This ancient spring is in a courtyard on Belle Vue Terrace, a few doors down from The Unicorn Pub. The rare visible geology of this beautiful, natural feature within a recess in the northern retaining wall is quite unique among Malvern’s springs. The spring itself was not used for bottling.
It is in front of a Victorian commercial Spa building of great historical interest, built in 1854 at the height of the ‘Water Cure’ for Lea & Perrins by Architect Edward Elmslie, (also responsible for creating a number of Malvern’s finest buildings), using the materials from an even earlier building on the site. A few years later it was taken over by their partners the Burrows brothers who bottled Malvern Water here, piped direct from St Ann’s Well and taken by cart from the courtyard to be transported around Britain. Since the 19th century, under great security and secrecy, Burrows supplied the Royal family with Table Water from this site, probably until as late as the 1950’s.
“Some of my father’s stories are a bit creaky now, but he told me that his first job from school was at Burrows the bottlers on Belle Vue Terrace. My father was born in 1924, joined Burrows in 1937- worked there for 10 months before he joined the railway. He has asked me not to give his name as he was sworn to secrecy about his job. This was because Burrows supplied the water to the Royal Family, particularly the then Queen Mother and Queen Mary, hence the subterfuge. His first task of the week was to climb the Hills at seven in the morning with a carry bag with six glass flasks. Somewhere high on the side of the hill above Rosebank House, beyond St Ann’s Well was a steel door that he unlocked to reveal the spring, which served the bottling plant. He would fill each flask with water and carry it back to the plant. Each batch delivered had to be certified pure. These flasks were sent to Bristol to be tested for purity, to comply with new regulations, before the bottled water could be transported to the Royal Family. This was around 1937.” Mr A. Knight 2006