A gazetteer of Pittville house names in the 19th century
There are over two hundred house names recorded in Pittville from the beginning of the Pittville estate in 1824 until the end of the nineteenth century. Each one is examined in this gazetteer, and I’ve been particularly interested in why a house was given a particular name. It is perhaps surprising that in over 70 per cent of cases it is possible to establish a likely source for the name arising from some aspect of a resident’s or owner’s personal history. In 1848 Edward Jefferies Esdaile named Terhill House on Pittville Circus (more...)
Acton Lodge (name in use 1873 – 92; now Irving House (2), Pittville Circus Road). Susanna Isabella Norris née Allen, the widow of John Hutchinson Norris MD and daughter of the late Capt. John Allen, veteran of the Peninsula campaign and one-time Military Knight of Windsor, moved into Acton Lodge in 1873 from Ryeworth House in Charlton Kings. She had alternated between living in Cheltenham and her home city of London since her husband’s death in 1863. There is no clear motivation for the name Acton House. Susanna Norris left a small bequest in her will (1897) to a Mrs Agnes Turner née Girdwood, widow, of Acton, though the relationship between the two is uncertain.
Other names: Askham House (name in use 1892 – 1950+).
Admington House (name in use 1839 - 72; now 25 Pittville Lawn). In 1834 Corbett Holland bought a newly built house in Pittville, then named 3 Segrave Villas. Five years later, in 1839, he changed its name to Admington House when he acquired Corbett family property in Admington, near Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire, under the terms of the will of his maternal uncle, Michael Corbett. According to the will, he was required to change his surname to Corbett in order to inherit - which he did, and he was subsequently known as Corbett Holland Corbett (see the Cheltenham Chronicle, 16 May). He was one of Cheltenham’s magistrates and subsequently became a Deputy Lieutenant of the county, later living at Admington Hall in Admington, Warwickshire (the village has since been reclassified as part of Gloucestershire).
Other names: Berkeley Court (name in use 1873 - 83); Berkeley House (name in use 1884 - 1950+).
Altidore Villa (name in use 1866-1925; now Brompton House, East Approach Drive). Also Altidore (1871 – 1900). The house name was borrowed from that of eighteenth-century Altidore Castle in County Wicklow, south of Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. The first resident of the Pittville house was Belfast-born merchant William Bruce Ferguson and his family. Although William Ferguson spent much of his career in Guyana, his mother’s family, the Brownriggs, lived in Rockhampton, Co. Wicklow, about five miles from Altidore Castle, and so the name will have become familiar from frequent visits. The house name appears to have no specific meaning, other than generally to connote the elevated situation (Latin altus high) and hence fine views available from the property.
Alwington Villa (name in use 1844 – 95; now Sligo House, 2 Wellington Road). Alwington Villa was named by its first resident, Canadian Charles James Irwin Grant de Longueuil, later 6th Baron de Longueuil, who lived there with his wife and baby in 1844. He named his house in Pittville after Alwington House in Kingston, Ontario, his family home. The Grants had been temporarily dispossessed of Alwington House when it was commandeered as the official residence of the Governor General of the United Provinces of Canada, while Kingston was the nation’s capital. In 1844 it was returned to the family. The 5th Baron had in turn taken the name Alwington from the New Brunswick home of his wife Caroline Coffin, itself called Alwington Manor. The New Brunswick house was built by Caroline’s father, General John Coffin, who had named it after his ancestral home in the village of Alwington in North Devon.
Other names: Tidmington House (name in use 1889 – 95); Sligo House (name in use 1897 to present).
Amberley House (name in use 1853 to present; 49 Clarence Square). Amberley is the name of a village in Gloucestershire, near Stroud and west of Minchinhampton. The house name was conferred in 1853 by well-known local solicitor John Brend Winterbotham and his family, though they had lived there for fifteen years in the house (as 49 Clarence Square) before it was so named. John Winterbotham was baptised in Woodchester, next to Amberley, in 1805, and the extended family had property and influence in Amberley and the surrounding region for many years after this.
