from the pleas taken before the King at York, in the Michaelmas Term, 11 Ric. II. rot.28, stating that there was a congregation of hermits at Malvern 'some time before the conquest', although it is the smaller settlement of nearby Little Malvern, the site of another, smaller priory, that is mentioned in the Domesday Book. A motte-and-bailey castle that was built on the top tier of the earthworks just before the Norman Conquest was probably founded by the Saxon Earl Harold Godwinson of Hereford. It was destroyed by King Henry II in 1155.
Great Malvern Priory

The town developed around its 11th-century priory, a Benedictine monastery, the remains of which make up some of the early parts of Great Malvern Priorymarker, now a large parish church. Several slightly different histories explain the actual founding of the religious community. Legend tells that the settlement began following the murder of St. Werstan, a monk of Deerhurstmarker, who fled from the Danes and took refuge in the woods of Malvern. A hermitage had been established there before the Norman Conquest. The legend has been dismissed by some historians as monastic mythology. However, in their 2006 book The Illumination of St. Werstan the Martyr Cora Weaver and Bruce Osborne re-examine the legend of St Werstan and conclude that he was the original martyr.

The first prior was Aldwyn, who founded the monastery on his bishop's advice and by 1135 the monastery included thirty monks. Aldwyn was succeeded by Walcher, an astronomer and philosopher from Lorraine whose gravestone inside the priory church records details that the priory arose in 1085 from a hermitage endowed by Edward the Confessor. An ancient stained glass window in the Priory church depicts the legend of St Werstan, with details of his vision, the consecration of his chapel, Edward the Confessor granting the charter for the site, and Werstan's martyrdom.

An 18th century document states that in the 18th year of William's kingship (1083?), a priory was dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. W. Page in his Victoria County Histories describes how a hermit Aldwyn, who lived in the reign of Edward the Confessor, had petitioned the Earl of Gloucester for the original site (of the Priory) in the wood, and cites his source as Gervase of Canterbury, Mappa Mundi (Rolls ser.).

Abbey Gateway, town centre.
Now home of the Malvern Museum.

During the Dissolution of the Monasteries the local commissioners were instructed to ensure that, where abbey churches were also used for parish worship, they should continue or could be purchased by parishioners. Accordingly, Malvern Priory survived by being acquired by a William Pinnocke and with it, much of the 15th century stained glass windows. The most marketable fabric of the monastic buildings was sold off, and with the exception of the church building of which the south transept adjoining the monastery's cloisters was destroyed, all that remains of Malvern's monastery is the Abbey Gateway (also known as the Priory Gatehouse) that houses today's Malvern Museummarker. Already an established community and the major settlement in the Malvern Chase, during the century that followed the town began to acquire its fame for its spring water.

Recent history

Malvern is a famous spa, known for its bottled water since 1622 at the Holy Well and later from other spouts and sources. In the early 19th century Hydrotherapy based on the curative properties of the water became popular, and the town underwent a rapid expansion. Several large hotels and many of the large villas in Malvern date from its heyday as a residential spa. Many smaller hotels and guest houses were built between about 1842 and 1875. By 1855 there were already 95 hotels and boarding houses and by 1865 over a quarter of the town's 800 houses were boarding and lodging houses. Most were in Great Malvern, the town centre, while others were in the surrounding settlements of Malvern Wellsmarker, Malvern Linkmarker, North Malvern and West Malvern.

