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Stocks Drinking Fountain and Trough

NGR 77457 46849
Site Number: C19
By Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver (C) 2012
Area 3. North Malvern Springs and Wells
Malvern Hills, England

Location: by the stocks and whipping post in North Malvern Road.
Description: a derelict iron drinking fountain by the roadside.

This 4 ft high iron column, made in Coalbrookdale, was once a public drinking fountain. It is an unusual example of an urban iron standard provided as a fountain for hte populace after piped local water was laid on. Adjacent is the base of an animal trough which was established primarily for the use of cattle and dogs, and appropriately sited near the North Malvern pound. Unfortunately the elaborate fountain head and the trough are missing. Both fountain and trough were erected in 1895 by the Malvern Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and paid for largely with the 20 pounds legacy of Miss Pyndar of Mainstone Court, Ledbury, the difference being made up by Miss Lowe of Malvern.[1] Today the elaborate fountain head and the trough are missing but an old mains stop cock nearby confirms that these facilities were once fed from the public supply.

A water supply was already available here, having been provided during the 1870s. In those days obtaining water for the watering carts (for street watering) was very inconvenient due to the distance between the pumps so it was decided to sink a well "at a point above Trinity Church to supply North Malvern district, which would be a considerable convenience to the neighbourhood".[2] The provision of a water supply for local residents was covered by legislation. Under section 9 of the Public Health (Water) Act 1878 the local Rural Sanitary Authority was empowered to supply a public standpipe or spout and to recover water rents or rates from the occupiers or owners within 200 yards of the facility. This applied to areas of 'low rental' where houses were clustered together.[3] The elegant iron fountain probably replaced this earlier watering point in 1895.

Stocks, Whipping Post and Pound
The animal pound, now ivy-covered, forms the backcloth to this most interesting corner of North Malvern on the edge of Kendalls Common. In front of the pound is a railed area which contained both stocks and whipping post. In 1897 the whipping post was unfortunately 'whipped'. Someone had stolen a part of Malvern's heritage, as the local paper lamented, "This bit of real common, real old stocks, and genuine whipping post all together make up a combination now rather rare in the country, and it attracted the fancy of many visitors".[4] The arms and the seat of the stocks also went astray so to prevent further vandalism the railings were erected round the stocks and whipping post by the Council with the consent of Sir Henry Grey as lord of the manor in September 1906.[5]

In 1930 the Conservators also showed an interest in preserving the stocks and whipping post (by then replaced). These were under their jurisdiction, being situate on common land. Conservator Mr Evans entertained his colleagues when he told them that "his grandfather had stated that long before Trinity Church was built on Common land, men were carried up from a public house for twelve hours in the stocks and frequently were in a worse condition when they were released than when they were put in the stocks"[6]

1. The Fountain, a mere shadow of its former self.
2. Stocks and whipping post, late 19th century. (courtesy Malvern Museum)
3. The horse trough before the installation of the fountain.

[1] Malvern Advertiser 13 July 1895.
[2] Malvern Advertiser 9 May 1874.
[3] Greenwell A (1896) Rural Water Supply, Crosby Lockwood, p.153.
[4] Malvern Advertiser 3 July 1897.
[5] Minutes of Malvern Urban District Council 3 July 1906.
[6] Malvern Gazette 18 Apr 1930.

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
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A Spring, Spout, Fountain or Holy Well Site
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