Great Malvern

Descriptive Notes

The church originally served a Benedictine Priory, founded in 1085. It was largely rebuilt between 1420 - 60 and is one of the most important pieces of Perpendicular architecture in the county. The crellatations and stone panelling were widely copied.


Ancient Parish [25]
A chapel at Newland, which was a separate Civil Parish in 1866 and a separate Ecclesiastical Parish in 1728.
A hamlet at Guarlford, which was a separate Civil Parish in 1894 from the part of this parish not in Great Malvern Urban District. It was a separate Ecclesiastical Parish in 1866 by the union of this hamlet & part of Madresfield Ancient Parish.

Further ecclesiastical boundary changes were:
In 1869 to create Great Malvern Holy Trinity Ecclesiastical Parish.
In 1872 to create Great Malvern Christ Church Ecclesiastical Parish.
In 1926 to create Wyche Ecclesiastical Parish. [25]


O.S. Ref: SO775458
8 miles S.W. of Worcester

Parish Church

St.Mary & St.Michael (The Priory)

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

Archdeaconry & Diocese of Worcester [1]


Lower Pershore [11] [25] [28]

Poor Law Union

Upton-upon-Severn [3] [25]

Adjoining Parishes

Leigh; Madresfield; Powick; Severn Stoke; Hanley Castle; Colwall (Herefordshire); Mathon; Cradley (Herefordshire) [1]

Parish Registers at Worcestershire Archives

[Contact details]

    Coverage Source
Microform Christenings 1556-1974 [5]
  Marriages 1556-1973 [5]
  Burials 1556-1940 [5]
  Banns 1754-[1763] [5]
Transcripts Christenings &
1556-1837 [27]
  Marriages 1556-1837 [27]
Originals Banns 1824-63 [12]

Bishops' Transcripts

Begin 1612 Worcestershire Archives [22]

International Genealogical Index (IGI)


Parish Registers Births / Christenings 1709-1868
  Marriages 1709-1875
Countess of Huntingdon Births / Christenings 1828-1837
  Marriages 1709-1875

Register Copies

The Priory (Part 1) Christenings & Burials 1556/1708/9 Marriages 1556/1753
The Priory (Part 2) 1709-1837 Marriages 1754-1837

At BMSGH Reference Library [7]
Great Malvern, The Priory Part 1 Christenings & Burials 1556-1708/9, Marriages 1556-1753/4, Part 2 Christenings & Burials 1709-1837 Marriages 1754-1837

Gt. Malvern Priory Church Registers of Burials 1556-1709, Marriages 1556-1754,

At Society of Genealogists [68]
MALVERN, GREAT : Christenings 1556-1644, 1654-1801, Marriages 1556-1644, 1658-59, 1666-1754, Burials 1556-1648, 1654-1809, will of John Webb, vicar of parish 1724 [Microfilm.] Published Salt Lake City : Genealogical Society of Utah, 1967

MALVERN, GREAT : Christenings 1801-68, Marriages 1754-1864, banns 1754-63, Burials 1801-37 [Microfilm.] Published Salt Lake City : Genealogical Society of Utah, 1967

MALVERN, GREAT (Priory church) : Christenings 1556-1840, Marriages 1556-1644, 1658-1837, banns 1754-63, Burials 1556-1837; will of Rev. John Webb, adult baptism 1866, terrier 1713 Published : Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, 1980 Source D: BMSGH

Monumental Inscriptions and Associated Documents

At Worcestershire Archives [51]
St.Mary & St.Michael (The Priory)

As recorded on Handlist of Monumental Inscriptions and Associated Documents) [51]
Inscriptions on gravestones in churchyard (1973 transcript)
Inscriptions in North Transept, choir & aisles (1983 transcript)
Inscriptions on memorials in nave & aisle (1982-3 transcript)
Inscriptions on memorials in south nave, aisle floor & behind communiontable (1980 transcript)

Great Malvern Cemetery: Transcripts of register of burials (loose sheets) Nov 1861-Dec1942 [52]

At Society of Genealogists [59]
MALVERN, GREAT (Priory) : Monumental Inscriptions: in Bloom's Worcestershire Monumental Inscriptions, part 1 [Manuscript.] IN: Bloom's Worcestershire Monumental Inscriptions, part 1 Published , Nd. Author Bloom, J Harvey (transcriptions.)

