Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham

3.9
Architectural Building · Hidden Gem · Landmark
The Pittville Pump Room was the last and largest of the spa buildings to be built in Cheltenham.

The benefits of Cheltenham's mineral waters had been recognised since 1716, but not until after the arrival of Henry Skillicorne in 1738 did serious exploitation of their potential as an attraction begin. After the visit to Cheltenham in 1788 of King George III, the town became increasingly fashionable, and wells were opened up at several points round the town. Pittville, the vision of Joseph Pitt, was a planned 'new town' development of the 1820s, in which the centre-piece was (and remains) a pump-room where the waters of one of the more northerly wells could be taken.

The Pump Room was built by the architect John Forbes between 1825 and 1830. It is a Grade I listed building standing at the northern end of Pittville Lawn with landscaped grounds running down to a lake. The building contains the original Pump, made of marble and scagliola, to which the waters are today fed by electric pumping.

The building has a colonnade of Ionic columns; the interior houses a ballroom on its ground floor. Further Ionic columns support a gallery under a dome from which music might be played; on upper floors there were a billiard room, library and reading room. Above the colonnade are three statues, by Lucius Gahagen, erected in 1827, of the goddess Hygieia, Aesculapius and Hippocrates.
The Pump Room and its grounds were managed during the 19th century by a succession of lessees, who offered the typical fare of pleasure gardens including menageries, exhibitions and balloon ascents. However the concession did not prove lucrative. Eventually Pitt himself went bankrupt and in 1890 the Room and the grounds passed into the ownership of the town council.
They are now part of The Cheltenham Trust, a charity which also manages the Cheltenham Town Hall, the Wilson Art Gallery & Museum, the Prince of Wales Stadium and Leisure @ - plus the town's Tourist Information Centre which has continued to use them for public events. The Pump Room is frequently used as a concert hall, especially during the Cheltenham Music Festival. At one time the upper floor housed a Museum of Fashion.

Following elections in 2007 the incoming Council discussed the possibility of selling the Pump Room but after widespread protests this proposal was later dropped in favour of a limited privatization which would retain the building's public use.
By using our Cheltenham trip itinerary maker tool, you can arrange your visit to Pittville Pump Room and other attractions in Cheltenham.
Source
Create an itinerary including Pittville Pump Room
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Pittville Pump Room reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
166 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Great place for a coffee and natter. The world unfolds in front of you especially on a weekend when everyone spends some time playing or just sitting.  more »
  • What a beautiful venue!!! A great cafe, the staff are lovely and helpful. The food is yummy..... but best of all....GREAT CAKES! The brownies are the best I have ever had!!!  more »
Google
  • Excellent place for kids, amazing play area... Really nice lake where u can feed the ducks. Nice walks. Definitely recommend!!! Good little kiosk selling ice cream and hot drinks.
  • Lovely building large main hall, side area to sit and bar

Plan your trip to Cheltenham

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Cheltenham

See all ›
©
Wildlife Area
Walks With Hawks
5.0
Duration: 2h 30 min
Beer Tasting / Tour
Brewerism Brewery Tours
5.0
Duration: 4 hours
©
Farm
Cotswold Farm Park Guiting Power
4.4
Duration: 2h 30 min
©
Distillery
Sibling Distillery Charlton Kings
4.9
Duration: 2 hours

Hidden gems in Cheltenham

©
Park
Pittville Park
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
©
Neighborhood
Montpellier District
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
©
Ruin
Hailes Abbey Hailes
4.4
Duration: 2h 30 min
Monument
The Minotaur and the Hare
4.2
Duration: 2 hours

Side trips from Cheltenham

©
History Museum
The Roman Baths Bath
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
©
World heritage site
Stonehenge Amesbury
4.0
Duration: 2 hours
©
Castle
Warwick Castle Warwick
3.8
Duration: 3 hours
©
Nature / Wildlife Tour
Cotswold Guided Walks Ltd Uley
5.0
Duration: 8 hours

Parks in Cheltenham

©
Park
Colesbourne Park Colesbourne
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
©
Park
Imperial Gardens
4.6
Duration: 1h 30 min
©
Park
Montpellier Gardens
4.3
Duration: 2 hours
Park
Hesters Way Park
4.0
Duration: 2 hours

Shopping in Cheltenham

©
Gift & Specialty Shop
Favourite Beers
4.9
Duration: 30 minutes
Gift & Specialty Shop
Rise Music
4.2
Duration: 30 minutes
©
Shopping Mall
Regent Arcade Shopping Centre
3.4
Duration: 2 hours
©
Gift & Specialty Shop
Blue
3.4
Duration: 2 hours

Nearby attractions in Cheltenham

©
Spa
Tonic Cheltenham
4.9
Duration: 2h 30 min
©
Spa
Earl's & Co.
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
©
Entertainment Center
SimAir737
4.9
Duration: 1h 30 min