Following the completion of the Worcester & Hereford Railway, Great Malvern railway stationmarker opened on 25 May 1860, a Friday start to a weekend public holiday, and received a massive 10,000 passengers from all the newly opened stations on the line, and throughout June to September of that year day trips were frequent, filling the area with "the most curious specimens of the British shopkeeper and artisan on an outing". Following Malvern's new-found fame as a spa and area of natural beauty, and fully exploiting its new rail connections, factories from as far Manchestermarker were organising day trips for their employees, often attracting as many as 5,000 visitors a day. In 1865 a public meeting of residents denounced the rising rail fares – by then twice that of other lines – that were exploiting the tourism industry, and demanded a limitation to the number of excursion trains. The arrival of the railway also enabled the delivery of coal in large quantities, which accelerated the area's popularity as a winter resort. Fearing that Malvern would become the "Metropolis of Hydrotherapy", a Malvern Hills Act was secured in 1884 and later Acts empowered the Conservators to acquire land to prevent further encroachment on common land and by 1925 they had bought much of the manorial wastelands.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the popularity of the hydrotherapy had declined to the extent that many hotels were already being converted into private boarding schools and rest homes, and education became the basis of Malvern's economy. By 1865 the town already had 17 single-gender privates schools, increasing to 25 by 1885. The area was well suited for schools due to its established attractive environment and the possibility of children being able to travel unaccompanied with their trunks by rail to their boarding schools near the stations in Great Malvern, Malvern Wells, and Malvern Linkmarker, such as in the case of the Girls College in a former hotel directly opposite Great Malvern station, with its dedicated tunnel to the basement of the school.


Malvern Council House (built 1874), viewed from Priory Park.
Malvern is the town and civil parish governed at the lowest tier of local government by Malvern Town Council, and is part of the Malvern Hills administrative district of the County of Worcestershire, formed in 1998, that comprises 54 civil parishes and 21 electoral council wards. The present (2009) Malvern Town Council was created in 1996 as an autonomous local authority under the Local Government Act 1972 and other Acts of Parliament and the ward boundaries were redefined from the wards of the former Malvern Urban District Council (1900-1974). Through the many changes in local government infrastructure since the beginning of the 20th century, the importance and distinction by ocal boundaries of the historical areas of Great Malvern, Malvern, Link, North Malvern, Cowleigh, and other neighbourhoods, have been lost.
The former, and obsolete, parish of Great Malvern included the hamlet of Guarlfordmarker and the chapelry of Newland, and stretched from the River Severn on the east to the Malvern Hills on the west.

Guarlford became a separate civil parish in 1894, when, under the Local Government Act of 1894 urban district councils were created for Malvern and Malvern Linkmarker, and it covered much of eastern Malvern including parts of Great Malvern, Pickersleigh, Poolbrook, Barnards Green, Hall Green, and Sherrards Green.

In 1934 following a review, the boundaries were changed, and those areas came under the control of the Malvern council.

By 1900 however, Malvern and Malvern Link were merged, absorbing parts of neighbouring parishes to create a town of six wards under the Malvern Urban District Council.

The residents of Malvern Town in the six Malvern Town Council electoral wards are represented by 20 elected members chaired by Paul Tuthill, since 31 July 2009. The council is supported by a team of senior executives that includes a Town Clerk, a Deputy Town Clerk, a PA to the Town Clerk and Chairman, an Operations and Events Officer, a Finance Officer, two Operations Managers, an Operations Supervisor, and eight Grounds Maintenance Operatives. The wards are based on the distribution of the population and generally ignore the names of the neighbourhoods and suburbs they contain, and use loaned names:
  • Chase, covering Barnards Greenmarker, the extensive MoD property occupied by QinetiQmarker, the campus of The Chase School, the village of Poolbrook, and the largely rural south-eastern area of the adjoining Poolbrook and Malvern commons.
  • Dyson Perrins, the northern part of Malvern adjacent to Link with the campus of Dyson Perrins School and the former MoD DERA North Site, and the former hamlets of Interfield, halfkey, and Upper Howsel
  • Link, that covers most of the area north of the Link Common between Link Top and Newland, and Upper and Lower Howsel.
  • North Malvern, (referred to as 'West' on ONC maps), an area between Link Top (Link) and West Malvern civil parish, that includes the former village of Cowleigh.
  • Pickersleigh, that includes the part of the former Great Malvern boundaries east of the railway between Barnards Green and Malvern Link to Madresfield, the former hamlets of Hall Green and Sherrards Green, and part of Barnards Greenmarker.
  • Priory, that includes the town centre and areas west of the railway between North Malvern, and Malvern Wells civil parish.


