It’s likely you have heard of The Three Counties Showground if you’re reading this blog. But did you know it is a whopping 90-acre plot in Malvern owned by the Agriculture Society, renowned for hosting numerous major events with over a million visitors yearly? 

The Three Counties Showground events include the diverse and popular CountryTastic, RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Royal Three Counties Show, Malvern Autumn Show and much more.

This blog provides insights into the Three Counties Showground’s evolution, from its humble beginnings to the grand staple of the Malvern it is today.


The Early Beginnings of The Three Counties Showground

Back in 1797, John Clerk’s book “General Views on Agriculture in the County of Hereford” highlighted the absence of an agricultural society, prompting local farmers to form one the same year! Their first agriculture show, overseen by the Earl of Oxford, took place in 1798 on the streets of Hereford.

Before finding its permanent home, the agriculture show travelled to various locations, including Abervagenny, Monmouth, Kidderminster, Droitwich, and Worcester’s Pitchcroft, encountering several challenges along the way.


Early Challenges Faced by the Show

Throughout its history, the Showground faced its share of challenges, including economic downturns and weather disturbances. However, its resilience and adaptability have been key to its enduring success.


Key memorable challenges include: 

World War disruptions

Unfortunately, the show took a break between 1917 and 1918 due to World War I. 

Disease Outbreak 

Following the first show after World War II, another disruption occurred when an outbreak of foot and mouth disease prevented it from taking place.

Unpredictable weather disruption

In 1924, Stanley Baldwin MP, the Prime Minister at the time, assumed the role of President of the agricultural show, and a decision was made to host the show at Worcester’s Pitchcroft. However, nature had other plans for torrential rain, which led to eight-foot floods on the racecourse and submerged most of the marquees.


Growth Into The Three Counties Showground

The idea of having a bigger and better show started when the Herefordshire group joined forces with Worcestershire in 1894. Then, in 1922, they combined with Gloucestershire. This coming together formed the Three Counties Agricultural Society.

It wasn’t until 1958 that the show finally settled into its permanent residence at the magnificent Malvern Hills! 


The Three Counties Showground Today

Over the years, the Three Counties Showground has witnessed remarkable growth and transformation and now hosts a wide range of events that continue to enrich the lives of visitors and locals alike, from equestrian competitions to cultural festivals. Here are a few of the popular events at the Three Counties Showground:

Malvern Autumn Show

Held annually at the Three Counties Showground, the Malvern Autumn Show is the UK’s biggest celebration of the harvest season. The event highlights rural activities, featuring engaging displays like duck herding, gundog demonstrations, and lively dog agility competitions.

RHS Malvern Spring Festival

This event at the Three Counties Showground draws crowds from across the region. With the regular presence of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne, who assumed the role of patron in 2014, the significance of the show has been greatly amplified. Notably, the RHS witnessed remarkable expansion between 2014 and 2016, emerging as the fastest-growing among all RHS shows during that period!

Royal Three Counties Show

The Royal Three Counties Show is held over a span of three days every June at the Three Counties Showground, this event serves as a platform for highlighting the excellence of British farming, food, and the rural landscape.


As the most beloved children’s event in the region, it is an annual Easter event at the Three Counties Showground, offering a delightful blend of indoor and outdoor activities. This event is geared towards interactive learning, ensuring kids have a fun-filled day while absorbing valuable insights about rural life and agriculture.


The Perfect Accommodation Near The Three Counties Showground

If you’re thinking of attending any of the events at the Three Counties Showground, treating yourself to a stay at the Mount Pleasant Hotel is a great choice. Located just 7 minutes drive from the showground, this beautiful hotel offers comfort, convenience, and a taste of local hospitality. 

After a day filled with exploration and excitement at the Showground, unwind in the cosy comfort of the Mount Pleasant Hotel, where you can savour delicious food from the Mulberry Tree Restaurant or even The Lantern, Malvern’s newest terrace bar. You can then relax in one of our well-equipped rooms, and recharge for another day of adventure. 

Sounds like a plan? Then book your stay at the Mount Pleasant Hotel.

Visit The Three Counties Showground

The Three Counties Showground’s history has become a symbol of unity and pride, significantly impacting the local community. Its commitment to promoting agriculture, horticulture, and rural life has left a lasting impression on the region.

As it continues to evolve and thrive, this remarkable venue invites us to celebrate the past while embracing future opportunities. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor from afar, a journey to the Three Counties Showground is a journey through time that’s worth experiencing.

Contact Mount Pleasant for a place to stay whilst you visit the magnificent Three Counties Showground.