The Belle Vue Island area is in the intersection between three roads and used to be Malvern's village green. The spring and female figure here are relatively recent additions, unveiled in 1998, and named "Malvhina".
Until the 1800s, the Malvern community consisted of about 800 people scattered in cottages around the forest. The road above was a cart track from Worcester to Ledbury, through the Wyche cutting. This track was part of the "Salt Route" which brought salt from Droitwitch to South Wales, using donkeys, where it was exported to Ireland. The fashion of the Water Cure in the Victorian age contributed to Malvern's expansion and then the arrival of the railway enabled it to grow into a sizable town.
The row of buildings along Belle Vue Terrace, the road above include
- The Crown Inn (now Lloyds bank) where Dr Wilson, the famous water cure doctor first practiced.
- The chemist's shop (now Kallistre) where Lea and Perrins who went on to create Worcester Sauce first worked in partnership with Burrows who went on to run the first water bottling plant.
- The first Malvern water bottling plant run by Burrows (now The Courtyard).
- The Unicorn Inn, a16th century staging post
The large building below, which is now the Post Office, was originally a piano shop where Edward Elgar used to give piano and violin lessons. It was here that he met his wife, while teaching her the piano.
The road stretching downhill from Belle Vue Island is now called Church Street. Originally, it was called Spital Way because it led down to the "hospital" run by the monks of the Priory. Here you could find hospitality which included refreshments, rest and healing.
The spring, Malvhina, was unveiled in 1998 and the whole terraced area of Belle Vue was restructured in 2000 and opened by Prince Andrew. The Malvern Hills District Council wanted to remove the two large plane trees here and replace them with a smaller variety because the roots are destroying much of the old drains. However, there was such a public outcry at the idea the trees were left.
Click here for instructions on how to walk up onto the Malvern Hills
Click here to for a map of the route to the hills.