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Malvern Wells Municipal Cemetery

Malvern Wells Cemetery Entrance

Entrance in Green Lane


Tour 1 (this page)

Tour 2


Very little to date has been written about Malvern Wells cemetery, a small peaceful burial ground with a chapel near the entrance, maintained by Malvern Wells Parish Council.

Plans for the cemetery were being discussed in 1888 and the cemetery was consecrated in 1892. A report appeared in the Worcester News (ref 1).


Consecration of a new cemetery

It became necessary about three years ago to provide additional burying ground for the Parish of St Peter's, and a piece of land was purchased some 100 yards below the church.

The sum of £2,700 was borrowed for the scheme, and of this amount £2,100 have been spent in building the chapel and laying out the ground, the work being done by Mr Smart. A portion of the £600 in hand will probably be devoted to building a caretaker's lodge.

Major Hill, Mr H de Satge and Messrs WH Moore and W Grundy (churchwardens) constituted the parochial committee for carrying out the work.

In accordance with the provisions of the public health Internments Act 1879, the cemetery is vested in the Upton-on-Severn Sanitary Authority, and the cost is met by a loan of £2,700 upon the rates. For purpose of repayment the ecclesiastical Parish of St Peter's has been constituted a special drainage district.

The dedication of the cemetery took place on Wednesday afternoon, an address being given by the Bishop of Coventry. The Rev D Fait, Vicar of St Peter, intoned the service, and lessons were read by the Rev EW Isaac, Vicar of Hanley Castle. The following clergy were also present - Revs JM Donne, AG Chapman, F Hopkinson, FK Clarke. There was a fairly large congregation.

You will find a plan of the graves on the Malvern Wells Parish Council website where there are links to old and new spaces. These plans showing plot locations are a little difficult to interpret, but having found one grave and guided by date you can navigate to the one you are looking for.

Malvern Wells cemetery sign

It appears not every grave is marked on the plan.


Turn into Green Lane from the Wells Road, pass by St Peters church on the corner now apartments which has a small burial ground behind, and proceed further down; it's a narrow lane so take care. Malvern Wells Cemetery is on the right; on the left is a small pull in opposite the entrance.

Alternatively approach from the Three Counties showground and turn left into Green Lane where the road forks. Vehicular access is from the road along the east boundary - turn left just below the cemetery entrance.

General views of Malvern Wells cemetery

These photos were mostly taken when we first visited on 3rd November 2017.

Malvern Wells cemetery chapel

The entrance to Malvern Wells cemetery chapel

Sisters of Mercy

On the right as you enter the cemetery is a memorial depicting the crucifixion of Christ marking the burial plot of the Sisters of the Community of the Holy Name who once lived at the Convent in Ranelagh Road, Malvern Link. There may once have been individual grave markers, since removed and possibly lying against the west wall.

Burial plot of the Community of the Holy Name

Burial plot of the Community of the Holy Name

Many of the nuns were buried here prior to the Community buying part of Haysfield at the rear of the convent in Malvern Link to use as the Sister's own 'garth'. Later burials took place at Haysfield from 1961 onwards - the funeral party making their way in procession from the chapel at the Convent to the garth (ref 2)

The Community of the Holy Name was located in Ranelagh Road between 1887 and 1990 when it moved to Derbyshire and the convent was sold for development; see their new website Community of the Holy Name. A further move to the small town of Hessle in Yorkshire is planned.

Memorial of mission sisters

The inscription on the perdestal reads,


Mission Sisters

of the Holy Name of Jesus

On the rear of the cross, in large lettering, is the inscription:


Which translates as,

The cross of Christ is the key to heaven

Alan Barnett tells us that his great aunt 'Sister' Harriet Elizabeth Lineker (1845 - 1931) is buried there (ref 3). The 1911 census records she had been 'Sister in Charge' of the House of the Good Shepherd an establishment for 'wayward' girls in Ranelagh Road; there were 34 people in residence and the property was described as having 22 rooms and 5 dormitories. Next door were St Monica's described as a 'rescue maternity home' having 13 rooms, which had once been used as an orphanage, and the Convent of the Holy Name having 65 rooms where the Sisters were based.