As of the 2001 UK census, Malvern had a total population of 28,749. For the purposes of statistical reporting the office of national Staistics groups the poulation of the North Malvern ward of the Malvern civil parish with that of the West Malvern civil parish. For every 100 females, there were 91.7 males. The average household size was 2.4. Of those aged 16–74 in Malvern, 48.1% had no academic qualifications or one General Certificate of Secondary Education, above the figures for all of the Malvern Hills local government district (39.7%) and England (45.5%). According to the census, 2.3% were unemployed and 35.0% were economically inactive. 19.7% of the population were under the age of 16 and 11.5% were aged 75 and over; the mean age of the people of the civil parish was 41.5. 66.8% of residents described their health as "good", similar to the average of 69.1% for the wider district.

Population development

Victorian pillar box, corner Priory Road & Orchard Road, Malvern
The area remained a village and cluster of manors and farms until the 'taking of the water' in Malvern became popularised by Dr. Wall in 1756. By the 1820s the Baths and the Pump Room were opened and Dr James Wilson and Dr Gully 1842 opened up water cure establishments in the town centre. By the middle of the 19th century with the arrival of the railway, bath houses, and other establishments catering for the health tourists flourished. By the early 20th century Malvern had rapidly developed from a small village centred around its priory, to a bustling town with many large hotels, and impressive Victorian and Edwardian country villas.Malvern experienced a further boost to its population in 1942 when the Telecommunications Research Establishmentmarker (TRE), a large government research facility with around 2,000 staff relocated to Malvern from near Swanagemarker on the south coast for safety from air raids and espionage during World War II. In the early 1950s several large and (at that time) modern housing estates were built in Malvern on similar lines to council estates to provide accommodation for the staff that had grown to about 3,500 by the end of the war, and their families. A significant proportion of the population of Malvern today is present and former employees of the facility (now called QinetiQ), and its previously attached military contingent.

Malvern had already become an overspill for the nearby city of Worcester, and the new motorways constructed in the early 1960s brought the industrial Midlands within commuting distance by car and with it, the construction of large private housing developments. The town continues to swell as increasingly more farmland, especially in the Malvern Link area between the villages of Guarlford and Newland, is turned over to new housing projects creating new communities and suburbs.

Year Population Notes
Due to frequent merging of parishes and changes in boundaries, accurate figures based on specific areas are not available.
1563 105 families Probably what is now the town centre area with nearby farms and manors.
1741 had sixty houses Probably what is now the town centre area.
1801 819
1819 2,768 1819 census - probably what is now the town centre area.
1851 3,771 Probably including the former ecclesiastical parishes of Guarlford and Newland, and the settlement of Poolbrook.
1871 7,605
1911 16,514 Reflects the 1900 merging of the Malvern and Malvern Link urban district councils.
2001 28,749 Includes the six wards covered by the current Town Council civil parish.


View from the hills of the QinetiQ facility.
Malvern College campus in the foreground
Scientific research has been the major source of local employment since the Telecommunications Research Establishmentmarker (TRE), a government group developing RADAR for the RAF, relocated to the premises of Malvern College in 1942, bringing with it about 2,000 employees, and by 1945 increased electronics production had increased this number to around 3500 staff.
The centre has been through a series of name changes (RREmarker, RSREmarker, DRA and DERA), but has remained the largest single employer in the Malvern area. Different generations of Malvern people often still refer to the establishment by any of its former names. The establishment made many major contributions to global science and technology include the cavity magnetron, liquid crystal displays (LCD) and thermal imaging. In 2001 the facility was partly privatised to become QinetiQmarker, while a small part was retained by the Ministry of Defence to become Dstl, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. Malvern's Dstl contingent has since closed down with a small number of the remaining staff moving to other Dstl sites.

Education is another large field of employment in Malvern. Private education is especially represented by two famous public schools, Malvern Collegemarker founded in 1865, and Malvern Girls Collegemarker now renamed Malvern St. James after its 2006 merger with St. James's School. There are also several other private day and boarding schools. Famous people who were educated at these schools include Jeremy Paxman, A.J.P. Taylor, C. S. Lewis, Denholm Elliott, Barbara Cartland, and Aleister Crowley.

Cars have been constructed in Malvern since 1910 by The Morgan Motor Company, one of the world's longest existing private constructors of series-built automobiles. The Morgan Motor Car is a traditional sports roadster and over the years has become a 'cult' vehicle, exported all over the world.

