Trail for Malvern A Special Place, The evidence Around Us
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Great Malvern Railway Station, The Worm and St James
Both the railway station and St James are examples of the work of Victorian architect, E. W. Elmslie.
Elmslie’s masterpiece was the Imperial Hotel (now Malvern St James School). At the time it was the UK’s only hotel lit by incandescent gas. Passengers had the convenience of using an illuminated tunnel linking the platform directly with the hotel’s reception (known locally as The Worm).
Look out for the local Malvern stone found in the walls!
Elmslie House, built by E.W. Elmslie in 1862 was originally part of Lawnside School. Headmistress Winifred Barrows invited Sir Barry Jackson to use Lawnside’s facilities to host producers and performers during the Malvern Festivals of 1929-39. George Bernard Shaw, J. B. Priestley, Dame Laura Knight and others visited often.
MHDC Council House
The Assembly Rooms and Pleasure Gardens opened in 1885, the complex included a large conservatory and concert hall. Leading performers including music hall legends Albert Chevalier and Marie Lloyd, and ballerina Anna Pavlova appeared at the venue.
Malvern Council bought and upgraded the venue in 1927, making it home to the Malvern Drama Festivals from 1929 to 1939. A major refurbishment in 1997 was completed with Arts Council Lottery funding so that now, renamed Malvern Theatres, the building hosts the most diverse range of entertainments found under a single roof anywhere in the country.
Built around 1848, Park View was originally built as a Hydropathic Water Cure Establishment. When the 'Water Cure' fell out of fashion the Park View became the County Hotel. It was also later used to accommodate Royal Radar Establishment apprentices.
Great Malvern Priory
Around 1085, a community of Benedictine monks began to build a Priory on land gifted by King Edward the Confessor and so Great Malvern Priory was founded.
Today the Priory is an important place, holding lots of clues to medieval life in a monastery. Visitors can see examples of Britain’s best medieval glass, and an extraordinary collection of medieval tiles and misericords (or ‘mercy seats’) from 14th and 15th centuries.
Malvern Museum is housed within the Priory Gatehouse. Built in 1480 the Gatehouse has been extended many times, but the original porters ‘squint’ (a slit for viewing visitors before opening the door) and the large oak gateposts survive.