Fine Future for Foley Fountain
Have you ever wondered about a few crumbling remains of an ancient fountain that sit on the rockery outside the main entrance to the Mount Pleasant Hotel on Belle Vue Terrace? Not any more! Cora has not only researched the history of this 'royal' treasure but has also masterminded its restoration.
In August 1830 the young Princess Victoria and her mother, the Duchess of Kent, arrived in Malvern for a ten-week holiday to improve their health. The Duchess also celebrated her birthday when the royal couple walked up the new, winding road (afterwards appropriately named Victoria Drive) leading from the town the St Ann's Well. There they viewed the new marble basin with its fish-head spout that Edward Foley, Lord of the Manor, had installed for the occasion. Many years later, in 1892 Lady Emily Foley replaced the spout and basin with a new dolphin-head spout and basin and the redundant duo were removed to Mount Pleasant, where you can still see their remains.
After 174 years the old basin has survived but in a sorry state. Cora spotted the damage and called in stonemason Simon Allard. Emergency restoration was carried out in November 2004 following lightening financial assistance from Malvern Civic Society. With the help of the owners of the Mount Pleasant, Cora has organised several fund raising activities to help with the costs involved.
Discovering Springs and Wells lecture by Cora Weaver and Bruce Osborne - Well Wardens are invited and welcomed by the Civic Society to this lecture on 11 February next year. The venue is the Christchurch Hall in Avenue Road commencing 7.30. This is an exciting opportunity to meet other Springs and Wells enthusiasts and to catch up on what is happening around the hills.
Heritage Lottery Funding for restoration of up to 20 Springs and Wells sites - the good news is that the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Officers in conjunction with the Malvern Hills Conservators have confirmed that the work on the water features can now commence, with a view to completion by May 2005. A lot of work has gone into preparing this bid over several years and at last the project can move forward. Further details were given in our recent editorial in the Civic Society Newsletter, which Well Wardens receive.
Abberley and Malvern Hills European Geopark - designated in 2004, the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark falls within the counties of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire and Worcestershire and covers 1250 square kilometres. The geological and geomorphological significance of the area has been recognised for many years with 62 Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS) present. Springs and Wells are a distinct interest group enabling residents and visitors to appreciate what a very special area they have in the Geopark. Rocks nearly 700 million years old are represented over the Geopark and a journey across the area will take you through 500 million years of Earth history. We are extending our activities to encompass Springs and Wells throughout the Geopark and will be bringing further news of developments shortly. If you are interested in getting involved contact Cora or Bruce.
It's not all bad but let us hope that our last Malvern Water bottler is not put out of business by this controversy.
Please note - that Malvern Hills Well Wardens, founded in 2001, are not associated with the group of people calling themselves Malvern Spa Association and we take no responsibility for their actions or statements.
In brief - let us have your Springs and Wells news for inclusion in our occasional newsletter, we want to hear from you. Thank you to the local enthusiast who kindly sent a book to us, the title was very amusing and we look forward to reading its contents. Back numbers of newsletters are available on request; please send a large sae. In the meantime do have a look at our web site directory accessible from the green panel above left.