Anlaby House (name in use 1842 – 1919; demolished, on the site of the present Anlaby Court, 82 – 92 Evesham Road). ). Also Anlaby (1871 - 1919), Anlaby Court Hotel (1922 – 36). Anlaby is the name of a suburb of Kingston-upon-Hull (Hull) in East Yorkshire. The first owner of the Pittville house was Thomas Bodley, latterly of Brighton, and he was responsible for naming the house. Thomas’s family had strong connections with the Hull area. His parents lived in the suburb of Anlaby, Hull, where they died in 1819 and 1829 respectively, though their business interests had been in the family business in gold lace, Bodley, Etty, and Bodley of Lombard Street, London. Thomas Bodley was married to Martha Etty, cousin of artist William Etty (York-born and apprenticed in Hull) and was also involved in the family business. His brother William was for many years a physician in Hull. Anlaby House near Hull, a Georgian listed building in Anlaby, Hull, is now an apartment complex, but was itself not owned by the Bodley family, but the family’s association with the suburb of Hull is responsible for the Pittville house name.
Apsley House (name in use 1844 – 74; now Tower House, Pittville Circus). The first occupants of Apsley House and Apsley Villa (now Apsley Lodge), in 1844, were members of the same family (the Lutwidges and the Pooles). The houses were erected by different builders, but faced each other at the western end of the Circus. Major Skeffington Lutwidge had seen extensive service with the Honourable East India Company and was the nephew of Admiral Skeffington, remembered for training the young Nelson; he was also more distantly related to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (“Lewis Carroll”). His sister Henrietta had married Charles Poole, and her daughter Mary lived with the Lutwidges. The name Apsley House was probably given by builder Edward Cope, who owned it until his death in 1849. It is likely to derive from the Duke of Wellington’s London establishment Apsley House at Hyde Park (also known informally as “No 1, London”). Several houses in the country were named Apsley House, after the British military hero and statesman, and his name is well attested in Cheltenham’s road network. London’s Apsley House was itself built by and named after Henry George Bathurst, Lord Apsley, and ultimately 4th Earl Bathurst, like Joseph Pitt a West Country MP, representing Cirencester from 1812 until 1834. The name is ultimately said to derive from the village of Apsley, near Pulborough in West Sussex, where the Bathursts had family connections.
Other names: Steeniecot (name in use 1875 – 81); Luddenham (name in use 1881 – 93); St Paul’s Vicarage (name in use 1894 – 1914).
Apsley Lodge (name in use 1873 to present; Pittville Circus). The house name was changed from Apsley Villa to Apsley Lodge around 1873 with the arrival of Colonel Henry Disney Ellis, recently retired from service with the 1st Battalion, 9th Regiment of Foot, who served at Sebastopol. Col. Ellis died soon afterwards, in 1877, and his wife Esther remained at Apsley Lodge until her death in 1918, aged 88.
Other names: Apsley Villa (name in use 1844 – 73).
Apsley Villa (name in use 1844 – 73; now Apsley Lodge, Pittville Circus). The name Apsley Villa is presumably a secondary formation after that of its neighbour Apsley House. The name of Apsley Villa was changed to Apsley Lodge when new residents arrived around 1873.
Other names: Apsley Lodge (name in use 1873 to present) (name in use 1841 - 83).
Ash Priors (name in use 1883 – 1950+; now Priors Lodge, Pittville Circus). Ash Priors is the name of a village near Taunton in Somerset. The Pittville house name dates from the arrival of Major-General Henry Shewell, his wife Eleanor, and their children in 1883. Although no specific association between the family and Ash Priors has been identified, it is significant that both Henry Shewell’s mother Emma and his wife Eleanor were born in Somerset, though in both cases in the north of the county, and the name is likely to commemorate their affiliation to the county. It is perhaps coincidental that the Somerset village of Ash Priors is only a few miles away from Terhill, then the name of the next-door house in Pittville Circus.
Other names: Kyrle Villa (name in use 1849 – 69); Phayrecot (name in use 1867 – 83).
Askham House (name in use 1892 – 1950+; now Irving House (2), Pittville Circus Road). Acton Lodge was renamed Askham House when Captain Edward Thompson, formerly of the 95th Regiment, his wife Anne, and their daughter moved in at the very end of 1892. The family had previously been living at Overton House, Bayshill, in Cheltenham. Captain Thompson came originally from Yorkshire: he was often referred to as Capt. Thompson of Bramham, near Wetherby in West Yorkshire, where he and Anne brought up their family. But he himself was born and brought up in Bilbrough, north-east of Bramham and nearer to York. Bilbrough neighbours the two Yorkshire villages of Askham Richard and Askham Bryan, and for many years in the first half of the nineteenth century Capt. Thompson’s father, Robert Stephen Thompson MA, was at the same time vicar of the first and perpetual curate of the second. The name Askham House was a reminder to Captain Thompson of his life south-west of York by the two Askhams, where he grew up.
