Barnards Green, Malvern, then and now
Barnards Green is a small shopping and residential area at the foot of the Malvern Hills.
This article adds some historical notes about Barnards Green to complement our tour of the shops.
Other researchers (ref 1) are investigating the history of Barnards Green and its inhabitants in much greater detail than we have and since we first drafted this page have published a very good book (ref 9) to complement the many accounts of Great Malvern, and Daphne Drake's history of Malvern Link. If you would like more information about the history of Barnards Green they are the best people to contact, through Malvern Museum.
Most publications about the town are focused on Great Malvern and the water cure. In Victorian times, 'Barnards Green', as we know it now, did not exist. In those days 'Barnards Green' referred to the ribbon development and common extending from the bottom of Avenue Road, along the Guarlford Road, to St Mary's at Guarlford; there was then little development below Great Malvern station.
In most of the nineteenth century the area we now know as Barnards Green was a sparsely populated agricultural area, below Great Malvern, mainly comprising Lyde's Farm (next to what is now 'the five ways roundabout'), Court Farm (now the site of a BUPA care home opposite the bus shelter), Pigeon House Farm on the site now occupied by the Geraldine Road car park, and a few scattered homes.
Before the era of the motor car, horses, used by tradesmen and businesses, including those on the Worcester Road, to pull carts, were grazed in fields facing onto the Guarlford Road.
Some of the Barnards Green shops had been built by the turn of the century as shopkeepers such as fishmonger Charles Bidwell and grocer William Squibbs are recorded in the 1901 census; an Ordnance Survey map shows that by 1927 many of the properties in surrounding roads had been built (ref 2).
Not so long ago there was a riding stables on the corner of Geraldine Road, now the car park, occupying part of Pigeon House Farm, where this photo was taken of Robert Bartleet, the grandson of Sir Henry and Lady Foley Lambert (source: The Guarlford History Group). In the background can be seen houses on the other side of the main road.
When we came to Malvern in the 1970s there were still black and white farm buildings to the east of the car park, probably also part of the old Pigeon House Farm buildings, which were occupied by a garden machinery business known as George Hinds. These were demolished to build Merrivale, a block of flats for the elderly.
Agricultural engineer George Arthur Hinds had been a partner in the firm McConnel Hinds of Martley, which in 1934 built a prototype flying finger hop-picking machine. George Hinds and McConnel later split up and George Hinds continued with hop-picking machines from Barnards Green, Malvern. He also designed a Rotobank mobile harvester which could be driven from the power take off of a tractor or Land Rover, and which he exhibited in Germany. He held several patents, and was also a churchwarden at Great Malvern Priory. He died in 1961 and was survived by his wife Lorna who died at Davenham care home in 2007 aged 102 years (ref 3).
On the east side of Merrivale is another care home for the elderly named 'Hastings House' which was built on part of the garden of Barnards Green House.
The photo below shows the view looking from Barnards Green House towards Hastings House. The garden in between has recently been sold and many of the trees are likely to be cut down in order to build a new bungalow.
Barnards Green House
Above a doorway of Barnards Green House is the date 1635, and we have been told the date is also inscribed on a beam inside the house, making it one of the oldest houses in Malvern. No doubt the original building has been extended more than once.
Barnards Green House in 2016
A plaque on the wall outside records that the house was once the home of Sir Charles Hastings MD (1794 - 1866), a surgeon of Worcester Hospital, who was a founder of the British Medical Association.
The photograph below is of a painting of Sir Charles Hastings, courtesy of Worcester Museum and Art Gallery
Barnards Green House was later occupied by Charles' son George Woodyatt Hastings (1825 - 1917) who is buried in the churchyard of St Mary Guarlford, with his first wife Catherine who died in 1871.
George Woodyatt Hastings was for a time Liberal MP for East Worcestershire, but he had to resign in 1892 after misappropriating funds for which he was trustee.
Crown Lea Court
To the north of Barnards Green House, opposite the junction with Poolbrook Road, are flats known as Crown Lea Court.
Crown Lea Court
These replaced a large Victorian house built by local builder George McCann which was demolished in the 1960s or 1970s.
The 1927 Ordnance Survey map of Malvern shows a large house at this position named Stratten End.
The 1881 census records Major General Robert White (1827 - 1902) and his family in residence, who as Captain White is said to have bravely led a squadron of the 17th Lancers during the Charge of the Light Brigade, at the Battle of Balaclava, on 25th October 1854.
The 1927 Ordnance Survey map also records Lloyd's Farm on the NE corner of Pickersleigh Road, also known as Lyde's Farm. At one time it was part of the Foley estate.
Location of Lyde's Farm
This is probably the half timbered (extended) Grade II listed building shown above, said to date from the 16th century, and known as Lyde's House. On the other side of Pickersleigh Road is Lyde's Road leading to Great Malvern primary school.
