Malvern Wells Parish Council

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The Holywell

Remarkable cures have been attributed to the Holy Well in Malvern Wells since at least the 12th century. Records tell that the spring had been “long used with great success, particularly in disorders of the eyes, scrofulous cases (TB in the lymph nodes of neck), old ulcers, leprosies and other diseases of the skin." ...

 

 http://www.holywellspringwater.co.uk/

The Holywell exterior (2007)

Remarkable cures have been attributed to the Holy Well in Malvern Wells since at least the 12th century. Records tell that the spring had been “long used with great success, particularly in disorders of the eyes, scrofulous cases (TB in the lymph nodes of neck), old ulcers, leprosies and other diseases of the skin."   St Oswald was supposed to have revealed the medicinal powers of the Well to one of the monks who was a hermit on the hills.  There are stories in early books of monks wrapping cloths steeped in this water around ill patients, making them 'sleep with the wet cloths on the diseased parts'.

Dr John Wall, the famous 18thC physician, co- founder of Royal Worcester Porcelain and founder of the “water cures” in Malvern, analysed the water from the Holy Well, proving its purity.

 “Malvern Water, says Dr John Wall, is famous for containing just nothing at all”.   Dr Wall successfully used the water to treat ulcers and other skin conditions – using much the same technique as the old monks - and set up the first water treatment centre in the Malverns here in Malvern Wells at The Wells House on Holywell Road in the mid 18th Century.   According to The Malvern Song (circa 1600), water was bottled at the Holy Well and was widely distributed.



Holywell Spout &Basin (2004)

“A thousand bottles here, were filled weekly,
And many costrils rare, for stomachs sickly; The Holywell Well Room during the Well Dressing Festival (2004)
Some were to London sent,
Some of them into Kent,
Others on to Berwick went,
O praise the Lord.”

In 2008, The Holywell is being renovated with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund Malvern Heritage Project, through the local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB) office and the Malvern Spa Association. The renovation includes work on the Well Room, The Rest Room and the conversion of an area of the old bottling plant as an Education Centre.    In the near future the owners of the Holywell plan to start bottling the Holywell’s waters once again.

The Holy Well is Well Dressed annually for the Well Dressing Festival at May Day Bank Holiday Weekend but may also be found decorated with flowers and votive offerings on the dates of ancient festivals such as the Equinoxes and Midsummer’s Day.