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Happy Valley Spout

NGR 77210 45951
Site Number: C126
By Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver (C) 2013
Area 1. Malvern Town Centre Springs and Wells
Malvern Hills, England

Location: on the left hand side of the footpath that climbs to St Ann's Well from the town centre.
Description: a small covered basin alongside the footpath, just where the track doubles back to the left.

From the early 1800s until the 1940s donkeys were a common form of transport on the hills. They could be hired at one of the many donkey stands in the town, one of which was located by the Unicorn at the bottom of St Ann's Road. The wooden shed about 200m downhill from the spout is Malvern's remaining donkey stable, possibly used by the beasts that were for hire outside the Unicorn for visitors to St Ann's Well and beyond. In 1856 Mrs Bowles, who lived at The Shrubbery, opposite the stable, complained that the donkey droppings outside her house were a foot deep.

Adjacent is the watercourse that emerges from the higher Green Valley Spring and likely once included a trough on a plinth at the spring head. Typically it would likely have been a stone trough, usually cut by hand from a block of sandstone. It would take one man about 3 weeks to cut the solid rock and another 3 weeks to hollow out the basin.[1]

In the summer of 1904 a Miss Simmonds of Ross on Wye came for a visit to Malvern. It had been a dry summer; St Ann's Well was reduced to a mere trickle and the donkeys clearly in need of water. Through her generosity a trough was placed by the Society Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at the donkey shed leading to St Ann's Well, the water laid on for free by the council. [2] In June 1904 Gertrude Lakin, the indefatigable secretary of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had written to Malvern Urban District Council to say that a visitor had agreed to pay for a donkey trough at the donkey stand near the zig zag path if the Council would provide the water. Miss Lakin also asked if an alteration might be made to the donkey trough at the top of Red Lion Bank, to which the Council agreed. The Council agreed to lay on a free supply of water if the NSPCA paid the estimated 5 pounds cost of laying the service pipes.[3]

1. Happy Valley Spout recently.
2. Donkeys in Happy Valley with the waters of the Green Valley Spring running down the right hand side of the track as viewed. The donkey shed can be seen mid right. The spout is on the left by the two dark figures in the distance.
3. Happy Valley Spout with the water from the Green Valley spring in the foreground.

[1] Harwood J. (undated) A 400 year Old Water Supply System, Eyam Village Society.
[2] Malvern Gazette, 12th August, 23rd and 30th September 1904.
[3] Malvern Gazette, 8 July 1904. 
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
A Spring, Spout, Fountain or Holy Well Site
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