Pipe organs have been built in Malvern since the Nicholson Organs was founded by John Nicholson in 1841. Nicholson organs can be found in Worcester, Gloucester and Birmingham (UK) Cathedrals, and abroad in Madrid, Hong Kong and Long Island, U.S.A.

Glassware is produced by Chance Brothersmarker, an early pioneer of glass making technology, in their factory in Malvern next door to the Morgan Motor works.

Agriculture: Malvern is the centre for a significant agricultural industry in the area immediately surrounding the town, essentially comprising mixed farming (livestock, dairy, cereals, and market gardening). Sheep and cattle graze on the hills immediately to the west of the town centre, and on the common land that separates the various urban centres. Significant crops are fruit (apples, cider apples, pears, damsons, plums), vegetables, hops and Christmas trees.

The 70 acre Three Counties Showground operated by the Three Counties Agricultural Society, a registered charity a few miles to the south of Malvern on the road to Upton upon Severnmarker, has been the venue for the famous annual Three Counties Show held each year in June for over fifty years. Representing the three counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshiremarker and Gloucestershiremarker, the show which can be traced right back to 1797, attracts an average of 93,000 visitors from all parts of the country over its three-day event, and with around 600 trade stands and exhibitions it almost doubles the town's local population. Statistic show it to be among the country's most important agricultural shows and events, and according to reports, is the biggest regular event of the year of any kind in the Herefordshire and Worcestershire region. s The show also opens the horticultural season each year by hosting the Royal Horticultural Society's Spring Gardening Show, followed by many other events throughout the year including other regular gardening shows.



Prior's Croft, Grange Road (Victorian Gothic architecture)
The town centre and its environs are graced by many examples of Regency, Victorian and Edwardian villas and hotels. Many of the houses were built during the Industrial Revolution, and Malvern's boom years as a spa town, by wealthy families from the nearby Birmingham area. Many of the villas have since been converted to apartments, while some of the smaller hotels are now retirement homes.Much architecture and statuary in the town centre is dedicated to Malvern Water, including the St Ann's Wellmarker, which is housed in a building dating from 1815. The drinking spout, Malvhina, by the sculptor Rose Garrard, was unveiled on 4 September 1998. The Enigma Fountain, also by Garrard, was unveiled by Prince Andrew in 2000.The Imperial Hotel in red brick with stone dressings that became the Malvern Girls College (now Malvern St James) after the collapse of the spa industry, is one of the largest buildings in Malvern and was built in 1860 by the architect E W Elmslie who also designed the Great Malvern railway station and Whitbourne Hall, in Herefordshire. It was first hotel to be lit by incandescent gas. It was equipped with all types of baths and brine was brought specially by rail from Droitwich.


Sir Edward Elgar, the famous British composer and Master of the King's Musick lived much of his life around Malvern and is buried in Little Malvern cemetery. Land of Hope and Glory, set to Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, was first performed in the Wyche School next to the church in the presence of Elgar. A statue of Elgar stands gazing over Great Malvernmarker from Belle Vue Terrace in the town centre. The Elgar Route, a 40-mile drive passing some key landmarks from Elgar's life, passes through Malvern.

The Chandos Symphony Orchestrais one of the leading amateur orchestras in the West Midlands. Based in Malvern under the professional direction of Michael Lloyd with over 100 players, the orchestra specialises in performances of major works of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

The Autumn in Malvern Festival is an annual event featuring performances of renowned artists of music, poetry, writers and film makers held during October every year.

Dramatic Arts

Mainstream theatre

Malvern is a leading provincial centre for theatre. The theatre is housed in the Malvern Winter Gardens complex in the town centre. The first Malvern Drama Festival was planned by Sir Barry Jackson and took place in 1929 and was dedicated to Bernard Shaw. Many premiers of works by famous playwrights had their first performances at Malvern, including two by Bernard Shaw. In 1956, on the occasion of the dramatist's 100th birthday, Malvern held a Shaw centenary week. In February 1965 a Malvern Festival Theatre Trust was set up, and extensive refurbishment was undertaken. J B Priestley presided over the opening ceremony of the first summer season. In 1998 a further £7.2 million major redesign and refurbishment took place with the help of contributions from the The National Lottery Distribution Fund , administered by the government Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Fringe Festival

Malvern is the home of one of the oldest Fringe festivals in the world. The Malvern Fringe Festival is an arts festival (officially founded 1977) which takes place on MayDay and the annual three day festival held in June as a fringe to the Elgar Festival. These are accompanied by musical and other live events throughout the year. The Fringe aims to be inclusive; bridging the generation gap by providing a varied programme of events for the local people of Malvern aimed at all ages. The Theatre of Small Conveniencemarker entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 2002 as the smallest theatre in the world. Located in a former Victorian public convenience in the centre of the town, the theatre has a capacity of 12 people seated, or 16 people standing.

