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Malvern Wells Municipal Cemetery
Entrance in Green Lane
Tour 1 (this page)
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
The inscription on the perdestal reads,
of the Holy Name of Jesus
On the rear of the cross, in large lettering, is the inscription:
CRUX CHRISTI CLAVIS COELI
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.
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?
View of NE corner of Malvern Wells cemetery
A view across eastern side of Malvern Wells cemetery
Looking south across the eastern side of Malvern Wells cemetery
Looking south across Malvern Wells cemetery from below the chapel
Looking SE from Malvern Wells cemetery chapel
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 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.
Looking NE through trees in Malvern Wells cemetery
Looking NE across the eastern side of Malvern Wells cemetery
The garden at the south end of Malvern Wells cemetery
Adjacent to the vehicular entrance
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.
John Samuel Abbott Dunbar
Next to the Hodgson burials is another tomb topped in pink marble next to the main path.
The inscription reads:
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.
It appears 2 years later John's wife buried her mother in the same tomb as her husband.
The inscription on the other side reads:
Not 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.
The inscription reads:
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:
Mary Dixey was a teacher at North Malvern primary school and a stalwart of the Priory church.
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.
The simple inscription reads:
Evelyn Hilda Dixey February
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.
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.
Close by is a memorial to members of the Bidwell and Topham families with links to the racecourse at Aintree and the Grand National.
The inscriptions read,
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.
The memorial reads:
His obituary can be found on the Graces Guide website. To quote:
Commemoration of Malcolm Hillier Crew
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Last updated 26th July 2020