Other names: Acton Lodge (name in use 1873 – 92).
Atherstone Lawn (1886 – 1907; now 88 Portland Street). Atherstone Lawn probably derives from the name of the town of Atherstone in northern Warwickshire (though other places with the same name include the villages of Atherstone-upon-Stour in southern Warwickshire, and Atherstone in Somerset). Many Cheltenham residents would have been familiar with the celebrated Atherstone Hunt. However, the mechanism by which the name was conferred on the Pittville house is uncertain. Originally the house was called Cyntaf House, and when it fell vacant in 1881 the Cheltenham Annuaire continued to list it as Cyntaf House until 1886, when the name became Atherstone Lawn, even though it still remained empty (in fact, this change probably relates to late 1885, when data for the Annuaire will have been collected). From Spring 1886, and for several years subsequently, the house was occupied by Mary O’Callaghan, widow of Dublin barrister Isaac O’Callaghan. But she did not name the house as it was called Atherstone Lawn in advertisements before she took up the lease. A curious coincidence involves the name of the popular novel Atherstone Priory (1864), by the unknown L. N. (perhaps “Ellen”) Comyn; members of a Comyn family lived in Cheltenham for several decades up to the 1860s, when Stephen Comyn and his family lived at 38 Evesham Road, just north of Atherstone Lawn. The name change from Cyntaf House appears to be another example of a Pittville house being renamed in an attempt to make it more attractive to potential occupants (see perhaps also Tracy House). Although the name survived only a few years into the twentieth century, it enjoyed a new lease of life when the Creese family (Alfred Creese, draper, and his family) moved from Atherstone Lawn in Pittville to Montpellier Parade, when they named their new house (now the home of Cheltenham’s New Club) Atherstone Lawn.
Other names: Cyntaf House (1833 – 85).
Aubervie (name in use 1876 - 1950+; demolished, now 26-40 East Approach Drive). The house name Aubervie probably derives from the village of Aubervie near Grenoble, though another small village called Aubervie east of Rheims was the scene of fighting in WW1. The first occupants of the house in Pittville, Joseph Gutteridge Stevenson Esq. and his family, were well travelled in Europe, but no particular association has been traced to either village. Almost as soon as they moved into Aubervie, in 1877, “Mr. & Mrs. J. G. & family” set off for Germany (Cheltenham Looker-On, 7 July) and two years later they travelled to “Neuëahr” (probably Bad Neuenahr-Arhweiler) in Germany. In further support of their continental credentials: their daughter Florence May had been born around Florence in 1849, and their daughter Sidney Augusta was married in the British Embassy in Paris in 1860.
The Aviary (also Aviary) (name in use 1837 – 63; now Cranley, Wellington Square). This was one of a set of three adjacent houses (with Laurel Lodge and Percy House) built for Eleanor Wallace, widow of Hill Wallace, one-time Captain of the 14th Regiment of Foot, of Malone House, Belfast, and her daughter Eliza (also Elizabeth) Wallace. The reason for calling the house The Aviary is uncertain: contemporary large-scale maps do not indicate that the large garden had an aviary. Aviaries were common garden accessories among the wealthier classes at the time, but it would have been an unusual and perhaps unparalleled name for a house. It was not until later, around 1850, that the Jessop brothers called their nursery establishment in St James’s Square, Cheltenham “The Aviaries” (they were also “dealers in birds”), and slightly later “The Aviary”. This tempts investigation about other motivations. By the early 1840s Eliza Wallace had attained some local notoriety as a mesmerist; in the next few years she contributed accounts of medical cures achieved under the effect of hypnotism to The Zoist, a mesmerist journal edited by John Elliotson, expelled from his post at University College Hospital in 1838 for mesmeric practices. As a proponent of animal magnetism, the founder of Mesmerism, Anton Mesmer, was known to have an affinity with birds: he had a tame canary, and had installed an aviary and dove-cotes in his garden, according to a report by Mozart’s father Leopold. Maybe Eliza Wallace wanted to cast Mesmer’s influence over the house by way of its name. As the 1840s wore on, Eliza Wallace began to move on, developing a technique (later patented) for producing coloured glass decorative “architecture”, which she exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851. On the crest of her success, she set up a “Ladies’ Guild” in central London with Octavia Hill’s mother, to encourage women to gain an income from their own craft- or other work. Her uncle Hill and Aunt Maria, and her sister Ellen, also lived in Pittville.
