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Malvern Museum Priory Gatehouse displays information on Geology, Medieval Malvern, the Water Cure, Elgar, the Morgan Santler cars and the development of radar.
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Step into the past through the door of the old priory gatehouse, home of the town's museum. Here a comprehensive history of the town unfolds in five rooms. In the Malvern Hills Room rock samples illustrate the geology of the hills, part of which are one thousand million years old - some of the oldest in the world. There are details of the two Iron Age fortified hill camps: Lofty British Camp is where Caractacus is said to have made his last stand against the Romans. There is also information on the Malvern Hills Conservators who since 1884 have kept the hills commons open for walking, cycling, horse riding sheep grazing.The Medieval Room houses a lifelike monk dressed in Benedictine black has been described by one young visitor as 'wicked'. A history of the priory, an account of the rigours of life in Malvern Forest Chase, information on William Langland, the 14th Century poet, are also found here. A naked man in a bath welcomes you into the Water Cure Room. Hydrotherapy was introduced to Malvern in 1842 brought with it wealthy, overweight, overstressed individuals. Details of the hydropathic doctors, their establishments treatments can be found here, yes, it did work, as Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, Lord Tennyson others discovered. Here also you can discover the long history of bottling water from the many pure hillside springs, to which countless people still come to drink.The Victorian Room is stacked with information illustrations - about the railway, schools, shops hotels, local personalities, and much more. Motor enthusiasts will enjoy the 20th Century Room, with its detailed account of the birth development of the Morgan Car, which is still made in Malvern. Also the late 19th Century Santler Car, only one of which has survived. Here you will find an account of the two world wars. In this room also you find about the theatre the Shaw drama festivals. In the corridor displays, more can be found about Elgar, who lived in Malvern for 13 years, telecommunications radar, which was developed in Malvern during the 1939 - 45 war. When you've finished looking round the inside, why not take a look at the outside of the building? You can still see the huge medieval wooden timbers of the gateposts, the Porter's Squint window where a monk checked the identification of visitors to the priory. Just imagine that you are one of the poor folk from the forest begging for alms. For more information about the building Malvern's history, have a browse round the gift shop - there are books about nearly everything.
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