THE BCH ARCHIVE
LOCAL HISTORY FOR
And The Surrounding District
The Hollybush Oak, A veteran clootie tree. decorated with votive offerings
Hollybush is a small village on the Worcestershire Herefordshire border at the southern end of the Malvern Hills and close to the borders of both Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. There is a small church, All Saints, and village hall but no shop or pub. The post office closed some years back in 1980 as did the stone quarry in 1976 with some stabilisation and alternative use continuing. At the time of the 1901 census, there was a blacksmith and a number of residents were recorded as being glove makers along with quarrymen, postmen and farm labourers.
Hollybush is dependent on its transport links. Its prosperity has been formed by its location on the Hollybush Pass, where the road that crosses, east West through the Malvern Hills. This is now the A438. Dating back to the bronze age this was an important east-west route across the hills, transporting goods and people via pack horse trail and later cart and coach and motor vehicles.
At the top of the Hollybush, the land opens to a 4-acre field Wintercombe. The ancient boundaries of this field date back to the time of Midsummer Hill Fort which lies on the top of Midsummer and Hollybush Hill. "Wintercoombe " a name derived from the practice of bringing in stock for shelter in winter. We can speculate that this field was used to support the livestock from the fort. At this point, the hedge boundary crosses the "Shire Ditch" which runs north-south along the Malvern Hills.