War Memorials

For the names of those included on Malvern WW1 Memorial, located outside Malvern Library in Graham Road, Malvern, see:

For the names of those included on Malvern WW2 Memorial, located outside Malvern Library in Graham Road, Malvern, see:

For the names of those included on a War Memorial at Malvern Priory, see:

For the names of those included on a Battle of Britain 70th Anniversary plaque at Malvern College see:

For the names of those included on a Boer War Memorial at Malvern College see:

For the names of those who died on active service since WW2 on a memorial at Malvern College see:

For the names of those on a WW1 memorial at Malvern College see:

For the names of those on a WW2 memorial at Malvern College see:

Census Records

All the censuses between 1841 and 1901 are now available on a number of fee-paying (Subscription or PayAsYouGo) sites including,, and The 1911 census is available in full or in part on some of these sites. We are unable to advise on the choice of site since researchers' personal preferences will be influenced by the content and search facilities offered by each site. Some sites offer a free trial.

Access to the library edition of is widely available at most record offices, including Worcestershire Archives, and some libraries. You are advised to book time on their computers before making a visit.

A free-to-view site is being developed at for the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1891 censuses. Coverage of Worcestershire parishes is rather sparse at this time.

Census returns can usually be viewed at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' Family History Centres.

Some repositories offer census details on microform, disc or printed copy. These include:

1841-1901 at Worcestershire Archives [14]

Search Services (Fee paying) - BMSGH and Independent

Burial 1660-1860 Worcestershire Burial Index
Marriage see Worcestershire Marriage Index

Manorial Records

Worcestershire Archives [50]
Court rolls 1716-28, 1729-58, 1800-08, 1820-1909; Maps by John Doharty, junior 1744; Presentments, view of frankpledge, copies of court roll, case and opinion re tithes 1754-63 & [18th cent.]

Schools Records

The following school records are original documents. Note reference number and contact staff at Worcestershire Archives:
Great Malvern Wesleyan School
Summary of attendances and fees register - 1876 - 95 - Ref: BA 7430
Malvern District Education Committee
Attendance book - 1936 - 58 - Ref: BA 5703

The records of schools and other educational establishments in this parish are detailed in a handlist available at Worcestershire Archives. The list refers to original documents so you will need to note the reference number and contact staff.

Other Sources

A number of local family history books relating to Malvern are listed by the Malvern Family History Society on their website. More details can be found at ( Those listed include:

The Malverns Images of England by Brian Iles. Tempus Publishing Ltd - ISBN 0 7524 3667 8
Around Malvern in Old Photographs by Keith Smith - ISBN 0-86299-587-6 - Published by Alan Sutton Publishing, Gloucester
Aquae Malvernensis by Cora Weaver & Bruce Osbourne - ISBN 1- 873809- 07- 7
The Malvern Water Cure by John Winsor Harcup - ISBN0-9507540-3-X
The Malverns by Pamela Hurle -ISBN 0-85033-8190-0
Bygone Malvern by Pamela Hurle - ISBM 0-85033-725-9

At Society of Genealogists :-
Billings directory & gazetteer 1855 [Malvern extracts] : Malvern directories (1820-62) - Published Malvern Wells : Kerry Tombs
Guide to Malvern priory church [c. 1969] - Published St. Albans : The Campfield Press - Author: Hamand, L A
A history of Malvern - Published Stroud : Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1978 - Author: Smith, Brian S
The Malvern register 1865-1904 ... revised ..- Published Malvern, 1905 - Author: Cookson, R T C
Worcestershire directory 1820 [Malvern extracts] : Malvern directories (1820-62) - Published Malvern Wells : Kerry Tombs
Slater's Worcestershire directory 1862 [Malvern extracts] : Malvern directories (1820-62) - Published Malvern Wells : Kerry Tombs


An extract from the Topographical Dictionary of England 1831 by Samuel Lewis:

