Pitville Pump Rooms
Cheltenham has many claims to fame, but perhaps the city is best known for its Regency character. To date it is considered the best-preserved Regency town in England. One of the most prominent Regency structures you can visit in Cheltenham is the Pittville Pump Rooms. The Pump Room was the last spa building constructed in town, and also the largest. The waters that serviced the Pump Room were discovered in 1716. Cheltenham rose to fame after King George III visited in 1788. In the early 19th century, a landowner named Joseph Pitt named the northern neighborhood of Cheltenham “Pittville.” The Pump Room itself was designed by John Forbes and constructed between 1825-1830.
While visiting the Pittville Pump Room, you can view the original Pump, constructed magnificently from marble and scagliola, view the splendid Ionic columns, and the beautiful interior ballroom. Three statues grace the colonnade, representing Hygieia, Aesculapius, and Hippocrates, sculpted by Lucius Gahagen in 1827. While enjoying the beauty of the gardens surrounding the Pump Room, you can imagine life in the 19th century and the entertainment which was typical of the era, including menageries, traveling exhibits, and balloons.
The Pittville Pump Room is not simply a defunct historical structure, however—it still plays a role in modern Cheltenham life. Currently the Pump Room is owned by Cheltenham Borough Council, and can be rented out to host public and private events. During the Cheltenham Music Festival, the Pump Room is used as a concert hall. While visiting the Pump Room, you can check the posters and flyers in the Box Office to see whether there are any events you might enjoy attending.