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Railway Station Fountain

NGR 78293 45676
Site Number: C1
By Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver (C) 2012
Area 1. Malvern Town Centre Springs and Wells
Malvern Hills, England

Location: Great Malvern Railway Station, near the entrance to the booking office.
Description: a spout and animal trough

The animal trough is situated on the west wall of the station buildings, a few metres to the right of the original ticket hall, and was intended for the use of horses carrying visitors by carriage to and from the station. Erected in 1880 the inscription reads 'Presented by the M. Society P.C to Animals'. The Malvern Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded in 1875 and provided other animal troughs in and around the town. It also gave lectures on kindness to animals, emphasizing the fact that much cruelty was perpetrated through ignorance that be overcome through the study of natural history.[1]

In 1852, a gushing spring was unexpectedly discovered during excavations to build a railway tunnel through the Malvern Hills.[2] The water was piped as far as Malvern Link through a 6 inch gravity main that ran alongside the railway track, and this supplied the animal trough. The water was not controlled by a push button, but flowed freely from the spout. One irate resident probably thought that the water was coming from the depleted public main, and sent the following letter to the local newspaper in 1906, the third successive drought year.

'Sir - Knowing as we all do that water is not abundant in Malvern, I and others are surprised at the waste of water at the Station drinking fountain. There certainly should be a tap to turn the water on and off as it is required. This is not the only place where water runs to waste.' [3]

This main was abandoned in the 1920s in favour of the public main, which also provided unchlorinated hills water. The pumps in the tunnel were scrapped at this time.[4] The animal trough is now dry. The tunnel supply is still in the trackside main, under pressure.

Great Malvern Station - The first train ran through the station on 13th September 1861. The station was designed by Edmund Wallace Elmslie, who also designed the nearby Imperial Hotel (now Malvern St James School) and the Worm, a unique tunnel connecting the two buildings. Of particular interest on the Worcester line is a unique display of painted foliage-headed columns, a Victorian wall-mounted letter box, and Lady Foley's Tearoom. Crossing through the subway to the Hereford line one can see one end of the Worm.

1. Railway Station Fountain. 

[1] Malvern Advertiser 17 May 1879
[2] Jenkins (1969) p.16.
[3] Malvern Gazette 4 August 1906.
[4] Hardman C. Senior Planning Officer MHDC. letter 15 Jan. 1999.
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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Celebrated Springs of 


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.

Malvern Hills - arguably Britain's original National Park
Built Up Location
A Spring, Spout, Fountain or Holy Well Site
3 SPLASHES - Of Moderate Interest
Access By Road
Access On Foot
Free Public Access
Free Parking Nearby
Disabled access
Accessible All Year

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