MALVERN (GREAT), a parish in the lower division of the hundred of PERSHORE, county of WORCESTER, 8 miles (W.) from Worcester, containing, with the chapelry of Newland, 1693 inhabitants. This place is romantically situated on the eastern declivity of a range of hills, separating the counties of Worcester and Hereford and extending from north to south for nearly nine miles, the greatest height being one thousand four hundred and forty feet, and varying from one to two miles in breadth from east to west: of these the most prominent are the Worcestershire and Herefordshire beacons, the summits of which command most extensive and interesting views of the surrounding country; comprehending, in the distance, the counties of Monmouth, Radnor, Brecon, Salop, Warwick, and Stafford; and nearer, the counties of Worcester, Hereford, and Gloucester, with their stately cathedrals, together with the fertile and richly-cultivated tract of country watered by the Severn, and finely clothed with wood. Around the base of the Herefordshire beacon is a double intrenchment, from six to twelve feet deep, and in some places more than thirty feet broad, dug by Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, as a boundary between his portion of Malvern Chase and that belonging to the Bishop of Hereford; and in other parts of these mountains are similar works. The more ancient portion of the village is irregularly built, and consists of houses scattered on the declivity of the mountain; but since the celebrity of the springs and the purity of the air have made it a place of fashionable resort, handsome ranges of modern houses have been erected; and, in detached situations and at different degrees of elevation, several beautiful villas have been built as private summer residences.

There are a chalybeate and a bituminous spring, the water of which is remarkable for its purity, and for its gently aperient and diuretic properties: the former is in the eastern part of the village, near the church; the latter, called Holywell, is situated two miles to the south of it; and on the eastern ridge of the hill, and at St. Anne's well, on the north side of the Worcestershire beacon, there are some respectable hotels, and every accommodation has been provided for drinking the waters, and for hot and cold bathing: the public library is a neat building of the Doric order; and in every direction there are romantic and agreeable walks.

The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Worcester, rated in the king's books at £8. 3. 4, endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £400 royal bounty, and in the patronage of Edward Foley, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, formerly the church of the Benedictine abbey, was, at the dissolution, purchased by the inhabitants, and made parochial: it is a venerable and elegant cruciform structure, partly rebuilt under the direction of Sir Reginald Bray, in the reign of Henry VII, and combining the Norman and the later English styles of architecture, with a fine square embattled tower rising from the centre; the exterior is in the later English style, and, with the exception of the south side, which, from its having been anciently concealed by the cloisters of the abbey, is of plainer character, exhibits a good specimen of that style, and the north porch is very rich; the interior retains much of the original character ; the nave is in the Norman style, with low massive piers and circular arches ; the chancel is in the later English style, and is lighted by a fine range of clerestory windows, with rich and elegant tracery; the east window and that in the north transept are particularly beautiful, and several portions of the ancient stained glass, and of the original wood work in the roof, the carved seats, and other evidences of its antiquity, are remaining. A few years since, the church was repaired and beautified at the expense of the neighbouring gentry, to commemorate which a small window was fitted in, having the arms of the various benefactors superbly emblazoned upon it. It has lately received an addition of three hundred and eighty sittings, of which two hundred and eighty are free, the Incorporated Society for the enlargement of churches and chapels having contributed £260 towards defraying the expense. There is a place of worship for Methodists. A Sunday school, in which about ninety children are instructed, and a school of industry, are supported by subscription.

Here was a hermitage, endowed by Edward the Confessor, which, after the Conquest, was converted into a Benedictine priory: an abbey and conventual buildings having been erected, in 1083, by Aldewine, the hermit, and endowed by Gislebert, abbot of Westminster, with ample possessions, it became, in consequence, subordinate to the abbey of Westminster, and subsisted till the dissolution, when the revenue was estimated at £375. 0. 6.: of this abbey, the parish church, already noticed; the ancient gateway, a beautiful specimen of the later English style; and the abbey barn, a building in the decorated style; are the remains. A celt, of a metal apparently between brass and copper, about five inches long, with a beautiful patina, and a small ring, was found here, at a considerable depth below the surface of the ground, about the middle of the last century.


Last Updated: 28/10/2016