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Malvernbury Spring

NGR 77663 45173
Site Number: C93
By Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver (C) 2012
Area 4. West Malvern Springs and Wells
Malvern Hills, England

Location: in the garden of Malvernbury, a large house at the southern end of Abbey Road.
Description: a prolific flow of water into a jaded ornamental pool.

The original house named Malvernbury was built in 1854 for the accommodation and treatment by Dr Walter Johnson of his hydropathic patients. His most famous patient was Florence Nightingale.

During the Crimean War she became extremely ill with Crimean Fever (now thought to have been brucellosis). Coupled with stress, she came to Malvern many times to recover her health. Malvern was her hospital and Dr Walter Johnson her chief physician. It was he who almost certainly saved her life. She arrived in August 1857 in a state of almost total collapse and stayed here for five weeks in a room at the top of the house. She came again for two separate weeks in the summer of 1858 and for nine days at the end of 1867. Dr Johnson moved to London in October 1890 and the house was sold. His Malvernbury was demolished in 1907 and the present house was built on the site in the Arts and Crafts style and is reminiscent of the 1890s work of C.F.A Voysey.

The 1885/6 first edition O.S plan of the house, and its two acres of grounds, shows a drinking fountain in a semi-circular niche at the bottom of the garden, and a cistern where the ornamental pool is now. Both niche and fountain have disappeared but Florence Nightingale may have seen the ornamental pool in these gardens.

Today the water flows beside the trees on the south side of the garden and it can be seen in a chamber covered with a slate lid. It is likely that this water supplied the pool and the drinking fountain, and the overflow is part of the same water system as Piers Well.

1. Florence Nightingale in the Crimea, from Punch 1854 p.184.
2. The pool.
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
Built Up Location
A Spring, Spout, Fountain or Holy Well Site
Site with Malvern Water
4 SPLASHES - Well Worth Finding
On Private Property
Not Open To Public

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