Other names: Cranley Lodge (name in use 1864 – 1950+).
Avondale House (name in use 1840 to present; Wellington Square). Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Barron had the house built in the mid 1830s, and moved in soon after with his daughter Helen. Thomas Barron was born in St Andrew’s, Fife, the eldest son of William Barron, Professor of Philosophy at the University, and his wife Margaret Stark of nearby Balmerino, and had spent his career in Bengal in the service of the East India Company. It is likely that the house name Avondale derives from the name of the scenic valley of Avon Water in South Lanarkshire, around the historic market town of Strathaven: the same place-name was used later in the title “Duke of Clarence and Avondale” used by King Edward VII when he was Prince of Wales. Thomas Barron’s daughter Helen married Frederick Perry, who wrote and published dances, including the Avondale Schottische, inscribed to his future wife “Miss Barron”. One of Thomas Barron’s brothers, John Baron [sic], a doctor practising in Gloucester before moving to Cheltenham, was Edward Jenner’s biographer.
Balgowan House (name in use 1859 – 1902; now Fairhavens Court, Pittville Circus Road). In 1859 Sir James Archibald Hope moved with his wife Christiana and his children from Vallombrosa at the eastern end of Pittville Circus Road nearer to the Circus itself and into the newly erected Balgowan House. The name Balgowan House derives from the village of Balgowan (and the house there named Balgowan House), halfway between Perth and Crieff, in Perth and Kinross. Balgowan was the seat of General Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch (1748 – 1843), to whom James Archibald Hope (a member of the senior branch of the Hope clan in Scotland) was apparently indirectly related through Graham’s mother, Lady Christian Hope, daughter of Charles, 1st Earl of Hopetoun. But there were other links with the Grahams of Balgowan, as James Hope was Thomas Graham’s aide-de-camp during the Peninsula War, was with Graham at Cuidad Rodrigo, Badajoz, and other actions, and was promoted to Assistant Adjutant-General at Salamanca when Graham was forced to go on sick leave. James Hope retired on half-pay in 1839 before serving in Canada from 1841 and being promoted to Colonel of the 9th Foot in 1848 and to full General in 1859. Hope’s Military Memoirs of an Infantry Officer 1808-16 (1833) were well received as an engaging account of action during the Peninsula War: Hope signed the foreword to this work from Perth. The Pittville house name recognises James Hope’s association with the Graham family at Balgowan through kinship and the camaraderie of life as a soldier in Wellington’s army.
Other names: Balgowan Lodge (name in use 1859 – 60); Northerwood (name in use 1903 – 1946+).
Balgowan Lodge (name in use 1859 – 60; now Fairhavens Court, Pittville Circus Road). A name recorded from 1859 to 1860 in the Cheltenham Annuaire for the house otherwise called Balgowan House.
Other names: Balgowan House (name in use 1859 – 1902); Northerwood (name in use 1903 – 1946+).
Banchory Lodge (name in use 1837 – 41; now Evesham House, 21 Wellington Road/Little Evesham House, Wellington Road). The first owner and occupant of Banchory Lodge was the Hon. Andrew Ramsay, with his wife Rachel. Andrew Ramsay was the fifth son of the eighth Earl of Dalhousie (Dalhousie Castle is just south of Edinburgh), the senior branch of the Ramsay family. Andrew Ramsay named his house after Banchory Lodge in the town of Banchory, Aberdeenshire, commemorating a property owned by the Balmain branch of the Ramsay family (the Burdett-Ramsays). In 1842 Andrew Ramsay and his wife moved to Dorset Villa in Pittville.
Other names: Evesham House (name in use 1841 to present).
Beaufort (name in use 1890 - 1928; this was gradually superseded from 1897 to the present by Beaufort House, West Approach Drive). Originally 2 Beaufort Villas, but as Nos 1, 3, and 4 Beaufort Villas assumed house names by 1890 (Bexley, Dunboyne, and Gundulf), this house came to be known simply as Beaufort, or Beaufort House. There are numerous street and house names in Cheltenham incorporating the name Beaufort; these “probably commemorate [Henry Somerset] the 7th Duke of Beaufort, 1792-1853, who had several local connections and was MP for West Glos. in 1835” (Hodsdon, Gazetteer). The Gazetteer also points out that “in the Fairview/Pittville border area, Beaufort names may have started with Beaufort House, listed 1841 in Union Street”.
