The Cottage in the Wood Hotel is based in a Dower House once part of the Blackmore Park seat of Thomas Hornyold.
The Hornyolds who had married into the Lygon family way back in the 16th century were two of the largest land owners in this area. The Hornyold estate stretched from here to Pershore - some 12 miles away! The Lygons were based beyond that with land centred around Broadway.
When Thomas Hornyold died in 1859 the estate passed to his nephew John Vincent Gandolphi, Count of the Genoese Republic, a title bestowed on him by the Pope.
When he, as the Duke of Gandolphi, died in 1918, his heirs divided up the estate and sold it in 500 lots across two days in May, 1919.
Lot 107, auctioned towards the end of the morning on the second day,
was what now is The Cottage in the Wood Hotel, then a private house
let to a
Mrs. Russell for £125 per annum rent. Interestingly it was called "The Cottage". No great leap to "The Cottage in the Wood"! It's a name inherited but one which best sums up the hotel and the wood that has grown around it.
Beech Cottage was then known as "The Gardener's Cottage" and the Coach House "The Stabling" which included a pigsty - we hope it's far from that today!
We have made a small piece of history ourselves by demolishing The Coach House and rebuilding on the original site with "The Pinnacles". This was completed in Spring 2003.
Incidentally, if you are wondering what became of Blackmore Park, the house burnt down in 1920 and all that remains is the front porch which is now part of Malvern Girls College.
The house has links with Sir Edward Elgar, amongst the greatest of English composers, if not the greatest. The great man lived not far below at "Craeg Lea" from 1899 to 1904 and augmented his income by teaching music at The Wells House School - just below The Cottage in the Wood and built originally as the hotel to serve visitors taking the waters at the Holy Well - and is believed to have played in the Coach House loft area, used by the then owners for recitals.
Without question he drew inspiration he gained from walking and cycling on the Hills and, whilst at "Craeg Lea", wrote The Dream of Gerontius which eventually brought him international acclaim and a higher income.
Both Sir Edward and his wife Alice are buried at St. Wulstans Catholic Church here in Malvern Wells.