A stone monument was erected at the summit of the Worcestershire Beacon (the highest point in the Malvern Hills) to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. It features a toposcope, which allows visitors to identify the hills, and other features, that they can observe from this point (see above). The current toposcope is an exact replacement of the original, which was stolen (but subsequently recovered), and it was designed by Arthur Troyte Griffith (1864-1942), a well-known Malvern architect of the time (see below).
Troyte was educated at Harrow (where his father was a master) and at Oriel College Oxford. Percy M Young  describes him as “an all-round scholar, with special interests in art and literature”, who loved nature and painted water colours, played chess to a high level, and who was also an enthusiast for crossword puzzles. After Oxford, his interest in buildings led him to architecture and he moved to Malvern to set up a practice.
In 1896, Troyte became friends with Edward Elgar, who was seven years older and who, at that time, was living in “Forli”, a house in Alexandra Road, Malvern Link. Elgar was well-known locally as a teacher, musician, and composer of pieces for various instruments and ensembles, but he was a difficult man , with a strong need for recognition and praise; sinking into self-pitying gloom when he felt things were not going well for him. A contrasting side of Elgar’s personality was his love of “japes” and the exhilaration provided by being outdoors in the natural world, and these were both traits that Troyte shared. He was later celebrated by Elgar in Variation VII of the Enigma Variations, where the composer highlights his friend’s lack of skill as a musician. Michael Kennedy writes :
The variation is not a portrait. It merely records “maladroit essays to play the pianoforte; later the strong rhythm suggests the attempts of the instructor [Elgar] to make something like order out of the chaos, and the final despairing ‘slam’ records that the effort proved to be [in] vain.”
As music was so important to Elgar, and he had the facility to play several instruments well, one can imagine his frustration. It is not unusual for musicians to have a low tolerance of the performance of those less gifted than themselves, but the strong bond of affection, and shared interests, between the two men overcame Elgar’s likely intolerance. Indeed, Troyte remained one of Elgar’s most valued friends for the rest of his life; many letters being written between the two  that show Troyte’s dependability and support in all manner of practical matters, including interior design . He was also a valued guest at dinner parties and other social events, where the two could enjoy their love of what we now call banter.
If Troyte’s contribution to Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee was the toposcope on Worcestershire Beacon, Elgar’s was his Imperial March, a composition that impressed London audiences  and which began the progress to world-wide recognition. In 1897, the two men had been friends for a year and it was in 1899 that Troyte was celebrated in the Enigma Variations, the piece that cemented Elgar’s fame and which remains so popular today.
I wrote earlier about my recent walk on the Malvern Hills  and I began my stroll close to Troyte’s old house in Lower Wyche Road on the flanks of the Worcestershire Beacon. On reaching the top of the Beacon, I had the reminder of Troyte on the Silver Jubilee monument and, in addition to being surrounded “by a feeling of Elgar”, it was also good to remember one of Elgar’s most valued friends. We know that Elgar had generous musical support from Augustus Jaeger (of Novello and Company - fondly recalled as Nimrod in Variation IX of the Enigma Variations) and from many others, but Troyte provided a substantial “anchoring role” in the gifted composer’s life. Those of us who are moved by Elgar’s music probably owe Troyte a good deal.
 Percy M Young (ed.) (1956) Letters of Edward Elgar, and other writings. London, Geoffrey Bles.
 Michael De-la-Noy (1983) Elgar: the man. London, Allen Lane.
 Michael Kennedy (1968) Portrait of Elgar. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
 Michael Kennedy (2004) The Life of Elgar. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
For a recording of Variotion VII of the Enigma Variations, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugeTgWjIt6c
For a biography of Arthur Troyte Griffith, see http://www.troytegriffith.org/