Bennington (name in use 1864 - 1918; now 16 Albert Road). Bennington is named after the village of Bennington (now Benington) in Hertfordshire, the birthplace of John Chesshyre, father of Charles John Chesshyre, who moved into the new house in Albert Road with his family in 1864. Charles Chesshyre, solicitor, was once the political agent of Col. Berkeley (see Berkeley Court), a Cheltenham Town Councillor, and member of the Cheltenham Corporation, and it was at his suggestion that Bennington Street in Cheltenham, between the High Street and St Margaret’s Road, was so named about 1868.
Berkeley Court (name in use 1873 - 83; now 25 Pittville Lawn). The house name was changed (from Admington House) with the arrival of Joseph Johnson and his family, from 14 (now 65) Pittville Lawn in 1873. Johnson was born in Warwickshire, but spent many years as a farmer in Adelaide, South Australia, before returning to England in 1859. The motivation for the new name was the prominent Berkeley family commemorated in many Cheltenham street names, etc.: Col. William Fitzhardinge Berkeley (1786-1857) entered the House of Lords as Lord Segrave in 1831 (Hodsdon, Gazetteer), and Craven Fitzhardinge Berkeley served as Cheltenham’s MP almost continuously from 1832 to 1855. Lord Segrave’s Cheltenham residence was German Cottage, on North Place just south of Pittville; in the winter of 1840 his younger brother Craven leased nearby Pittville House. See also Admington House, Berkeley House, and Nos 1 and 2 Berkeley Villas (now 19 and 21 Pittville Lawn).
Other names: Admington House (name in use 1839 - 72); Berkeley House (name in use 1884 - 1950+).
Berkeley Hall (name in use 1867 - 1926; now North Hall, Pittville Circus Road). William Wallace had run his school, Berkeley Villa, from his home at 3 Berkeley Street (between Albion Street and the High Street) since the 1850s. In 1867 he moved lock, stock, and barrel into new premises in Pittville Circus Road, and upscaled his school’s name from Berkeley Villa to Berkeley Hall, though “hall” was not a term usually associated with Pittville houses (it only occurs twice, quite late in the nineteenth century). Berkeley comes from the name of the street in which the original school building was located, and ultimately from the name of the Berkeley family (see Berkeley Court). After Wallace’s departure, the school was continued under the Rev. Henry de Romestin MA (Oxon), in 1871 with an undermaster and eleven pupils.
Other names: Kirkella (name in use 1901 – 39).
Berkeley House (name in use 1884 - 1950+, now 25 Pittville Lawn). The house name was changed from Berkeley Court when Mrs Ellen Rae, widow of merchant William Maples Rae (d. 1882), moved here with her family in 1884 from 13 (now 63) Pittville Lawn. See also Gwernant Villa, Pittville Circus Road (name in use 1861 – 1950+).
Other names: Admington House (name in use 1839 - 72); Berkeley Court (name in use 1873 - 83).
Berkeley Villa (name in use 1841 - 2; 1861; now 21 Pittville Lawn). A name applied to what became 2 Berkeley Villas by the Johnson family in 1841/2, when the conjoined 1 Berkeley Villas was temporarily called Northumberland Villa. In general both were referred to as 1 or 2 Berkeley Villas, though in the 1861 census 1 Berkeley Villas (now 19 Pittville Lawn) was recorded as “Berkeley Villa”. The name Berkeley derives from the Gloucestershire Berkeley family: see Berkeley Court.
Bexley (name in use 1887-1917; now Richmond, West Approach Road). Formerly 1 Beaufort Villas, this house name was changed mid-occupancy at a time when other houses in the road were also adopting names rather than numbers (see Dunboyne and Gundulf). The Searle family had lived at the house since John Searle bought it when it was first offered for sale in the mid 1850s. In 1887 his son James Searle, an officer in the local militia, introduced the name Bexley in commemoration of the family’s links with the village of Bexley in Kent: John Searle had been registered to vote in Blackheath because of property he owned in Bexley in the 1850s and probably for many years later.
