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The Malverns

The Malvern Hills

The Malvern Hills run north to south for 9 miles and divide the counties of Hereford and Worcestershire. They rise dramatically from the relative flat of the Severn plain to the highest point the Worcester Beacon at 1,394 feet (425m).

From the top parts of 13 counties can be seen. South to the Bristol Channel where the two Severn Bridges can be glimpsed; to the west into Wales the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons and to the north west the Wrekin.

"Malvern" derives from the old English 'moel fryn' meaning 'bare hill' and the Hills consist of pre-Cambrian granite rock - the oldest of any rock in England - originating from the very centre of the earth some 700 million years ago.

The Hereford Beacon, the Malvern Hills

The Hereford Beacon, an Iron Age hill fort is known as the 'British Camp' and has a 2,000 year history.

The fort was thought to have been a defensive stronghold but excavations here and at Midsummer Hill suggest both were occupied permanently for 4 or 500 years and was home to as many as 4,000 people. The top layer is a Norman motte fortification.

It is said that a brave 'Ancient British' chieftain made his last stand against the Romans at the British Camp. Following a major battle he was captured and taken to Rome where Emperor Claudius was so impressed, he gave him a villa and a pension!

Elgar was taken with the legend and wrote his cantata 'Caractacus' in 1898.

Something to celebrate?