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Pittville Pump Room

A Grade I Listed Building in Pittville, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.912 / 51°54'43"N

Longitude: -2.0674 / 2°4'2"W

OS Eastings: 395463

OS Northings: 223726

OS Grid: SO954237

Mapcode National: GBR 2M5.04W

Mapcode Global: VHB1Q.36XK

Plus Code: 9C3VWW6M+R3

Entry Name: Pittville Pump Room

Listing Date: 12 March 1955

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1387559

English Heritage Legacy ID: 475533

Location: Pittville, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52

County: Gloucestershire

Electoral Ward/Division: Pittville

Built-Up Area: Cheltenham

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Prestbury St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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630-1/2/680 Pittville Pump Room


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

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