View over Colwall Stone
Colwall shown within Herefordshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Hereford and Worcester|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
Colwall is a village and civil parish in Herefordshire, England on the border with Worcestershire, nestling into the side of the Malvern Hills. Areas of the village are known as Colwall Stone, Upper Colwall and Colwall Green along over a mile of the B4218 road. A feature of Colwall is the view of the Iron Age British Camp (Herefordshire Beacon), which forms part of the Malvern Hills. Although neither administered by the nearby town of Malvern nor the Malvern Hills District, Colwall is often included in the informal region referred to as The Malverns for the hills, and the towns and villages that surround them.
With its main focus on cricket, Colwall is a sporting village and contains the largest cricket ground in Herefordshire. In 1926 the Women's Cricket Association was founded in Colwall, and a Women's Cricket Week is held there every year. The Horton brothers Joseph and Henry, came from Colwall. and both played first-class cricket for Worcestershire. Henry went to greater fame with Hampshire.
Malvern water has formed a part of the national heritage and culture since Queen Elizabeth I made a point of drinking it in public in the 16th century, and Queen Victoria refused to travel without it. It was mentioned in 1622 in Bannister's Breviary of the Eyes:
|“||A little more I'll of their curing tell.
How they helped sore eyes with a new found well.
Great speech of Malvern Hills was late reported
Unto which spring people in troops resorted.
It was first bottled on a commercial scale in 1851 and sold as Malvern Soda and then as Malvern Seltzer Water from 1856. In 1890, Schweppes entered into a contract with a Colwall family, and built a bottling plant in 1892. The actual source of the spring is on the western side of the hills in Herefordshire. The factory is now owned by Coca-Cola & Schweppes Beverages and employs 25 people who bottle 12 million litres annually.
..."The Malvern water says Dr John Wall is famous for containing just nothing at all"...! In 1987 Malvern gained recognition as a Natural Mineral Water, a mark of purity and quality. Malvern Water is the only bottled water used by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, which she takes on her travels around the world.
On 21 October 2010, Coca-Cola announced that Malvern Water would cease production and the Colwall plant would be sold off to property developers. Coca-Cola said it will try to find roles for the 17 people working at the factory but they may face redundancy. The plant will be closed after 150 years, after Malvern Water was priced out of the market, with a market share of just 1%. Coca-Cola put this down to the size of the Colwall plant saying that it cannot produce enough water.
The village is served by a single platform railway station on the single track line between Great Malvern and Ledbury railway station at Ledbury, which passes through the Colwall Tunnels, the first of which was dug under the Malvern Hills between 1856 and 1860. Near to the station is the mock Georgian, country house style Colwall Park Hotel, purpose built in 1905 to serve the now defunct Colwall Horse Racecourse. Colwall has a state primary school, and two independent preparatory schools in the village, The Downs, Malvern College Prep. and The Elms, founded in 1614.
Colwall has expanded in the past ten years with the development of "Pedler's Field" and other parts of the village, and has a grocery shop, a fruit & veg shop, a butcher's shop, a chemist, an estate agent, a cake shop, several pubs, churches, and a post office.
Legend has it that the Colwall Stone was rolled down from the Malvern Hills by a giant whose footprint can be seen to this day on the slopes of the British Camp. The stone was replaced at some point. it took a horse and cart to take the old one away.
- Hansard HC Deb 15 February 1983 vol 37 cc268-74
- F. N. L. Poynter: Notes on a late Sixteenth-Century Ophthalmic Work
- CocaCola Malvern water web page. Retrieved 20 May 2009
- Dr John Wall (1756): Experiments & Observations on the Malvern Waters
- http://malvern.whub.org.uk/home/mhcindex/mhc-businit/mhc-businit-exper0ience/mhc-businit-cocacola.htm Malvern Hills District Council. Retrieved 20 May 200
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