Great Malvern, and the surrounding area of the Malvern Hills, have enjoyed a long and colourful history. You can learn more at the Malvern Museum of Local History.  


600-800 million years ago - the igneous rocks that make up the core geology of the Malvern Hills form.

400 million years ago - the Silurian limestone that forms the plains to the west of the Malvern Hills is laid down.

300 million years ago - upheavals lead to the formation of the ridge of the Malvern Hills.


1000 BC - Bronze Age settlements on the hills.

250 BC - La Tène people settled or passed through the area.


1060s - A motte-and-bailey fortress was built on top of the Iron Age fortress at British Camp.

1085 - work begins on the Malvern Priory, a Benedictine monastery in what will become Great Malvern.

1360s-90s - William Langland writes about the Malvern Hills in Piers Plowman.

1614 - The Elms School was founded in Colwall, making it the oldest preparatory school in England.

1622 - Holy Well established a source for bottling water.

1797 - Three Counties Agricultural Society founded and held first show (now the Three Counties Show).


1815 - Building at St Ann's Well erected.

1842 - James Gulley sets up his first water cure clinic, establishing Malvern as a health spa town.

1849 Charles Darwin first visits Malvern to convalesce.

1850 - Burrow brothers buy out Lea and Perrins and expand the bottling business.

1851 - J. Schweppe & Co present a bottle of "malvern" spring water to Queen Victoria at the Great Exhibition.

1851 - Anne Darwin, daughter of Charles Darwin, dies and is buried at Great Malvern Priory.

1857 - Florence Nightingale visits Malvern after the Crimean War to take the water cure.

1860 - Great Malvern Railway station opens.

1865 - Malvern College founded.

1869 - Prof Mark Roget dies and is buried in West Malvern.

1879 - the current (and restored) organ in the Great Malvern Priory is installed.

1884 - First Malvern Hills Act helps pave the way for conservation of the rapidly developing area.

1889 - Edward Elgar first lives in Great Malvern.

1893 - Malvern Girls College was founded.

1897 - The Abbey School locates to Malvern.

1899 - Edward Elgar lives at Craeg Lea, Wells Road, Great Malvern.


1900 - Lady Emily Foley dies

1902 - St James' School, founded a few years earlier, locates in West Malvern.

1908 - The Abbey School moves to Malvern Wells.

1909 - Morgan Motor Company founded.

1911 - Dyson Perrins opens the Malvern Community Hospital

1913 - C.S. Lewis was enrolled at Malvern College.

1914 - George Mallory and Arthur Benson go on an outing to climb Bredon Hill together

1929 - First Malvern Drama Festival takes place.

1932 - W.H. Auden starts teaching English at the Downs School, Colwall.

1934 - Edward Elgar dies and is buried in Little Malvern.

1942 - Telecommunications Research Establishment relocated to the Malvern College to develop RADAR.

1949 - C.S. Lewis begins writing The Chronicles of Narnia, and spending time in Malvern with J.R.R. Tolkien.

1956 - Malvern hosts the Shaw Centenary Week.

1957 - Three Counties Agricultural Society acquires the Malvern Showground site.

1958 - Charles William Dyson Perrins dies.

1959 - Designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

1965 - Malvern Festival Theatre Trust is set up.

1971 - last of the quarries closed and restored.

1971 - Malvern Instruments Ltd founded

1974 - Malvern Hills District Council forms, although boundaries changed since.

1984 - Gullet Quary restored back to nature.

1989 - Beacon café destroyed by an electrical fire.

1990 - The first year of the annual Autumn in Malvern Festival

1992 - Ellerslie Girls' School and Hillstone Prep merge with Malvern College.

1995 - Malvern Shopping Park was constructed. 


2000 Malvern Hills Science Park officially opened to promote high technology R&D businesses in the area.

2001 - DERA, the government research establishment is privatised and re-branded Qinetiq.

2002 - Geoffrey Drummer, inventor of the concept of integrated circuits dies and is buried in Malvern.

2006 - Malvern Girls College and St James's School merge to form Malvern St James.

2008 - The Malvern Hills Community Foundation set up to grow an endowment fund to support charitable activities in the Malvern area.

2011 - Malvern Cyber Security Cluster forms to support and promote the growing cyber security industry in the region. 

2012 - The Wyche Innovation Centre was founded in the former Skot Transformers building to provide an incubation space for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the town.

2012 - The first annual Malvern Festival of Innovation is held

2012 - Great Malvern officially twins with the spa town Marianske Lazne in the Czech Republic.

2015 - Route to the Hills partnership project starts to promote Malvern's rich historic and cultural offer to people of all ages.

Malvern history books