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Ragged Stone Spring

NGR 75763 36419
Site Number: C69
By Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver (C) 2012
Area 7. Southern Hills Springs and Wells
Malvern Hills, England

Location: at the southern end of the hills on Raggedstone Hill.
Description: a site that has seen better days but is worthy of some tidying up.

This spring has been contained in the past but is now in a sorry state. The containment has collapsed although it still supplies two nearby metal cattle troughs. To spot the spring follow the contour path around the hill for about a quarter of a mile and it can be seen just above the path on the left. Look out for the broken spout at ground level and some old slabs.

The Shadow of Ragged Stone Hill - It is said a curse befalls all who stand in the shadow of the Ragged Stone Hill on the Malvern Hills. This derives from the story recorded by Charles Grindrod, of a 14th Century monk called John, who as a punishment for seeking the company of a woman was made to crawl on all fours up Ragged Stone Hill daily, while seeking forgiveness. After months of such torment John came to his wits end and whilst staggering to the top he noticed a dark shadow coming over him. He shouted out "I will say no more prayers today, I lay instead my curse upon my punishers. May all upon whom the shadow of this rock falls die before their time, as I do!" With this he fell to his death in the valley below and his body was never found. A spiral dust cloud, in the shape of a monk, however rose from the hill following John's proclamation, whilst all below cowered under the curse thereafter....
More detail of this tale is recorded by C F Severn Burrow in the 1940s. The tragic Monk apparently came from Little Malvern Priory and the Prior who passed sentence was also living a life of profligacy, to the frustration of the recipient of the cruel punishment. The final laying of the curse was dramatised in Jean Corke's "The White Witch of Welland" with the Monk raising his arms to make a cross before falling dead.
The spirit of a prophecy is on me:
I see beyond the veil of Life and Death!
While kin of mine exist on earth
As witness to the crime ye did upon me
The Shadow shall strike Death upon its victim. [1]
1. Only a hole in the ground, but a gift to thirsty animals and birds.
[1] Severn Burrow C F. 1949 (4th impression) A Little City set on a Hill, Priory Press, Malvern, p.56/7.

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
Woodland or Forest
A Spring, Spout, Fountain or Holy Well Site
3 SPLASHES - Of Moderate Interest
Access On Foot
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