Bilbrook House (name in use 1832 to present; Winchcombe Street). The house (originally Bilbrooke House) was probably (though not definitely) named after Bilbrook House in Bilbrook, near Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, the home for much of the 1820s and 1830s of the Rev. John Clemson Egginton. John Egginton married Anne James of Newnham, Gloucestershire at Newnham in 1830, and in 1837 the couple moved from Staffordshire to Wellington Villa (now 19 Wellington Square), Pittville. The name Bilbrook House has been used of the Cheltenham house since 1832, when the Misses Heaven transferred their school for young ladies there from Belle Vue House in Gloucester. Perhaps the Rev. Egginton was involved in the establishment of the Pittville school: his wife and Ann Heaven both came from Newnham/Westbury-upon-Severn. See Wellington Villa.
Blenheim House (name in use 1834 to present; Blenheim House, 1 Evesham Road). The name Blenheim House appears in the earliest sale advertisements for the Pittville house in 1834 (Cheltenham Chronicle, 18 September, etc.), in which house agent Mr Young, and builder Mr Sheldon hope to find “a family of distinction” for the house “situate in the most preferable part of the Pittville Estate”. Blenheim became a fashionable name for streets and houses after Marlborough’s celebrated victory at the Battle of Blenheim (1704; German Blindheim, near Höchstädt in Bavaria). Marlborough was rewarded by the nation with the gift of Blenheim House near Woodstock in Oxfordshire (then and now often referred to as Blenheim Palace). Another Blenheim House was advertised for let, sale, or exchange in Cheltenham in March 1821 (Cheltenham Chronicle), built by Henry Haines (see Heathfield Lodge and Pittville Mansion, and also Hodsdon, Gazetteer). The parade of five terraced houses built on the Evesham Road in the later 1830s, north of Blenheim House, are likely to have been named after the house. See Wellington house names for the similar recognition of military success.
Brompton House: see Altidore Villa (name in use 1866 - 1925).
Burston House (name in use 1886 to present; Pittville Circus). Also Burston (1898 – 1903). William Simms Bull and his wife brought up their children from around 1865 at Burston Hall, Burston, near Sandon, south-east of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. In the mid 1880s they moved to Pittville, and changed the name of their new house from 1 Oakley Villas to Burston House (at much the same time 2 Oakley Villas became Kingsmuir). Burston Hall in Burston is now a Grade II listed building, as are its neighbours Burston House and Burston Lodge.
Byron Court: see Sunnyside (name in use 1874 – 1950+).
Camden Villa (name in use 1834 to present; Wellington Lane). This, the central of the three “Camden” houses in or near Clarence Road, was apparently the first to be named, in an advertisement placed in late 1834 by the owner, William Ward (who had also bought next-door Camden House). The fashionable name would therefore seem to predate the first occupant, and probably derives not from the well-known antiquarian William Camden (1551-1623), but from the noble Camden family, ultimately of Camden Place, Kent, ennobled in the mid-eighteenth century, or perhaps from the older Campden family of Chipping Campden. Both families owned buildings which incorporated their name, such as Cam(p)den House, and other uses of the house name are found. Nearby Camden Terrace, between North Place and Portland Street, may be slightly later (1839 or earlier).
Capel Court (name in use 1839 – 58; now Malden Court, 71 Pittville Lawn). Capel (also Capell) is the family name of the Earls of Essex, and the house name commemorates the property’s historical relationship with the Capel family. The Earls of Essex were substantial landowners in and around Cheltenham, and Joseph Pitt bought land north of the town – much of which became Pittville – from the family. The land on which this house was built was acquired by Pitt directly from the Capel family: William Anne Capell was the 4th Earl (1732 – 99) and George Capell-Coningsby the 5th Earl (1757 – 1839) (ninth creation). The name may also recall Capel Court, off Bartholomew Lane in the City of London, since 1802 an informal name for the new London Stock Exchange first situated in the Court: this Capel Court was named in 1503 in memory of another member of the Capel family, Sir William Capel, an ancestor of the Earls of Essex. Capel Court in Pittville Lawn was occupied by Staffordshire and Gloucestershire JP Stubbs Wightwick (see also Westwick), on whose death the name was changed by the new owner Thomas Champion to Malden Court.
Other names: Malden Court (name in use 1858 to present).
Carlton House: see Prestbury Villa (name in use 1869 – 1932).
