The Mormons and the Malvern Area
Nearly 2,000 people were converted close to Malvern to the Mormon faith (the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) in the 1830's and 40's, when three apostles of the religion travelled from Nauvoo in Illinois. Included were Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff who went on to become the second and fourth Presidents of the Church.
Arriving by horse drawn carriage in Worcester, Wilford Woodruff walked 14 miles to Castle Frome to United Brethren members, farmers John and Jane Benbow. A religious revival sprang into being, centred on a barn at Benbows where three meetings were held daily. No fewer then 600 were baptised into the faith.
Many of the converts sailed across the Atlantic and some helped to build the Old Fort in Salt Lake City, the site of Pioneer Square today.
In Gadfield Elm which lies south of Malvern between Pendock and Staunton is the oldest Mormon chapel in the world, built in 1836 by the United Brethren. As the converts moved to Nauvoo the chapel became derelict.
It has now been bought and restored and given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is run as a visitor centre and museum.