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Priory Park Spring (by the Mulberry Tree)



NGR 77719 45764
Site Number: C106
By Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver (C) 2012
Area 1. Malvern Town Centre Springs and Wells
Malvern Hills, England


Location: The source emerges in several places in Priory Park, the main one being a stream on the south side.
Description: an ornamental water gardens and a pool beside a seat to the south of Malvern Theatres (formerly the Winter Gardens)

Today there are several indications of the spring's presence in Priory Park including the water gardens and the pool behind a seat on the south side of the park. Recently a damp patch situated in Priory Park, at the foot of the bank between the spring and the Winter Gardens, was unsuccessfully artificially drained. Most likely this is all part of the same source and is believed to be the outflow from the Dumpling Fountain and cistern formerly in Grange Road but now buried beneath the car parking lots.

The site of the water garden is significant in that it is adjacent to the George Bernard Shaw Mulberry Tree. During the 1936 Malvern Festival George Bernard Shaw planted a mulberry tree in Priory Park to commemorate his 80th birthday. At the planting ceremony he said that he was planting the tree because Shakespeare had planted a mulberry tree and he wasn't going to be outdone by Shakespeare, adding that he hoped the tree would outlive him. Shaw died in 1950 aged 94 years. The tree was blown over in a storm in November 2000, aged just 66.

Everyone assumed that this memorial to Shaw was lost forever, and all that remained was a shallow depression in the lawn near the empty pedestal where a bust of Sir Edward Elgar once sat. Research by Friends of Malvern Springs and Wells proved otherwise. They found that in 1959 a cutting from the tree had been sent to Malvern in Victoria, Australia where it arrived in a sad and sickly state. Further investigation identified where the cutting was planted - and that it had turned into a huge and healthy tree. A project was launched by the Friends, sponsored by Coca-Cola, and supported by the City of Stonnington, Victoria, to nurture and send six cuttings back here to Great Malvern. The six healthy cuttings - the grandchildren of Shaw's original tree - arrived at Heathrow on Friday 14 August 2009. 

The association with the Mulberry Tree commemorates G.B.Shaw's long association with Malvern. One day, when the cuttings have grown into sturdy saplings, one of them will be planted in Priory Park, hopefully near the site of Shaw's original tree.

What to see - The water features in Priory Park are well worth exploring. The location of the original Mulberry Tree can be ascertained from a shallow depression in the lawn. In addition, a slice of the original Mulberry Tree can be seen in Malvern Museum where it was deposited by Cora Weaver and Bruce Osborne in 2002.[1] Inside the Coach House Theatre in Grange Road is a small statue of George Bernard Shaw. Entitled 'Walking Tall', it was carved from Shaw's own Mulberry Tree by sculptor Andy Laffan.

Illustrations:
1. The water garden.
2. The 1966 OS 25" map shows the location of the water gardens in Priory Park and the green tree in the former position of Shaw's Mulberry Tree. (courtesy Ordnance Survey)
 
Footnotes:
[1] Malvern Gazette 26 July 2002.


Click the tree to catch up with the latest news on the Mulberry Tree project.
 
 
The map alongside is a small section of our more comprehensive map of the area. For the complete map together with a description and history of this site see "Celebrated Springs of the Malvern Hills" (2012).
 
 
 
 
Click on Website below or the top banner to go to the DISCOVERY TRAIL INDEX of springs and wells.




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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION




 

Celebrated Springs of 
THE MALVERN HILLS
  

 

A definitive work that is the culmination of 20 years researching the springs and wells of the Malvern Hills, published by Phillimore. This is the ideal explorers guide enabling the reader to discover the location and often the astounding and long forgotten history of over 130 celebrated springs and wells sites around the Malvern Hills. The book is hard back with dust cover, large quarto size with lavish illustrations and extended text. Celebrated Springs contains about 200 illustrations and well researched text over a similar number of pages, together with seven area maps to guide the explorer to the locations around the Malvern Hills. It also includes details on the long history of bottling water in the Malvern Hills.


Written by Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver, this book is available on-line for £15.00 (delivered UK) - click Malvern Bookshop on the green panel top left. Alternatively send a cheque payable to Cora Weaver with your name and address to 4 Hall Green, Malvern, Worcs. WR14 3QX.





1) TOPOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:
Malvern Hills - arguably Britain's original National Park
2) LANDSCAPE:
Park or Garden
3) INFORMATION CATEGORY:
A Spring, Spout, Fountain or Holy Well Site
4) MALVERN SPRING OR WELL SITE DETAILS:
Site with Malvern Water
4 SPLASHES - Well Worth Finding
5) GENERAL VISITOR INFORMATION:
Access On Foot
Disabled access
Toilets
Accessible All Year








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