Casa Echalaz (name in use 1897 – 1914; now 102 Evesham Road). The older name Evesham Lawn was changed to Casa Echalaz (Mexican Spanish: “the Echalaz residence”) in 1897, when Kate Newman Buddicom née Clark, widow of the late Robert Joseph Buddicom (died 1895) moved into the property on Evesham Road. Echalaz commemorated a family name in the Clark family: Kate’s father was Samuel Juaniz Y Echalaz Clark, a silk merchant in London. His parents were Samuel Clark of Devon and Josepha Rosetta Juaniz Y Echalaz, daughter of a Mexican merchant who had settled in Devon (probably Vincente Juaniz Y Echalaz), who married Joyce Hickes at Exeter in 1764. Amongst other legatees of Kate Buddicom’s will proved in 1914 was Capt. Harold Echalaz Welch.
Other names: Evesham Lawn (name in use 1881 - 96).
Cedar Holme (name in use 1894 – 1934; now 18 Wellington Square). The name Cedar Villa was changed to Cedar Holme when Tudor George Trevor, his wife Cordelia, and their daughter and son-in-law Theodora and Paul Jeremy moved in during 1894. Tudor Trevor had been born in Chennai (Madras), India and after school in York had worked as an accountant for the Paymaster General’s office. In Cheltenham he continued his earlier involvement with Church Missionary and Temperance societies. This was one of several houses which lost the “Villa” tag towards the end of the nineteenth century.
Other names: Georgina Villa (name in use 1839 – 76); Cedar Villa (name in use 1873 – 1894).
Cedar Villa (name in use 1873 – 1894; now 18 Wellington Square). The name Cedar Villa was introduced to the house formerly known as Georgina Villa when Colonel Ben Hay Martindale and his wife moved in during 1873. It would be attractive to associate the name with a cedar tree in the Square, but although Red Cedars (along with many other plants) had been sold twenty years earlier at the nursery at the south-west corner of Wellington Square, there is no record of a cedar tree standing prominently in the Square. This raises the possibility that Col. Martindale and his wife Mary Elizabeth may have had some family reason for choosing the name. After a career in the Royal Engineers in Gibraltar, Corfu, and elsewhere, Ben Hay Martindale moved to New South Wales in 1857 as Chief Commissioner of Railways, Superintendent of the Electric Telegraph, and then Commissioner for Roads. His wife Mary Elizabeth (née Knocker) was a landscape artist of some note: her Sketchbook of Our Trip to the Blue Mountains, N.S.W., 1860 testifies to her interest in the scenery of New South Wales, where the red and white cedars are prominent aspects of the ecosystem (cedar was a principal export from New South Wales in the early nineteenth century). For a family versed in public construction and artistic representation it is arguable that the name Cedar Villa was influenced strongly by the life of the Martindales in Australia.
Other names: Georgina Villa (name in use 1839 – 76); Cedar Holme (name in use 1894 – 1934).
Clarefield (name in use 1874 – 1934; now 94 Evesham Road). The name Clarefield was introduced by the house’s first resident, Eliza Birchall. Eliza had been born and brought up in Leeds, Yorkshire. Her half-brother John, a wool and cloth mercer, married Clara Jane Brook in York in 1861 but sadly Clara died two years later, in 1863. Eliza then went to live with her brother Dearman in Upton St Leonards in Gloucestershire (1871 census). When Eliza moved into her Cheltenham house three years later, she seems to have chosen a name, Clarefield, which had been occasionally used elsewhere earlier, but which more importantly incorporated a family name commemorating her late sister-in-law Clara Jane and Clara’s daughter Clara Sophia (b. 1862): see The diary of a Victorian squire: extracts from the diaries and letters of Dearman & Emily Birchall (1983). Another acquaintance from Upton St. Leonard’s, Canon Richard Newlove, moved into St. Leonard’s, nearby on Evesham Road.
Clarence Lodge (name in use 1850 to present; Clarence Square). When this house was built, it was sold to Mary Carden as 2 Pittville Terrace North. Pittville Terrace North only contained two houses, and during the 1840s the terrace name was abandoned and the two houses (this one and Tyndale) first became associated with North Place and soon with Clarence Square. Clarence Lodge is a fashionable house name which derived its first element from the name of the square to which it now belonged, which in turn borrowed it slightly earlier from the Duke of Clarence (after 1830, King William IV: see Hodsdon, Gazetteer), as had Cheltenham’s Clarence Road.
