Rosebank Gardens are deceptively large - do take time to explore them.
Just inside the gates next to the hotel, overlooking the road with the bus shelter below, there used to be a house called Rosebank House. This was originally owned by Charles William Dyson Perrins. He was the grandson of William Perrins (the co-originator of the recipe of the famous Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce) and the son of James Dyson Perrins who owned the Lea & Perrins factory in Worcester. In 1918, Dyson Perrins gave this house to the people of Malvern. After this time it was used for various things, including a feeding station for soldiers in the Second World War. More recently, the building fell into disrepair and was demolished.
Although it is widely believed that Great Malvern Priory was founded in 1085 by Alwy, a monk, legend has linked the priory of Great Malvern with a still earlier habitation in the forest. The legend is that it was founded in the eighteenth year of the Conqueror by St. Werstan. St. Werstan was a monk who escaped the destruction of Deerhurst Priory by the advancing Vikings and founded a cave in the forest; his life is commemorated in the stained glass in the priory church. If you look uphill from the gates of Rosebank gardens you will see a white house - this is on the place where legend sites the small cave where St Werstan lived. As it was sometime before the founding of Malvern Priory, this cave would have been deep in the forested Chase and miles from anyone else. The white house, now a private residence called Bello Sguardo, is at the top of the 99 steps and also on the site of Saint Michael's Chapel.
Malvern Town Council is currently raising money and seeking permission to erect a statue of two buzzards with 6ft wingspans on top of a 16ft pole in this park.
To walk from Rosebank Gardens up to the Malvern Hills, walk up the right hand side of the gardens until you reach the 99 steps. Climb these steps and then cross the road and continue up the zig-zag path through the woods. Finally you will reach St Ann's Well cafe and the edge of the open spaces of the beautiful Malvern Hills.