Lower Toll House Spring
NGR 77491 44970
Site Number: C89
By Bruce Osborne and Cora Weaver (C) 2012
Area 4. West Malvern Springs and Wells
Malvern Hills, England
Location: This provided water for the toll house on the lower turnpike road (now the A449) Description: a wayside outfall opposite the narrow path leading from College Road to Wells Road, and opposite the site of a former toll house.
Which Wyche is which? There were two nineteenth century toll houses on the eastern side of the hills near Malvern. There was this one, which was also known as the Lower Turnpike Spring; the other was the Wyche Turnpike Spring - see site 88.
There was a turnpike gate on this site from at least 1822 and the little toll house was built on the east side of Wells Road (formerly known as the Ledbury road). In 1851 it housed the 39-year-old turnpike keeper John Jones, his wife Harriet, and their son and three daughters ranging in age from four months to 8 years. The spring was opposite the house; a map in Stevens' Directory of Malvern for 1907 marks it on the west side of the Wells Road almost directly opposite the footpath leading from College Road to the turnpike road.
Water curist Joseph Leech gleefully described how, following a visit to St Ann's Well during his visit to Malvern in 1850, he made his way 'down the side of the hills to the Malvern turnpike gate on the Ledbury road, close to which is another spout, and here again I found another group of aquatic pilgrims 'blowing themselves out'. They were nearly the same company I had fallen in with at the Hay-well and St. Anne's, and by this time they had, I suspect, swallowed enough if well shaken to make them rattle like so many Spanish water skins, or milk pail panniers.' 
Sometime in the l850s the road here was widened, the turnpike cottage demolished, and the spring piped into the public main. Today, in winter, the spring is easy to spot opposite the footpath that leads from Wells Road to College Road.
1.The spring (left), illustrated in R.J Lane, Life at the Water Cure (1846) p.75.
2. Map dated 1907 showing the site of the spring opposite the end of the footpath from College Grove.
3. The 1831 map shows the Toll House.
 Leech, J., Three Weeks in Wet Sheets being the diary and doings of A Moist Visitor to Malvern, Hamilton, Adams & Co, 4th edition (1858), p89.
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).
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Website: Click HereSUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
Celebrated Springs of
THE MALVERN HILLS
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.
1) TOPOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:
Malvern Hills - arguably Britain's original National Park
3) INFORMATION CATEGORY:
A Spring, Spout, Fountain or Holy Well Site
4) MALVERN SPRING OR WELL SITE DETAILS:
1 SPLASH - Lost - Nothing Much To See
5) GENERAL VISITOR INFORMATION:
Access By Road
Access On Foot
Free Public Access
Free Parking Nearby
Accessible All Year