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Ward-Jackson's Trough

NGR 77558 45590
Site Number: C95
By Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver (C) 2012
Area 1. Malvern Town Centre Springs and Wells
Malvern Hills, England

Location: in Priory Road, near the junction with Abbey Road
Description: a spout in an arched niche in the wall, now with neither trough nor water

Melton Lodge Estate, situated between Abbey Road and the Wells or Ledbury Road comprised two and a half acres, with 388 ft fronting Abbey Road and 315 ft fronting the Wells Road. Its water supply, known for many years in the mid-nineteenth century as Ward-Jackson's, issued from a heading driven into the sandstone of the Rushey Valley.[1] Dr William Bennett Garlick (or Garlike) lived locally and acted as physician to the Duchess of Kent and Princess Victoria when they visited Malvern in 1830 and each day sent fresh flowers to the Royal Visitor.[2] In 1828 Dr Garlick had the water piped under the main road and into his garden at Melton Lodge. The spring was prolific, issuing 9,000 - 18,000 gallons per day. (4.6 litres = 1 gallon) and was one of three sources that fed Spa mill, just above Pool Brook. The mill had a wheel 19 feet high. James Betteridge was the last tenant at the mill from 1839-44, and gave up the living through shortage of water.[3]

In 1867 Major Charles William Ward-Jackson bought Melton Lodge. Unlike Dr Gully, the Major used his water for the good of the town and supplied several properties in the Southfields (Priory, Abbey, College and Orchard roads). To protect his rights he charged a nominal one shilling per annum to ensure his rights.

The source was commandeered by the Local Board in 1869 and used to supply one third of the town. The supply to Melton Lodge was consequentially much reduced; in 1873 the Surveyor measured the flow as 3 gallons in 1 minute 20 seconds, giving just over 3,000 gallons per day.[4] Unlike Dr Gully, Ward-Jackson used his pure water supply for the good of the town and this likely ultimately led to the commandeering of the source. Major Ward-Jackson wanted to provide a new public water-drinking fountain that he could connect to his own water supply, which was commonly known as Jackson's Spring. The fountain was installed in May 1868 at Ward-Jackson's expense and consisted of a basin with cups attached to it, and from the basin the water flowed into an animal trough. The fountain was surrounded by stonework into which the Major's crest and initials had been incised. It was situated on a piece of land donated by wealthy neighbour Miss Mary Palmer of South Abbotsfield on condition that none of the trees on the site be felled. Miss Palmer owned large tracts of land in Malvern having inherited them from her uncle Oliver Mason, formerly one of the largest landowners in Malvern. Since 1774 the Mason family had owned the Grange Estate, which comprised the former monastic land south of the Priory gatehouse.

During April 1882 Melton Lodge Estate was advertised for sale and included "an abundant supply of pure hill and spring water". Later that year it was decided that the springs would thenceforth be known as The Rushy Valley Springs.[5]

By the year 1904 the horses' drinking trough was broken, and Miss Lakin of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals applied to the local Council to erect a replacement.[6] The Council rarely turned down such fine philanthropic gestures. People remember that in the 1930s the magnificent Wilson Memorial Fountain, which stood above the trough, used to overflow into the horse trough; from there the water flowed into a dog trough and then into the drain.[7] The trough probably ran dry in the 1940s, when Wilson's Fountain was dismantled, and today it is dry and the spout and trough missing.

Ward Jackson's Trough.

Further Information:
In Priory Road, at the junction with Orchard Road, is a fluted Victorian pillar box. It is one of only fifty made in 1857 by Smith and Hawkes. They were designed by the Post Office in conjunction with the Government's Department of Science and Art. There is another identical pillar box along the Worcester Road in Malvern Link, and yet another in Peachfield Road near the junction with St Andrew's Road. It is clear from the size of the aperture that letters were much smaller in the old days.

[1] Malvern Advertiser 9 March 1889.
[2] Malvern Advertiser 6 December 1890.
[3] Malvern Advertiser, 27 February 1864.
[4] Malvern Advertiser 11 Feb 1871/ 6 Dec 1873/ 6 June 1874.
[5] Malvern Advertiser 8 July 1882.
[6] Minutes Malvern Urban District Council 29 March 1904. 
[7] Frederick Covins, Malvern Between the Wars, Book Production Services, Malvern (1981) p.24.
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
Built Up Location
A Spring, Spout, Fountain or Holy Well Site
3 SPLASHES - Of Moderate Interest
Access By Road
Access On Foot
Free Public Access
Free Parking Nearby
Disabled access
Accessible All Year

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