urban75 blog

Cheltenham photos – the posh Promenade, teenage graffiti, ace architecture and windfall apples

Here’s some more photos from my travels around Cheltenham, a large spa town and borough in Gloucestershire, England.

In the suburbs, a generous soul had offered a wheelbarrow full of windfall cooking apples.

Cheltenham is full of private roads and gated communities. Do. Not. Like.

A bloke with natty lime green trainers trots through Cox’s Meadow.

We saw lots of joggers pounding the pavements of Cheltenham, while on the roads there was an near-endless stream of 4x4s and oversized cars. Didn’t much like that, either.

A tempting message written in a back alley.

The white heat of Friday night at the Little Owl pub on Cirencester Road, which, curiously enough, has a horse on the pub sign.

On our way to the pub, a goat-sized badger scuttled right past us at high speed, which proved to be the most excitement we’d find that evening.

Ordering a beer at the Little Owl.

Scene from the upmarket shopping area of town.

Developed in the 1830s and 1840s, the Montpellier area of Cheltenham takes its name from the fashionable French town, which was renown at the time for being a pleasant place to live.

The shops along Montpellier Walk properties are separated by 32 individual stone caryatids, based on the classical models on the Erechtheion in Athens.

The earliest two were made  from terracotta by the London sculptor Rossi and date back to 1840, while the remainder were created by a local man from Tivoli Street, with an additional pair added in the 1970s. Read more: [Ipswich-lettering.org].

There is some stunning late Georgian/early Victorian architecture around Cheltenham.

Statue of the Cheltenham-born composer Gustav Holst (1874-1934) . Holst is most famous for his “Planets Suite.”

Walking along the posh Promenade in Cheltenham.

Taking a rest on the Promenade.

Before the guests arrive at the wedding.

After the wedding.


Neptune fountain, which was sculpted in 1893 by local firm RL Boulton and Sons. It is considered to have been styled on the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

Rather weird Minotaur and the Hare sculpture (1995) by Sophie Ryder, as seen on the Promenade.

G’s Rock Bar advertises a petition against the late night levy.

Old fire station, 1906. It was last used by firemen in 1959.

Adjacent Engine House.

The splendid Crescent Bakery building.

Curious sculpture on a storm drain.

This bit of fading graffiti proves testament to the moment when some angry person somewhere truly Socked it to The Man.

Somewhat underwhelming fountain.

The pair of old bent rails lobbed together marks the old railway route that takes you to Cheltenham Spa station.

Along the old trackbed.

Situated on the Bristol-Birmingham main line, Cheltenham Spa railway station is about one mile from the town centre.

Opening in 1849, the station was formerly known as Lansdown, but with the closure of all the other stations in Cheltenham, this remaining one got upgraded to ‘Cheltenham Spa’.

The excellent Cheltonia blog reports that…

The main station building itself is a lovely Regency specimen designed by Samuel Whitfield Daukes, an esteemed architect responsible for many of Cheltenham’s fine villas. It originally had a spectacular stone portico at the front supported on a hefty row of Doric columns. Regrettably the powers in charge of the station in 1961 had it removed and replaced with the present boring wooden canopy. Eejits.

It’s a bit of a run down station with some really ugly, exhaust-stained modern canopies stuck atop the elegant  cast iron supports.

Time for the train back to London.