Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cheltenham (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 95463 23726



SO92SE PITTVILLE PARK 630-1/2/680 Pittville Pump Room 12/03/55


Pump room. 1825-30, with restorations and alterations of 1949-60. Architect John Forbes for William Pitt. Severe trabeate building, long considered to be the finest in Cheltenham. Ashlar over brick with slate roof and copper dome. Greek Revival style, the details based on Stuart and Revett's engravings of the Temple of Illissus. PLAN: main T-shaped, apsidal hall, the front part through 2 storeys to dome with rear stairs and rooms; upper stage has room to either side of dome, and rear apsidal room with corridor between. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys, 9 first-floor window-range, the upper stage set back and projecting colonnade around 3 sides of ground floor. Returns have 5-first-floor windows and full-height bow to rear. Central breakforward reads as a slightly-projecting 6-column portico to lower colonnade with Ionic columns after the Temple of Illissus continuing to a group in antis at each end return; architrave and parapet with sunk panels; surmounting figures of Hygeia, Hippocrates and Aesculapius, originally sculpted by Lucius Gahagan of Bath, are replacements c1980. To upper stage breakforward has paired pilasters to ends and pilasters between windows throughout; architrave and blocking course, centre raised as parapet with similar sunk panels. Tall 6/6 sashes with battered tooled and eared architraves throughout. Central entrance, 6-fielded-panel double doors with overlight with margin-lights; further entrances to sides have double, part-glazed doors with overlights with glazing bars. Dome with windows to crown. INTERIOR: main hall is T-plan with apsidal end and rises through 2 storeys having square opening with lozenge-and-anthemion with sunbursts to balustrade around opening to dome. Fluted Ionic columns in antis to entrances on 3 sides and with pillars in apse; dentil architrave. To ends of main range are round-arched niches. Coved ceilings with paterae. Elaborate marble and scagliola pump. Former reading room to rear right now entrance lobby etc. Open-well staircase to rear, left to full height has rod and bobbin balusters, stairwell has circular skylight with radial glazing bars. Staircase to right a late C20 replacement. Between staircases a corridor with egg-and-dart cornice and oval skylight; from

this corridor are short flights of stairs to rooms either side of dome with shallow apses to ends and 3 shallow recesses opposite; room to right (formerly the library) retains black marble fireplace with carved embellishments to corners. Rear apsidal room has scroll motif to ceiling frieze. 6- and 4-panel doors, some with incised Greek key motif to architrave. Staircase to roof is at right and has stick balusters. Cellar: well with brick cylindrical shaft approx 20m deep; the iron Old Pump flywheel and crank shaft remain, casing balustrade has X-motif and central lion mask. Round-arched tunnel leads to second well. HISTORICAL NOTE: built as a centrepiece for the town of Pittville, undertaken for Joseph Pitt in 1825-42, the general layout being designed by the architect John Forbes. Blake describes it as, 'one of Cheltenham's finest Regency buildings, (and) the largest and grandest of the town's spas'. (The Buildings of England: Verey D: Gloucestershire: The Vale and The Forest of Dean: London: 1970-: 133-34; Sampson A and Blake S: A Cheltenham Companion: Cheltenham: 1993-: 97; Country Life 7 July 1960; Blake S: The Pittville Pump Room 1825-1980: Cheltenham: 1980-).

Listing NGR: SO9547223719


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Blake, S , Pittville Pump Room 1825-1980, (1980)
Sampson, A, Blake, S , A Cheltenham Companion, (1993), 97
Verey, D , The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire 2 The Vale and The Forest of Dean, (1970), 133-134
'Country Life' in 7 July, (1960)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 18 May 2001
Reference: IOE01/04103/33
Rights: Copyright IoE Mrs Vivienne Preece. Source Historic England Archive
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