Malvern in Literature

C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien used to walk on the Malvern Hillsmarker. The story goes that, after drinking in a Malvern pub one winter evening, they were walking home when it started to snow. They saw a lamp post shining out through the snow and Lewis turned to his friends and said "that would make a very nice opening line to a book". Lewis' book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe later used that image as the characters enter the realm of Narnia.

The poet W. H. Auden taught for three years in the 1930s at the The Downs Schoolmarker, in the Malvern Hills. He wrote many poems there, including: This Lunar Beauty; Let Your Sleeping Head; My Love, Fish in the Unruffled Lakes; and Out on the Lawn I Lie in Bed. He also wrote the long poem about the hills and their views, called simply The Malverns.

William Langland's famous 14th century poem The Visions of Piers Plowman (1362) was inspired by the Malvern Hillsmarker and the earliest poetical allusion to them occurs in the poem: And on a Maye mornynge on Malverne hylles. Langland, the reputed writer, was possibly educated at the priory of Great Malvern. Several roads and buildings in Malvern are named after Langland.

Malvern water

St Ann's Well spout
Malvern Water became famous for containing "nothing at all". It was the reason for Malvern becoming a spa town and has formed a part of both local and national culture since Queen Elizabeth I made a point of drinking it in public in the 16th century, and Queen Victoria refused to travel without it. It is the only bottled water used by Queen Elizabeth II, which she takes on her travels around the world. Millions of litres of Malvern Water are bottled annually by Schweppes in a factory near Malvern and distributed worldwide. It also flows freely from a number of fountains or spouts throughout the Malvern area. Upkeep of these historical springs is funded by several organisations, including the Town Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Malvern Spa Association, and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Places of worship

In addition to the 12th century priory, concomittant with Malvern's expansion during the second half of the 19th century over twenty Christian churches, and other places of worship were built in Malvern, many of which are reproductions of 13th and 14th century architecture including St Mathias, Malvern Link (CofE) c1896, which has a full set of ten ringing bells. The first full peal (Grandsire Triples) was rung on 1 June 1901. One of the most recent is St Mary's Church (CofE), in Sherrards Green, a modern church built c1960.
Landsdown Methodist Church, Great Malvern

Health Facilities

Malvern has a community hospital in Landsdowne Crescent, near the town centre. It could be described as a cottage hospital, used mainly by the elderly and for convalescence, although consultants from major Worcester NHS hospitals hold clinics there. Major health facilities are provided by hospitals in Worcester. Work on a new hospital for the Malvern area began in April 2009 in Malvern Link on the site of a former boys boarding school.

In 2006 a new health complex opened on the edge of Malvern Link from which a large GP group practice now operates. Another GP group practice opened a health centre on Pickersleigh Road in 2008. Malvern also has several nursing and retirement homes for the care of senior citizens.

The Malvern area is covered by the Midlands Air Ambulance service that has been operating from the site of Strensham motorway services since 1991.



The A449 road runs through the centre of Malvern, connecting it to Worcestermarker and Ledburymarker. The M5 motorway to the east of Malvern is accessible at junctions 7 and 8. The M50marker (also known as the Ross Spur) to the south can be accessed at junction 1 on the A38 road between Tewkesbury and Malvern.


Malvern has two railway stations (Great Malvernmarker and Malvern Linkmarker), providing direct services to Worcestermarker, Herefordmarker, Birminghammarker, Oxfordmarker and Londonmarker.


