The Great Malvern railway station complex was built in the 1860’s and was designed to impress the wealthy visitor to the town. It remains the most ornate small station in the British Isles, with many intriguing details including iron columns with unique foliate capitols. Trains have run from this station since 1861 and originally many visitors stayed at the Imperial Hotel across the road, the largest hotel of its kind built by the Great Western Railway, (now Malvern St James’ Girls School). Facilities included a brine baths in the hotel basement, with water brought regularly by train from the brine springs in Droitwich to a small siding nearby. Visitor’s luggage was transported from the London platform up the corrugated iron tunnel known as “the worm”, direct to the hotel.
These well-to-do Victorian visitors needed to hire carriages to take them on excursions around the hills and a large stable with a prolific spring water supply existed behind the station to house the carriage horses. In 1880 the spout and trough were installed at the station entrance by the Malvern Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to water the horses when waiting here to pick up passengers. Although a piped spring water supply still exists beside the railway track, the spout has remained dry for many years. The trough is sometimes dressed with flowers as part of the MSA Well Dressing in May, but sadly these decorations are often vandalised. RG 2007