Discover the history of Montpellier, Cheltenham's most prestigious spot
14 September 2020
Situated on the edge of the picturesque Cotswolds, Cheltenham is renowned as the historical spa Festival Town where almost two million people visit each year for a variety of events and activities.
Amongst the different districts in the town, Montpellier is known for its prestige, luxury and where history meets modern-day affluence. Our One Bayshill Road community is nestled in a prime location in the district so we’ve picked a few must visit spots in the area.
Also known as Montpellier Rotunda in the present day, the 1800s’ architect Henry Thompson started the construction of Montpellier Spa in 1809. The building was completed with help from several other renown architects including George Allen Underwood and John Buonarotti Papworth.
In 1825, the grand building opened its door as a spa facility known as a “Pump Room” to socialites and the public and was seen as a popular place for people in Montpellier to meet and socialise.
Maintaining its original appearance from the early 1800s’, the building became home to a branch of Lloyd’s Bank and now houses the Ivy Restaurant where people still meet and gather to socialise but perhaps with a glass of a wine rather than a spare towel.
The stately gardens started to form in the immediate surroundings of the Pump Room throughout the construction of the spa. By the 1830s, the gardens were home to a glass house filled with exotic plants, a Chinese pagoda and an ornamental fountain and frequently entertained British nobles such as the Duke of Wellington.
Though the gardens required admission fees from the public, they were designed to be a pleasurable place for visitors to meet amongst flourishing flora and fauna. Notably, the gardens served as a place where the public were able to access fresh water from the fountain.
During the late 19th century, the gardens made the shift towards public ownership when Cheltenham Borough Council purchased the spa and gardens in 1893. Since then, the gardens have been a place of pleasure, public amusement, and family recreation.
Over the course of the 20th century, facilities for sports and theatrical events came into place and the gardens on Montpellier Spa Road are now popular venues for a number of local and national events.
Located directly opposite One Bayshill Road is a 167-year-old girls school, Cheltenham Ladies College. Starting as an offshoot of Cheltenham College for Boys, the College has produced a range of historical figures during the course of its rich history spanning three centuries.
One of its most notable former students is Dorothea Beale, a prominent suffragist educator who introduced subjects such as maths and science to the female pupils at the College, despite parental opposition.
Another is Cicely Mayhew, the first female diplomat in the British history and a recipient of a scholarship to the College. Ms Mayhew was a critical figure at Bletchley Park during World War II where she helped the Allies defeat the Nazis by translating decoded German signals.
The names of former pupils at Cheltenham Ladies’ College are frequently found in contemporary British history as well. Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd attended the College in 1970s, while Clare Marx served as the President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England from July 2014 to July 2017 - the first woman to hold the position.
If you’re looking for a home surrounded by history in a vibrant community then get in touch with the team to find out more about the range of homes and the facilities available at One Bayshill Road: 01242 292 930 or e mail: [email protected]