In 1881 Lyde's Farm had been occupied by groom George Hicks born Norton, Worcestershire, about 1851. In 1927 the land to the north of the house had not been built upon, but nowadays there are houses and a builders' merchant yard (once Underwoods, lately Bradfords).
The 1927 Ordnance Survey map records Court Farm, which was a dairy farm, on the corner of Court Road just past the present Post Office and fish and chip shop. By the time we came to Malvern in the late 1970s it was a privately owned care home for the elderly. Circa 2016 it became Court House care home run by BUPA.
The BUPA website declares that Court House is split into three separate houses, Hollybush is a specialist unit for the young physically disabled under the age of 65, and Midsummer and Beacon are set up for frail and elderly residents and offer long-term nursing, respite, convalescent and post-operative care.
In 1911 Court Farm was being managed by farmer and cow-keeper James Woodyatt born Great Malvern about 1858. Also in residence were his wife Lousia Jane; their son Richard, working on the farm; daughter Edith Rose working in the dairy; a cook; domestic servant; and a married couple working on the farm and in the dairy.
Rose Cottage was once owned by the father of water cure Doctor James Loftus Marsden (ref 4); this was a large house which stood behind the present bus shelter on the corner of Avenue Road. Rose Cottage was renamed 'The Chestnuts' circa 1910 and demolished in the 1960s in order to built the block of flat-roofed apartments now known as 'Chestnut Court'.
The bus stop with Chestnut Court behind
In 1881 Rose Cottage was occupied by John Sloggett Jenkins, born Devonport about 1822, who was the editor and proprietor of the Malvern Advertiser, and a Methodist preacher (ref 5).
In 1854 he had married Sarah Dove aged 31, spinster of Park Square, Leeds, at Oxford Place Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. John Sloggett Jenkins was then also aged 31, a teacher, of Woodhouse Grove, son of Richard Jenkins, a boot and shoe maker. The witnesses were George Reinhardt, William Dove and Benjamin Marsden. Shortly after their marriage it is said the couple left for India where he taught mathematics at the Government School in Madras.
In 1856 John Sloggett Jenkins briefly returned to England and gave evidence at the trial of his brother-in-law William Dove who was found guilty of murdering his wife Harriet and subsequently hung at York Castle on 9th August 1856.
He returned to England from India about 1860 and spent his time between London and Totnes. In 1866 he was called to give evidence to the Totnes Election Commission which was inquiring into claims that candidates bribed people to vote for them, and he was fined for burning private letters which were potential evidence (ref 6).
He came to Malvern and became proprietor and editor of the Malvern Advertiser about 1867.
In 1882 he gave evidence at the Old Bailey against a man accused of fraudulently selling shares.
In 1889 John's wife Sarah died, aged 66 years, and their daughter Margaret, who suffered from epilepsy, died three years later, at Powick, in 1895, after a long and painful illness, aged only 33 years.
John Sloggett Jenkins, proprietor of the Malvern Advertiser for 33 years, died at Rose Cottage on 31st March 1900 in his 78th year (ref 3, 7). His funeral service was at Lansdowne Methodist Church, and he was interred on the western side of Great Malvern cemetery, where his wife had been buried in July 1889.
John was survived by his son, solicitor Henry Martyn Jenkins, who married and later emigrated to Canada - Henry's son, John Henry Jenkins OBE, born at Malvern on 25th September 1898, became a Colonel in the Canadian army, serving in the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers. The London Gazette reported on 1st January 1945 that, on the advice of Canadian Ministers, King George 6th had approved John Henry Jenkin's appointment, together with that of many other officers, to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Commander of the Military Division (ref 8).
By 1911 Rose Cottage was renamed 'The Chestnuts'. In residence was Harry Lawrence Price Mann, deputy clerk of the Malvern Urban District Council with his wife three children and a servant; the house was recorded as having nine rooms. He was still there in 1927.
The Science Park
HMS Duke, a Naval training establishment was located on the edge of Barnards Green in WWII. At the end of the war TRE relocated there from Malvern College and became the Royal Radar Establishment. This later became part of DERA which was privatised by the Conservative government in 2001 to become Qinetiq.
As the work of the old research establishment has reduced the town has promoted the new Malvern Hills Science Park, adjoining Qinetiq, the aim of which is to encourage, for example, start-up and early stage technology businesses from the technology, cyber security and IT sectors to set up in the town.
The Chase School
The Chase School in Geraldine Road was built as a Secondary Modern School in the 1950s. When our children went to the school it had become a comprehensive school, a change promoted by Labour government policy; in 2011 it became an academy funded direct from government rather than through the County Council, a move promoted by the Conservative party.
The school has about 1,500 pupils so plays a significant part in the life of the town.
Last updated 6th September 2018