Several local bus services connect Malvern with the surrounding area. From April to August, on weekends and public holidays, the Hills Hopper service provides access to the Malvern Hills and environs. Long-distance direct bus services connect Malvern with other cities in the country, including the National Express route 321 through eleven counties from Aberdare in South Wales via Birmingham and other major cities, to Bradford in West Yorkshire, and route 444 from Worcester to London (Victoria).
Route From To Via Operator Notes
42/42A Malvern Linkmarker Fruitlands Great Malvernmarker, Poolbrook Astons Coaches
44/44A Malvern Linkmarker Worcestershire Royal Hospital Great Malvernmarker, Powickmarker, Worcestermarker, County Hall First
244 Malvern circular West Malvernmarker, British Campmarker, Ledburymarker, Eastnormarker, Wellandmarker, Upton-upon-Severnmarker, Hanley Swanmarker, Three Counties Showground Malvernian Tours Only operates April - August
363 Barnards Greenmarker Worcestermarker Great Malvernmarker, Malvern Wellsmarker, Wellandmarker, Upton-upon-Severnmarker, Hanley Swanmarker, Callow Endmarker, Powickmarker Astons Coaches
377 Malvern Linkmarker Cheltenhammarker Great Malvernmarker, Malvern Wellsmarker, Wellandmarker, Pendockmarker, Eldersfieldmarker, Gloucestermarker Astons Coaches
425 Malvern Linkmarker Knightwickmarker Great Malvernmarker, Leigh Sintonmarker, Bransfordmarker, Alfrickmarker, Suckleymarker DRM Coaches
476 Great Malvernmarker Herefordmarker Colwallmarker, Ledburymarker, Bartestreemarker, Lugwardinemarker DRM Coaches
675 Great Malvernmarker Ledburymarker West Malvernmarker, Wyche Cutting, Colwallmarker Malvernian Tours


Malvern's nearest major airport is Birmingham Internationalmarker approximately one hour by road via the M5 and M42 motorways.


Malvern is home to several private primary schools, a college of further education, and two large state comprehensive schools. A third large comprehensive school located in a nearby village also caters for students from the Malvern area. Following the decline of Malvern's popularity as a spa town in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many private boarding schools were established in Malvern, often occupying the premises of former hotels and large villas. Two large public schools (private secondary schools) - one for boys, The Boy's College, Malvern Collegemarker, and one for girls, Malvern St James's - now remain and rank among the country's foremost private schools. Twelve state or Church of England primary schools serve Malvern and feed the areas three high schools.

High Schools

The Chase Technology Collegemarker in Barnards Greenmarker has over 1700 pupils. It is a specialist Technology, Language and Science college under the specialist schools programme, and has been awarded Beacon School status. At the last OFSTED inspection (February 2006), the school was described as "good with some outstanding features". Average GSCE results in 2008 were 382.7 with 54% of pupils achieving grade A*-C; average A level results in 2008 were 735.9. Guardian schools league table Retrieved 4 August 2009

Dyson Perrins in Malvern Linkmarker, a Church of England school with almost 1000 pupils, is a specialist Sports College. Following a critical OFSTED inspection in January 2009 the school was placed in special measures. Average GSCE results in 2008 were 344.8 with 40% of pupils achieving grade A*-C; average A level results in 2008 were 797.3.

Hanley Castle High Schoolmarker formerly called Hanley Castle Grammar School, in Hanley Castlemarker village about four miles to the east of the town centre, was probably founded in 1326 and is one of the oldest schools in England. Since the early 1970s the school has become a mixed gender, voluntary controlled comprehensive with a population of about 900 students aged 11 to 18. Its catchment area covers the town and much of the surrounding rural area, and it is one of the top performing state schools in the county. It has been awarded Language School status by OFSTED.

Independent Schools

Malvern St James girls school in the former Imperial Hotel building
Malvern Collegemarker is a coeducational British independent school, founded in 1865.Until 1992, it was an school for boys aged 13 to 18. Following a series of mergers from 1992 to 2008 it has since become coeducational with pupils from 3 to 18 years old. In 2007 the school was ranked by The Times newspaper as the 5th best co-educational independent school in the country. Among its alumni are two Nobel Laureates, an Olympic Gold medalist, and prime ministers of several countries.

