Welcome to Rose Bank Gardens in Great Malvern, gateway to the hills
A house named Rose Bank appears in the 1841 census of Great Malvern. It was the home of Mary Ann Wilmot the widow of Sir Robert Wilmot 2nd Baronet (1753-1834) of Osmaston Hall in Derbyshire. The Wilmot family lived at Rose Bank from about 1840 to 1880. Lieutenant General Eardley Nicholas Wilmot of Rose Bank was named as a magistrate in the 1873 Post Office Directory. In 1826 his sister Mary Ann married General Sir Richard Church at Worthing. The 1871 census confirms she was the wife of General R Church KCH who was then in the service of the King of Greece.
The 1901 and 1911 census recorded Rose Bank occupied by George Silas Guy born about 1837 and his second wife Hannah. George's occupation was recorded as 'managing director of an iron and steel tube manufacturory'. George Guy died in 1912).
Rose Bank House and gardens were purchased by local benefactor Charles William Dyson Perrins in 1918 and gifted as an amenity to the town of Great Malvern in Worcestershire, UK.
Rose Bank was used by the Womens Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) during WWII, but, according to reports, the house fell into decay and was demolished in 1959,, a year after Dyson's death.
The gardens today
Rose Bank gardens, situated above Belle Vue Terrace, to the south of the Mount Pleasant Hotel remain an attractive place to walk and access footpaths onto the hills.
A notable feature is the sculpture of two buzzards in flight, installed in 2012, to mark Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
Nearby are Tourist Information Displays (see below).
The magnificent sculpture of the buzzards (see photo below) was created by Polish sculptor Walenty Pytel who oversaw the installation. The sculpture was funded by Malvern Town Council, Malvern Hills District Council and private donations.
The Malvern Gazette reported it is not the first time that Mr Pytel has made a sculpture to mark a royal jubilee. In 1977 a Silver Jubilee commemorative fountain depicting Great Britainís heraldic beasts was unveiled outside the Houses of Parliament.
Not far away on top of the Worcestershire Beacon above Rose Bank Gardens there is a toposcope which was installed in memory of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II's great great grandmother, Queen Victoria, in 1897.
The toposcope bears a metal plate showing the landscape surrounding the hills, protected by a circular glass disk, with the inscription on the top reading 'The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof'.
The photo below shows the view from Rose Bank Gardens across the Severn Valley. In the foreground can be seen the Tourist Information Centre and Post Office.
Rose Bank Gardens extend over several levels with many zig zag paths to explore, best when the ground is dry.
St Ann's Well
There are many more footpaths, above on the Malvern Hills, which can be reached by following the path uphill via 99 steps near the entrance to Rose Bank (by the brick wall), then bearing right into Foley Terrace, meeting St Ann's Road. At the junction you will see a sign pointing the way up a steep footpath to St Ann's Well (see photo below).
From the cafe at St Ann's Well footpaths branch out onto the hills.
It is an energetic climb and well worth the effort, but not suitable for the infirm or those in wheelchairs.
If you manage the climb you might find it amazing that the victorian Water Cure doctors encouraged their patients to walk up to St Ann's Well and back before breakfast.
At least at that time of day the weather would be cooler!
Last updated 22nd June 2013