In 1871 Sister Elizabeth, as she was later known, was training to be a teacher at the Salisbury Diocesan Training College, within the Liberty of the Cathedral Close. The College had the distinction of being one of the first five teacher training colleges to be founded by the National Society for the Church of England in order to provide teachers for Church of England schools. Opened in January 1841 with just one student the college steadily grew in numbers and by the 1860s had settled in King's House where it remained until its closure in 1978. The building is now the site of Salisbury Museum.

Sister Elizabeth was a mistress of St Paul's Girls' School in London before entering the Novitiate.

The "Guarlford Story" records that circa 1906 Rev Hubert Jones had enlisted assistance from the Sisters to run mothers' meetings and classes. They also helped unmarried mothers, and in later times assisted with Sunday School at Madresfield (ref 4). Sister Elizabeth and Sister Gabriella from the Convent assisted in the parish. They had their headquarters and Mission Room in the Stables of the Rectory, which became known as The Rectory Room.

Looking NE

Turning 180 degrees and looking across the NE corner of the cemetery we wondered if some of the memorials might have been removed in order to facilitate mowing the grass?

NE corner of Malvern Wells Cemetery

View of NE corner of Malvern Wells cemetery


Malvern Wells Cemetery

A view across eastern side of Malvern Wells cemetery

Malvern Wells Cemetery

Looking south across the eastern side of Malvern Wells cemetery

Malvern Wells Cemetery

Looking south across Malvern Wells cemetery from below the chapel

Malvern Wells Cemetery

Looking SE from Malvern Wells cemetery chapel

Hodgson family

The four graves with pink marble ledger stones surrounded by iron railings belong to the Hodgson family.

William Pritchit Hodgson died 1907 was a retired army surgeon.

His wife Emma Martin had died in 1897 so was one of the earliest burials; a tablet commemorating her which was once in St Peter's church at the top of Green Lane is now stored in the cemetery chapel.

Their son civil engineer William Hodgson died at Abbey Cottage, Malvern Wells in 1911 (ref 5). Graces Guide records his obituary:

WILLIAM HODGSON, born at Nottingham on the 7th September, 1851, died at Malvern Wells on the 20th August, 1911. Trained on the Midland Railway, under the late Mr. J. S. Crossley, he passed the whole of his professional career in the service of that company, acting as Resident Engineer on many new lines and other works, and for the last 10 or more years of his service being Engineer-in-charge of the whole Southern Division, now subdivided into two districts. Mr. Hodgson was elected an Associate of The Institution of Civil Engineers on the 5th February, 1878, was subsequently placed in the class of Associate Members and was transferred to the class of Members on the 23rd March, 1888.

William and Emma's daughter Emma Susanna Hodgson did not marry and died at Malvern Wells in 1932.

The Hodgsons had first been recorded at Malvern in the 1861 census, so would have been well known members of the community.

Malvern Wells Cemetery

Looking NE through trees in Malvern Wells cemetery

Malvern Wells Cemetery

Looking NE across the eastern side of Malvern Wells cemetery

Malvern Wells Cemetery

The garden at the south end of Malvern Wells cemetery

Adjacent to the vehicular entrance

Malvern Wells burial ground and chapel

Looking north back towards Malvern Wells cemetery chapel along main path


We are not aware of any survey of the memorials in Malvern Wells cemetery but we have added Malvern Wells cemetery to findagrave.com so that you can add your own memorials. Here are some we have noted.

Hodgson family

Click for Hodgson family mentioned above.

John Samuel Abbott Dunbar

Next to the Hodgson burials is another tomb topped in pink marble next to the main path.

Tomb of John Samuel Abbott Dunbar

The inscription reads:

In loving memory of John Samuel Abbott Dunbar, eldest son of the late John Samuel Abbot of Abbey Vale, Torquay Devon, born 6th September 1838, died 17th June 1902.

He had appended Dunbar to his surname by licence, the connection being his father, a builder, had married Helen Dunbar, daughter of wealthy ship-owner and merchant Duncan Dunbar.

He married Laura Elizabeth Glover at London in 1876 and seems mainly to have lived on private means in London. The 1901 census records him latterly living at 'The Shrubbery' in Malvern Wells.

Elizabeth Glover

It appears 2 years later John's wife buried her mother in the same tomb as her husband.

Tomb of Laura Elizabeth Glover

Elizabeth Glover

The inscription on the other side reads:

In loving memory of Elizabeth Glover, widow of the late Edgar Augustus Glover, and the dearly loved mother of  Laura E Abbott Dunbar, born 15th March 1821, died 31st November 1904.

