Wynds point is the pass between British Camp and Black Hill, where the A449 now passes over the hills. There is a large car park, called British Camp car park, serving visitors to the hills. This was historically one of the primary points for travellers to cross the Malvern Hills.

The hills have historically formed a boundary between different lands. In Anglo Saxon times they divided the kingdoms of Hwicce in the East and Magonsaete in the West. Then, in Medieval England, they showed the boundary of the hunting territories of various wealthy landowners. Now they still mark an important boundary between Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Wynds point has long been a gateway between territories and therefore a focus for trade.

In the 13th century, the Earl of Gloucester, nicknamed the Red Earl, was granted hunting rights to the East of the Malvern Hills by being made "Lord of the Chase".  The Red Earl started straying over to the West side of the hills that was the territory of the Bishop of Herefordshire. The bishop accused the Red Earl of trespass and a hearing was held at Wynds Point on 2nd February in 1278. The Bishop arrived with priests bearing lighted tapers and threatened to excommunicate anyone who did not agree with him. The Earl withdrew and the jury of six men each from Herefordshire and Worcestershire found in favour of the Bishop.  This dispute is thought to have resulted in the Shire Ditch, a ditch running much of the length of the hills, being fortified and used as a boundary.

The road over Wynds Point was known to be hard going and increasingly dangerous as it failed to cope with the growing traffic.  By 1856, the road on the Malvern side had been reported as dangerous. Eventually, a reclusive inventor called William Johnson who lived at Wynds Point decided to sort out the road himself. Using his own money he set about blasting the wide, curving road from Wynds Point to Little Malvern that we know today. Rather than thanking him for this, he was harangued on all sides for causing disruption and delays.  He eventually ran out of money and stopped the road at the turning to Little Malvern. It was also around this time that William Johnson built the house at Wynds Point, which was then acquired by singer Jenny Lind after his death in 1883. She retired to live at Wynds Point until her death in 1887. She lived in two cottages made into one house.  One of these cottages previously belonged to William Johnson who built the road.

The Malvern Hills Hotel has stood at Wynds point for many years under various names including British Camp Hotel, Camp Inn and Peter Pocket's.  Before the age of cars, both horses and travellers could rest here and extra horses were often provided to help pull the carts up the hill. In the 1930s the hotel had an open-air swimming pool filled with water from Owl's Hole Spring on the East of the hills.

Jubilee Drive, with its stunning views over Herefordshire, runs from Wynds Point to the Wyche Cutting. It was opened in 1889 and was built to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee.  The road was built by the same man, Stephen Ballard of Colwall, that oversaw the tunnelling through the hills for the railway tunnel.


Books on Malvern Hills