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Hillside Spring

NGR 76490 45234
Site Number: C37
By Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver (C) 2012
Area 4. West Malvern Springs and Wells
Malvern Hills, England

Location: down the road just to the south of the Dingle there is a spring at "Hillside".
Description: two springs, one a marshy area on the common and the second contained for domestic supply.

The source, situated on the hill a little way above "Hillside", comprised six or seven small springs which bubbled up and united to give a continual flow which barely diminished even when other local springs had completely dried up. The 1888 deeds of nearby Harcourt Lodge say that the house can be supplied in perpetuity with free water from the Hillside springs, courtesy of Hillside owner Mr Ford.[1]

In 1895 Mr Mander* analysed a sample of water taken from a source near `Hillside', West Malvern.[2] Before 1895 no attempt had been made to contain the water, even during periods of drought but after that date the spring was contained, running into a reservoir directly above the house "Hillside".

In 1870 the Rev Edward Ford had founded Hillside school for boys. He was assisted by his two sons and "able masters". "Of former Pupils, some have entered in high forms at Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Marlborough, Shrewsbury, and most of the large Public Schools and Colleges. Others have passed well in Military, Naval and Preliminary Law Examinations, and have taken high Degrees at the Universities."[3] Perhaps the most well-equipped school in Malvern it boasted a gymnasium, swimming pool and chapel. Circa 1920 the school was closed and converted into houses, "Hillside" originally being the headmaster's house and Beacon Lodge next door the school. The chapel was to the rear of Beacon Lodge. Nothing survives of the chapel or gymnasium but the outdoor swimming pool, which was filled from the spring, survived as a sunken garden at the northern end of the site. There is also a well in the courtyard at the norther end. The buildings were supplied with spring water until the 1970s when the cistern walls collapsed and the water became impure.

Higher on the hills, behind Hillside stands Hillside Cottage. This was believed to have once been the laundry for the school and has extensive underground works related to the utilisation of the local spring water. There is a well, near the water pump shed, and nearby there is a substantial 5000 gallon underground cistern that is still in use. There is also an attractive modern water garden that is fed by spring water.

Update 2022: amongst the ruins relating to former utilisation of the spring waters at Hillside, is a small brick structure now derelict and flooded. In 2022 this was named Ash Tree Pool by the MSA. [6] 

1. Hillside.
2. Hillside School Advertisement.
3. The school described in 1909 from the Borough Guide.
4. Hillside Cottage water garden fed by spring water.
5. Ash Tree Pool.

Further information:
*The Belle Vue Pharmacy was established on Belle Vue Terrace, Great Malvern, by Mr D B Coldwell in 1842. In 1891 he employed Mr Alfred Mander M P S as his dispenser and analyst, and in September 1894 Mr Mander succeeded to the business.[4] The Belle Vue Pharmacy also served as a Climatalogical Station of the Royal Meteorological Society and Malvern's rainfall was measured there.[5]

[1] Personal communication with Sue Jacquet, August 1997.
[2] Aquae Malvernensis, 1994, Weaver C. Osborne B. p.224.
[3] Cross's Guide to Malvern (1865) p.52.
[4] Malvern Advertiser, 22 September/29 September 1894.
[5] Malvern Advertiser, 2 March 1895.
[6] MSA News 30. Spring 2022. 

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.

Website: Click Here



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
Rolling Countryside
A Spring, Spout, Fountain or Holy Well Site
Site with Malvern Water
2 SPLASHES - Not Much To See
On Private Property
Not Open To Public

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