the waters in Malvern
water is famous throughout the world. The Queen drinks it and
people still travel many miles to collect water from the springs
on the hills.
The healing powers of Malvern water were first mentioned as
far back as 1622 in Bannister's Breviary of the Eyes.
A little more I'll of their curing tell.
How they helped sore eyes
with a new found well.
Great speech of Malvern Hills
was late reported.
Unto which spring
in troops resorted.
Breviary of the Eyes
Not the greatest piece of poetry perhaps but an early mention
of what was probably Holy Well, the first pure water source
on the hills.
The water was bottled and sent all over the country from as
early as the reign of James the first.
Dr Nash in the 18th century quoted the lyrics of a song from
A thousand bottles there were filled weekly
and many costrels* rare
for stomachs sickly.
Some of them into Kent,
some were to London sent,
others to Berwick went.
Oh Praise the Lord.
*Costrel=A portable container usually cylindrical
or barrel shaped.
Taking the waters
The popularity of the water cure at Malvern owes much to two
doctors who set up hydrotherapy centres in the area: Dr James
Wilson and Doctor James Manby Gulley
Dr Wilson had first hand knowledge of the water cure practised
by Vincent Priestnitz in Graefenburg.
Dr Gully, an Edinburgh graduate, had published a book on 'neuropathy'
first Water Cure establishment in Great Malvern opened in
1842 and was at The Crown Hotel, where Lloyds Bank now stands.
People staying here would have had treatment using water from
St. Anne's Well.
The regime at a hydrotherapy centre consisted of plenty of
fresh Malvern water, lots of exercise and a strict diet -
which may account for its success.
There's was an early start for those taking the cure:
'Packing': The patient is wrapped in a long wet sheet and
covered in eiderdowns.
The patient is unwrapped, given a cold shower and rubbed
showers were of two types: the descending douche where the
patient stood under a stream of cold Malvern water: the
ascending douche, which is best left to the imagination.
hike up the hills, drinking a glass of water at each well
or spring. The infirm were allowed to ride up on donkeys
until well enough to walk.
diet: No alcohol or rich foods. more