Malvern St. James (formed by the merger of Malvern Girls' College and St. James's School, West Malvern( formerly St James's and The Abbey))is the last of the independent girls school in the Malvern area. Over the past thirty five years, six girls schools around the malvern area have sucessively merged such that only one now remains. The main building of Malvern St James is the former Imperial Hotel, built in the second half of the 19th century. The merged school is on the campus of the former Malvern Girls' College.

Further Education

Evesham and Malvern Hills Collegemarker, formerly Malvern Hills College, formerly Malvern College of Further Education.

Malvern also has an active University of the Third Age that was founded at Malvern Hills College in 1995. Its inaugural meeting was attended by around 150 members of the public, and by 2009 it had over 70 interest groups and 1000 members.


Priory Park with Malvern Theatres complex and Priory Church tower in the background
The Priory Park with its adjoining Malvern Splash pool and Winter Gardens complex occupies a large area in the centre of the town. The Winter Gardens complex is home to the Malvern Theatre, a cinema (movie theatre), a concert venue/banqueting room, bars and cafeterias. For almost half a century, the Malvern Winter Gardens has also been the leisure centre and a major regional venue for classical music, and concerts by legendary rock bands of the 60s, 70s and 80s. In 1998 a £7.2 million major redesign and refurbishment of the Winter Gardens took place with the help of contributions from the The National Lottery Distribution Fund , administered by the government Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Splash Leisure Complex flanks the eastern boundary of Priory Park and has an indoor swimming pool and gymnasium.

In the town is also an extensive Public Library that includes access to many community services.


The Manor Park Club multi-sports complex, close to the town centre, provides the area with indoor and outdoor sports facilities including tennis, squash, indoor bowls, racketball and table tennis. It is assisted by grants from various bodies, including the Malvern Hills District Council, the Sport of England Lottery and the Lawn Tennis Association. Traditional outdoor bowls are played on a green in Priory Park. Other public areas such as Victoria Park in Malvern Link provide space for field sports and tennis. Malvern Town FCmarker has an Football first team that plays in the Southern League Division One Midlands and which has twice reached the third qualifying round of the FA Cup. The Malvern Hills are a popular launching site for hang gliding and paragliding and Malvern has a local hang gliding club. Snooker is played at the Willy Thorne Snooker Centre in Malvern which is a regular venue for world-class matches played by past and present world champions. Cricket is provided for at Barnards Greenmarker Cricket Club.

Notable people

Malvern's impressive list of notable people is due largely to their having either been educated at, or taught at notable Malvern schools. Composers were often drawn to Malvern for the quality of its church organs and the acoustics of the church buildings. The Hills inspired many poets and novelists, and scientists carried out much of their ground-breaking research at what is now QinetiQ.
Darwin plaque, Malvern



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Further reading

  • Bowden, Mark, et al., (2005) The Malvern Hills - An ancient landscape English Heritage ISBN 1873592825
  • Brooks, Alan & Pevsner, Nikolaus; (2007) Worcestershire: The Buildings of England Yale University Press ISBN 030011298X
  • Dixey, Mary., Stewart, Duseline. (1996) The wonderfuld world of Lawnside- the history of a Malvern School c.1852-1994 Lawnside Old Girls' Association (Malvern)
  • Dolan, John Gilbert (1910) "Malvern." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, New Advent Archive
  • Freer-Minshull, Tony (2007) The Foley Family Vol.1, ISBN 1847530168
  • Freer-Minshull, Tony (2007)The Foley Family Vol.2,
  • Iles, Brian (2005) The Malverns ISBN 0-7524-3667-8
  • Poulton-Smith, Anthony (2003) Worcestershire Place Names, The History Press ISBN 9780750933964 ISBN 0750933968
  • Smith, Brian (1978) A History of Malvern ISBN 0-904387-313
  • Weaver, Cora & Osborne, Bruce (2006) The Illumination of St. Werstan the Martyr ISBN 9781873809679, ISBN 1873809670, EAN 9781873809679
  • Weaver, Cora & Osborne, Bruce (1994) Aquae Malvernensis:a history and topography of the springs, spouts, fountains and wells of the Malverns and the development of a public water supply. Malvern : Cora Weaver

External links

Barnards Green Cricket Club.

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