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Melton Lodge Spring

NGR 77506 45534
Site Number: C114
By Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver (C) 2012
Area 1. Malvern Town Centre Springs and Wells
Malvern Hills, England

Location: Opposite the southern end of Rose Bank Gardens
Description: a contained spring in the grounds of Melton Lodge superceding the Rushey Valley supply.

In the nineteenth century the Melton Lodge Estate consisted of two and a half acres sitting between Abbey Road and Wells Road. Melton Lodge was built c.1819 and the whole estate was sold in 1823 to a local doctor, William Bennett Garlike. It is said that he acted as the physician to the Duchess of Kent and Princess Victoria when they visited Malvern in 1830, and that each day he sent them fresh flowers.

Until the 1850s there was no public water supply and residents had to make their own arrangements. So in 1828 Dr Garlike piped spring water from the nearby Rushey Valley, under the main road, and into his garden. He had between 9,000 and 18,000 gallons per day (4.6 litres = 1 gallon), which is believed to have been stored in a substantial tank in the Stable Yard.

Between 1851 and 1861 Malvern's population nearly doubled. There wasn't enough water and more was urgently needed so in 1869 the Local Board commandeered the water from the Rushey Valley. This hugely reduced the supply to Melton Lodge but, nonetheless, when Melton Lodge Estate was advertised for sale in April 1882, it included 'an abundant supply of pure hill and spring water'.[1]

In the grounds that were once more extensive there is a water feature comprising a pond fed by spring water and an overflowing cascade. Investigation reveals that this is fed from a south>north pipeline that originates in an underground feature known as the well. This comprises an unmortared brick shaft of modest depth filled almost to the top with water and which is in fact a spring containment. A further spring containment also linked to this is now under the house immediately to the south. The garden pond was likely the overflow. This well was therefore a second supply to Melton Lodge supplementing the Rushey Valley supply.

Part of this second supply infrastructure included a vaulted underground cistern, that holds about 3000 gallons, and which still exists in the garden of Melton Lodge, together with an adjacent valve chamber. It is the overflow from this cistern that probably fed the Ward-Jackson Trough in Priory Road. The second supply was directed to the north across the estate boundary and likely also fed the Abbotsfield water features, see Location 93 for a description and map.

The second water supply system is independent of that from the Rushey Valley although an emergency pump once enabled the Rushey Valley underground tank in the Stable Yard to be supplemented from this supply. The Rushey Valley supply is believed to have been relied on to supply Melton Lodge even after the machinations of the Water Board in 1969.

In 1887 there was a bad drought and so mention that an additional well was sunk 'near the upper end of the cabstand by Melton Grange' in the Malvern Advertiser likely confirmed the digging of the well for the second suppy.[2] (Melton Lodge was also known as Melton Grange.)

1. Lynn Walsh views the garden pond fed by spring water.

[1] Malvern Advertiser, 8th July 1882.
[2] Malvern Advertiser, 10 March 1888.

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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