Upon the summit of the North Hill, there appears an immense grave, part of which is entire. The narrow part appears to have fallen in. The old inhabitants of Malvern call it the Giant's Grave. It has a very peculiar appearance. By the side, is the form of a cross...Upon the Table Hill you will perceive the figure of a large table, whence the name is derived. In the centre is a cross, of the same size as that by the Giant's Grave, upon North Hill.
In 'Early British Trackways, Moats, Mounds, Camps, and Sites' Alfred Watkins states that North Hill is the beginning of a ley line to Pen-y-Beacon via Mathon Church, Moat at Birchend, Stretton Grandison Church, Shucknell Hill, White Stone Chapel, Burcot Pool, Ten Houses Pond and Sugwas Park.
Watkins also believed that the nearby St Ann's Well was the start of a ley line that passes along the ridge of the Malvern Hills through several wells including the Holy Well, Walms Well and St. Pewtress Well.
Just two miles east of Mathon, further burials were found atop Worcestershire Beacon and North Hill. An eighteenth century book (M.Southall's Description of Malvern) mentions a collapsed tumulus on North Hill known as the Giant's Grave, and another possible one just to the south on Table Hill. In 1849, Private Harkiss discovered a cremation on the south side of a summit-top cairn on Worcestershire Beacon - ashes, a skull and other bones, and a decorated urn were uncovered. To the north of the cairn was a second cremation. If connected with the probable settlement at Mathon, there may be some symbolic significance in these hilltop mounds - which may have been visible on the eastern skyline from Mathon. Between North Hill and Worcestershire Beacon is the well-known St.Anne's Well which may have been in use even in the Bronze Age. Roy Palmer speculates that its name may come from the Celtic goddess Anu.
North Hill is a hill whose summit 397 m (1,303ft ) is the second highest point of the range of Malvern Hills that runs approximately 13 kilometres (8.1 miles) north-south along the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border, although North Hill lies entirely within Worcestershire.
The eastern flank of the hill lies directly behind Worcester road in Great Malvern from where its summit is a brisk 15 – 20 minutes steep walk from the town centre via St Ann's road and Happy Valley. A path from the car park in North Malvern follows the lower contour of North Hill to Happy Valley and St Ann's Well.
Although the flint route from North Wales to Wessex lay to the north of Malvern, there is some evidence to suggest that traders passed over the Malvern Hills. Parts of an arrowhead, scraper and flint flakes have been discovered between the North Hill and Table Hill. An 19th Century guide book describes both a collapsed burial mound on North Hill named the Giant's Grave and a tump on Table Hill. These tumuli may have been connected to the Dobunni settlement in Mathon.
A track that runs along North Hill was known as the "Pyx Path" and was used by the priest from Worcestershire when bringing Sacrament to the hermits that lived in Malvern in the 11th Century. It was also referred to as the "Pixie Path", as it was believed to be used by faeires. The Lodge spring can be found at the foot of North Hill, off Worcester road. The ornamental fountain has a small spout and basin that is similar in design to those at St Ann's Well.
1. Smith, B.S: 1978 A History of Malvern Allan Sutton and The Malvern Bookshop ISBN 0904387313
2. Severn Burrow, C.F: 1948, A little city set on the hill: the story of Malvern
3. Bruce Osborne & Cora Weaver: 1994, Aquae Malvernsis - The Springs and Fountains of the Malvern Hills ISBN 1873809077