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Owl's Hole Spring and Little Malvern Court

NGR 76470 40137
Site Number: C61
By Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver (C) 2012
Area 6. British Camp Area Springs and Wells
Malvern Hills, England

Location: at the foot of a steeply-inclined wood north-east of British Camp and north of British Camp reservoir.
Description: an abandoned spring, pumping house and reservoir, shown on the O.S Explorer 14, grid ref. 769402, as a disused reservoir.

The earliest mention of the Owl's Hole reservoir is in a newspaper report of a Council Committee meeting in 1900. It reported that '...a small auxiliary reservoir, with pumping plant, has been constructed at the Camp, north of the main reservoir...'[1] Five years later a new Act of Parliament enabled Malvern Urban District Council to extend its water supply through an Act of Parliament. Their new scheme included building, at a cost of 600 pounds, a small catchwater reservoir and pumping station here at Owl's Hole, which would pump water into the main reservoir at British Camp.[2]

Thereafter the spring flowed into a blue brick chamber through an inlet pipe and the water then pumped to it's required destination up hill from the purpose built pumping shed. There remains a small open reservoir in the immediate locality, albeit now derelict. The Malvern Hills District Council Water Dept. maintained the supply until the 1960s when a new mains extension from Jubilee Drive was laid.

The triple piston pump, which was made in 1927 by engineers Joseph Evans of Wolverhampton, was removed in August 1994 for restoration and is now in good order. The Crossley engine that powereed the pump was discovered and recovered the following year. 
Further Information:

Fishpond Spout - To the east of the Owls Hole lays the two ancient fish ponds of Little Malvern Priory and later Little Malvern Court. Early maps show a spout at the southern end of the two ponds which were fed from springs in the vicinity of Owls Hole. Landscaping has resulted in the original feature being lost as a further pond was created to fill the small valley depression. A spout does however drain the water of the two ancient ponds into the new pond on the same approximate site of the original spout.
1. The spring and valve chamber.
2. The Little Malvern Priory fishpond spout in its modern format.
3. The lakes in the grounds of Little Malvern Court, 1915.
4. Little Malvern Court and pool fed by the springs in the vicinity. 

[1] Malvern Advertiser 14 April 1900.
[2] Malvern Advertiser 3/24/31 March 1905. 

Click the Owl to discover the story of the Owl's Hole pump and engine.
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
A Spring, Spout, Fountain or Holy Well Site
Site with Malvern Water
4 SPLASHES - Well Worth Finding
Access On Foot
Not Open To Public
Accessible All Year

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