Little Malvern Court

Little Malvern Court is a 14th century Prior’s Hall once attached to a 12th century Benedictine Priory with Victorian additions. The house, home to the Berington family by descent since the Dissolution of the Monasteries displays paintings and furniture along with a collection of 18th and 19th century and needlework.

Little Malvern Court

Doubtless, the preservation of this notable medieval hall can be ascribed to the fact that since the dissolution of the Monasteries  in the 1530s by order of King Henry VIII, the property has passed by descent from John Russell in the early 16th Century to the Berington family, the present owners.

The Benedictine Priory of Little Malvern was founded by Bishop Simon of Worcester in the first half of the 12th Century. A small monastery (never having more than a dozen monks at any one time), it was subject to the See of Worcester. On his Visitation in 1480, Bishop Alcock of Worcester was most displeased at ‘the great ruin of the church and place’ at Little Malvern. Bishop Alcock set about a major restoration work of the Church and Monastery, having despatched the monks to Gloucester for two years as a punishment. The walls of the Prior’s Hall bear traces of his repair work. *

Little Malvern Court

Our guided tour of Little Malvern Court revealed to us that there was more to its history than the was initially apparent from the advertising literature. We learned that the Russells were a recusant family from Strensham and that the house was a safe place for Catholics that did not wish to renounce their faith in favour of the Church of England.

The house had a resident priest and a secret chapel in the eaves of the house. On our way up to the chapel we were shown black marks on the wooden beams which are thought to be marks warding off evil spirits. We were also shown an access point in the ceiling that could have been an escape route for the priests and worshipers, although it is not known where the exit led to. The chapel is accessed by staircase which is more ladder than stair. From the chapel we were shown where a landing had been cut away. The landing when intact would have connected the chapel to a spiral staircase on the opposite side of the building.

When we returned downstairs we were shown the access to the spiral staircase, which still exists. After looking at the wall I was convinced that there would have been a secret panel in the wall concealing the staircase access.

Little Malvern Court

*From A brief history of Little Malvern Court Worcestershire

10 Comments CherryPie on Jul 11th 2017

10 Responses to “Little Malvern Court”

  1. Hels says:

    Bishop Alcock of Worcester was clearly displeased at the great ruin of the church and place at Little Malvern, and may well have sent the monks away as a punishment for their neglect. But the estate looks stunning now, so somebody poured truck loads of money into the buildings and the gardens.

    Is the inside well renovated?

    • CherryPie says:

      The inside is well renovated and the main hall that we first entered has been restored to how it was originally. The roof beams are now exposed and the chapel seats are now gone.

  2. Ginnie says:

    The history surrounding these treasures in your country is beyond charming and magnificent, Cherry. I don’t have enough years left in my life, I’m afraid, to see it all, even through the eyes of others like you. Guess I’ll have to come back there in my next life?!! :)

  3. The Yum List says:

    Ooh, if those walls could tell stories!

  4. Very interesting post with some lovely photos – what a great place to visit. So much history :)

  5. James Higham says:

    No priest behind the panel?