Based on the west-side of the Malvern Hills, sits the village of Colwall consisting of fields, Tudor-styled cottages and small housing estates, it is a small parish with a great view of British Camp. Colwall is only 5 miles away from Ledbury and 3 miles away from Malvern; it consists of three areas, Colwall Green, Upper Colwall and Colwall Stone.
Upper Colwall, near the Wyche Cutting is home to Malvern Hills GeoCentre along with Café H2O and other small businesses based at the Wyche Innovation Centre. It’s based on Walwyn Road along with the Colwall Stone. The stone can be found in the heart of the village, with local legend saying that a giant rolled the stone down the Malvern Hills and left a footprint on the slopes of British Camp. The stone eventually gave name to the area that surrounded it, which also is home to local shops and service businesses.
Colwall consists of one single-track railway station, which is in between the Great Malvern and Ledbury stations. To get to the station you have to go through Colwall Tunnel, which was first dug by Welsh Miners between 1856 and 1860 before opening a year later. This tunnel was narrow, low, steep (which made it difficult for trains with rolling stock to use) and had poor airflow leading to many people collapsing from the trains fumes. Due to these factors there was pressure for a second tunnel to be constructed and after a partial collapse in 1907, this only emphasised the need for a second tunnel. Construction of the new tunnel began and finished 2 years later, opening on 2nd August 1926, the original tunnel was closed on the same day. Although it saw some use during the Second World War as the navy used it to store torpedoes. Now, it is home to a colony of lesser horseshoe bats although there have been intentions to turn it into a cycle path.
The railway also had a big influence on tourism to Colwall, especially with many coming to watch horse racing at the Colwall Park Racecourse between 1900 and 1939. Regarded as one of England’s prettiest racecourses, it consisted of, a flat steeplechase course of one and a half miles, eight fences, two ditches and a water jump, as well as a one-mile hurdle course. It was established by Roland Cave-Brown-Cave and he also built a nearby hotel, which still operates as a hotel today as the 'Colwall Park Hotel'. On 10th May 1900 he held the first meeting but by 1915, due to financial trouble, he had to sell his land (which included the racecourse and hotel) to J. Scott Bowden; who continued the use of racecourse throughout the First World War and into the 1930s, where it saw its last race on 25th May 1939. Due to the Second World War, military contractors were looking for land to purchase and fearing that they would take his land without consent; he decided to sell them the land so that they was turned into a military vehicle park. There were attempts to bring back racing in the 40’s and 60’s. Now, all that remains are parts of the running rail and a concrete base of one the stands.
Colwall was also known to be the home of the Malvern Water bottling factory. In 1890, a local family entered into a contract with Schweppes to allow them to build a bottling plant, which was constructed 2 years later. Due to Coca-Cola and Schweppes working with each from 1987, it eventually led to Coca-Cole also taking over in 1999, but this only lasted until October 2010, when Coca-Cola announced it was shutting the plant down and selling the land.