Barnards Green is an area of Malvern to the east of the Victorian settlement area of Great Malvern. One hundred and fifty years ago it consisted simply of three farms and a few houses along the road leading from Great Malvern to Guarlford. Since the 1860s the farmland has gradually been sold off and developed to create the thriving community we see today.
The story of how Barnards Green has developed to the current day is fascinating and it is the subject of a project by a group of local MFHS members. The aim is to create a complete picture of its development and of the people who have lived there over the years, right up to the present. We are using not only maps and records but also the memories of people who have lived or worked in the area.
Stories we have found so far
1. The Case of Lakin vs Winkle
The common land so typical of the Malvern area also features in Barnards Green. That it does so is testament to the endeavours of a group of Victorian gentlemen who formed the Malvern Hills Preservation Society.
In an age when Malvern was developing fast as a town and a spa, their aim was to preserve the open spaces around Malvern and its hills for generations to come. Developers, large and small, were enclosing and developing the common land. Some, such as Lady Emily Foley, were too powerful to fight but one, Mr Edward Winkle was an easier proposition. Mr Winkle had bought some building plots in Barnards Green, including the land on the left of this picture. He decided that he needed a large front garden and enclosed the common land in front. Mr Henry Lakin, as a property owner in Malvern used his commoners rights to oppose this. The case went to court and the judge ruled against the enclosure and stated that the evidence produced was sufficient to use for future cases. As a result, the case was cited in the 1886 Malvern Hills Act which to this day protects the hills and commons from encroachment and development.
2. Geese wander through Barnards Green
During the project we found a picture of Barnards Green on the internet which was taken in the 1950s. It shows geese wandering along the pavement outside Ranfords, the garage now replaced by the Coop. This puzzled us until we heard memories that this was a daily occurrence. Geese were reared on Poolbrook Common and every morning and evening they would walk up to Barnards Green and back again: their constitutional.
3. Wedderburn Road
Our Barnards Green research started in 2012 when we put together a booklet and website about the history of one of the roads in the area: Wedderburn Road. It was part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. We collected memories from many long term residents who had lived in the road since the 1950s. You can view the website here.
Can you help us?
Do you have any memories or photographs of Barnards Green that you can contribute to our history project? Do you remember what shops sold what at any time? It’s amazing how quickly they change!
If you do have anything that you think that could be of interest or you would like to help with the project, please contact us.