Friday, 8 February 2008

Pump Room

This is my last photo of Pitville Park, and it shows the magnificent looking Pitville Pump Room. The building stands at the northern end of the park and looks over the lake and gardens. The Pump Room is one of the towns finest examples of Regency architecture, with its main feature being the Ionic columns that front onto the large lawn.

Building work started in 1825 and took 5 years to complete, with a grand opening and ball being held on the 20th July 1830. The building was the idea of wealthy banker Joseph Pitt and was designed by architect John Forbes, who had a hand in the design of many other Cheltenham buildings. It cost £40,000 to complete, but the Pump Room soon ran into difficulties and it was sold to the Borough Council for just £5,400 in 1890! Throughout the second world war the Pump Room was used as a base by the American Army and, during this time of deprivation ,the building was greatly neglected, infact it is said that the dry rot was so bad that the plaster was all that was stopping the dome from collapsing! After public subscription and government grants the total of £43,200 was raised in 1960 to help restore the building.

Inside the Pump Room today you can still sample the Spa water (pumped from an 80 foot deep well), while marvelling at the grand dome and sweeping staircase. The Pump Room is now Cheltenhams most popular wedding venue and at other times of the year is used for concerts, shows and exhibitions. Infact you could hire it for your next party, just make sure I'm on the guest list!

9 comments:

Fénix - Bostonscapes said...

"rot was so bad that the plaster was all that was stopping the dome from collapsing"

Our Statehouse's glittering golden dome is about to collapse. It has leaks and cracks all over! Even some of the fixtures have started to fall.

BTW, it's nice to see that in Cheltenham the magnificent old buildings aren't turned into steakhouses! ;D

Rambling Round said...

I am always impressed as to how well Europeans keep up their old buildings. This one sure is a keeper!

brian said...

This is a wonderful building and photo, and thanks for this history along with it! Very interesting, and it looks like a beautiful place to have a party or event...

Neva said...

When I rent this, I will make sure you are on the guest list....what a nice building and I can see why brides would like this!

d.c. confidential said...

What a beautiful building! It always warms my heart when I hear that buildings like this are appreciated and efforts are made to preserve them. We need more architecture like this in the world. It speaks of stability and timelessness. (I wonder if one day people will think the same thing of minimalist buildings?)

Ming the Merciless said...

Didn't realize that is Regency architecture. I learned something new today.

:=)

Pat said...

What a great photo of the Pump Room. I'm not entirely sure of how this building was used. I should google it. What an interesting post today, Marley!


Pat

Guelph Daily Photo, My Photos.

Rose said...

Nice building with a very interesting history.
I m passionate about archtecture and love old buildings like this.

Dusty Lens said...

Interesting piece of history. Glad they are now maintaining this. I hate to see these old buildings demolished to make way for glass box buildings.

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