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Lower Dingle

NGR 76470 45602
Site Number: C35
By Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver (C) 2012
Area 4. West Malvern Springs and Wells
Malvern Hills, England

Location: on the left of West Malvern Road heading south; by a car park and bus stop just before Harcourt Road.
Description: several springs contained for public supply; spring water flows into covered cisterns and then under the road to a streamlet.

One of the higher springs is located on the south side of The Worcestershire Beacon in the Upper Dingle Valley. It is contained in a concrete covered tank at the rear of a cottage owned by Mr Jack Lewes and supplies several cottages. The lower source also comes from the Dingle Valley and was once used to supply Lower Dingle, Montpellier Road, Park Road and Lower Montpellier Road. It also fed a sheep wash located on the west side of the road, formerly used by Walter Wilkins and others. The first sheep wash had been run by entrepreneur Mrs Hadley of West Malvern, who had a tub enclosed with hurdles and charged people to wash their sheep. The late 19th-century sheep-washer stood in a 60-gallon barrel with an inlet pipe and an outlet pipe. It was surrounded by a stone wall, and nearby was a fenced sheep fold with a pond. For several generations it was run by the Pitt family of West Malvern. Today there is no trace of this useful public facility.

Following the amalgamation of Malvern Link with Great Malvern in 1898 the Malvern Urban District Council in 1902 took the water from the Dingle Spring for use in the public mains. The work was carried out under the Malvern Link (Extension and Water) Act of 1896, section 46 of which dictated that the Council should provide a fountain and trough for those with commonable rights to the Dingle Spring.

Using the water for the public mains meant that there was no more water for the sheep, so a sheep drinking trough and new sheep washing pit were provided by the council on the west side of West Malvern Road.

In September 1904, 31 West Malvern Commoners signed a petition complaining that since the Council put the tank at the Dingle, water no longer flowed into their sheep washing pool. The pool was only being fed by storm water, which did not always materialise at the required times. A sheep drinking trough was requested to be situated above the Dingle to divert the sheep from wandering down to the road to look for water. The Council compromised, offering to provide water at the Dingle twice a year "on those days when they dip their fleecy care."[1] By the middle of 1905 a drinking trough had been provided. However the dogs which frequently played in the water made it unfit for the sheep to drink and railings were required to keep the dogs out but allow the sheep to get their heads in.[2]

Under Section 46 of the Malvern Link (Extension and Water) Act 1896, it is mandatory for the District Council to provide and supply a drinking fountain and cattle trough to be fixed in convenient positions within The Dingle. This provision has never been rescinded and arguably is now the responsibility of Severn Trent Water. There was an iron drinking fountain here but it was removed in the 1970s. It was located on the verge by the lower roadside cistern.

The roadside cistern, which had previously been used for public supply, now flows to waste under the road, emerging as a brook flowing west. It is suggested that this roadside tank could easily be converted to an open spout enabling a new source of Malvern water to be available to the public.
1. A group of enthusiasts check out the roadside tank concluding that it would make a superb roadside spout.(photo by Bruce Osborne)

[1] Malvern Gazette, 16 September/14 October 1904.
[2] Malvern Gazette, 28 July 1905. 


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
A Spring, Spout, Fountain or Holy Well Site
Site with Malvern Water
2 SPLASHES - Not Much To See
Access By Road
Access On Foot
Free Parking Nearby
Disabled access
Accessible All Year

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