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.

Harry Beeden

PoppiesNot far away we glanced down and saw an inscription in memory of Sergeant Harry Beeden who had been killed by a shell at Flanders on 3rd November 2017, exactly 100 years to the day of our first visit to Malvern Wells cemetery.

Memorial to Harry Beeden

The inscription reads:

Also of Harry Beeden killed in action in France Nov 3rd 1917, beloved husband of Kate Beeden and beloved only son of H and AM Beeden, aged 27 years "Not my will but thine O Lord"

The Malvern Remembers website records that he had been born at Singapore in 1890 and was educated at Musselborough Grammar School and Edinburgh High School where he figured highly on the prize list, distinguishing himself at sports and being the captain of several clubs. After his parents moved to Malvern, he was a member of St Peter’s Choir.

The inscription on another edge of the kerbing around the grave records the death of his mother:

In loving memory of A M Beeden, wife of H Beeden who died May 19th 1936 aged 74. "Mary the good fell asleep"

Mary Dixey

Mary Dixey was a teacher at North Malvern primary school and a stalwart of the Priory church.

Grave of Mary Dixey

She is buried in Malvern Wells cemetery next to her mother Evelyn Hilda Dixey, a relative of Charles William Dyson Perrins, who was awarded the MBE for her services to the Red Cross Auxiliary Hospitals in WWI.

Mary Dixey memorial inscriptionThe simple inscription reads:


Evelyn Hilda Dixey February

12th 1967

Mary Dixey

June 7th 2009

You can read more about the Dyson Perrins family on our page about Davenham.

Pearl Priscilla Sayle

Pearl Priscilla Sayle was the sister of Gladys Sayle the founder and headmistress of Ellerslie school for girls in Abbey Road.

Memorial Pearl Priscilla Sayle

The inscription reads:

In loving memory of our darling sister Pearl Priscilla Sayle, born Holy Innocents Day 1897, passed over September 6th 1939. In his presence is the fullness of joy.

Bidwell Topham

Close by is a memorial to members of the Bidwell and Topham families with links to the racecourse at Aintree and the Grand National.

Bidwell Topham memorial

The inscriptions read,

In ever loving memory of Gladys Mary Bidwell (nee Topham) born 23rd April 1884, died 17th September 1942.

Patricia Mary Bidwell-Topham born 1st December 1926, died 15th March 1982.

James Christopher Howard Bidwell-Topham born 26th May 1923, died 17th November 2005.

Eternal rest grant unto them O'Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Edward William Topham who began the family's association with Aintree in 1839 was a former Clerk of the Course; the family had lived at Paddock Lodge, the famous house adjacent to Aintree’s winners’ enclosure. Mirabel Topham nee Hillier was another well known supporter of the racecourse.

Malcolm Hillier Crew

Malcolm Hillier Crew is remembered by a uniquely decorated memorial at the NW corner of the cemetery, just behind the nuns' burial plot near the entrance.

Malcolm Hillier Crewe memorial

The memorial reads:

For of such is the kingdom of heaven

In precious memory of Malcolm Hillier Crew who entered into fuller life May 31st 1932 aged 54

His obituary can be found on the Graces Guide website. To quote:

Malcolm Hillier Crew was manager of the carriage and wagon department of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway, Ashford, at the time of his retirement seven years ago. He was born in 1877 and educated at Cheltenham College. He also received a two years' course of training at Owens College, Manchester. He then became a pupil of Sir John Aspinall at the Horwich Works of the late Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, and subsequently entered the service of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, becoming assistant works manager and later manager of the Longhedge Works, Battersea. On the fusion of that railway with the South Eastern Railway he was transferred to the carriage and wagon department at Ashford. Mr Crew died suddenly in Malvern on 29th May 1932, at the age of 54 years.

Headstone of Malcolm Hillier Crew

Commemoration of Malcolm Hillier Crew


Click for next page



  1. Information on the consecration of Malvern Wells cemetery, from Bernette Arrowsmith, 13th June 2019
  2. Communication from Sister Julie, Community of the Holy Name, June 2019
  3. Communication from Alan Barnett, July 2020
  4. The Guarlford Story
  5. National Probate Calendar
  6. England and Wales census


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