Clarence Villa (name in use 1843 - 1900; Barnfield, Clarence Square). A fashionable house name taken from the street to which it belonged, Clarence Square: see Clarence Lodge. The name was probably given by the original owner Dr James Sperry. Towards the end of the century the name was changed to Deerhurst.
Other names: Deerhurst (name in use 1897 – 1915+).
Cleeve House: see Dunboyne (name in use 1891 - 1913).
Cleveland House (also Cleeveland House; name in use 1828 (1846) – 1950+; now 38 Evesham Road). The name Cleveland House appears early in the Pittville records, in 1828. The house was built by William Clifford sometime after 1824, and the name appears to have been given by him. It recalls the fashionable Cleveland House, in Cleveland Row, St James’s Square, originally built in the early seventeenth century, but by the turn of the eighteenth century the London home of the Marquess of Stafford (now Bridgewater House), and the scene of elegant parties and also of the well-known Stafford picture gallery. London’s Cleveland House was so called after the title of Charles II's mistress Barbara Villiers, who was made Duchess of Cleveland (the region and former county in the north east of England) in 1670. But this house name has local connections as well: Pittville’s Cleveland House was built just north of the section of Evesham Road then often known as Cleeve (or Cleve) Road, and predates the projected Cleeveland Parade, running north from Cleveland House up the Evesham Road. There is some confusion over the spelling: early references are to Cleveland House, but a general movement in spelling away from Cleve- towards Cleeve- (in Cleeve Road, Bishop’s Cleeve, etc.) from the mid-nineteenth century led to variability in Cheltenham’s Clevelands and Cleevelands, with the -ee- form tending to predominate.
Clive Lodge: see Gothic Cottage (name in use 1851 – 68).
Cornbrash House (name in use 1868 - 69; now Longville, Pittville Circus Road). Also Cornbrash Villa (1868). [Under review.]
Other names: Cotswold Villa (2) (name in use 1870 - 1903); Longville (name in use 1911 to present).
Cornbrash Villa (name in use 1860; now 10 Pittville Crescent). The name occurs in the conveyance of 1860 between builder William Smith and purchaser Stephen Demainbray; the previous year, both this and the neighbouring plot (now No 11) were intended, according to Smith's mortgage, for houses to be known as Cornbrash Villas. Cornbrash was a term likely to be familiar to builders: it is a geological word for the coarse, calcareous substance “which forms the upper division of the Lower Oolite in various parts of England” (OED), and describes one of the substrates found in parts of Gloucestershire stretching down to the Thames Valley. The house name clearly did not prove popular with the new owner, and it was changed to Lorraine Villa before he moved in. Compare Marle Hill and Marle Hill House.
Other names: Lorraine Villa (name in use 1860 - 1903).
Cotswold Grange (name in use 1848 – 1950+; now Cotswold Grange Hotel, Pittville Circus Road). Also Cotteswold Grange (1848 – 83). According to the Cheltenham Annuaire, the first occupant of Cotswold Grange was John Waddingham JP, who made his money as a cloth merchant in Leeds and became Deputy Director of the Leeds and Bradford Railway (and was later High Sheriff of Gloucestershire). In 1845 he sold the leasehold of his property, Burley Wood House outside Leeds, and in 1848 moved with his family into Cotswold Grange in Pittville Circus Road. The property was set in extensive grounds, attracting the description “Grange” rather than “House”. At the same time as his move to Pittville, Waddingham was negotiating the purchase of an even grander, and older, property, Guiting Grange (demolished c1972), near Winchcombe. He bought Guiting Grange in 1849, but the name probably influenced his choice of Cotswold Grange a year earlier. The Pittville property was the first of several houses to employ Cotswold in its name: an advertisement for the house in the Gloucestershire Echo of 1910 remarked on its “extensive views of the Cotswold Hills”. See also Malvern Hill Villa.
Cotswold Lodge (name in use 1859 to present; Pittville Circus Road). Cotswold Lodge had originally been named Cotswold Villa. But after only two years new resident George Law and his family moved in from Kenilworth House in Pittville Lawn and upgraded the name to Cotswold Lodge. Law was a London solicitor, and at the time of his death in 1871 he was the second oldest (and hence second most senior) registered London solicitor.
Other names: Cotswold Villa (1) (name in use 1857 – 60).
Cotswold Villa (1) (name in use 1857 – 60; now Cotswold Lodge, Pittville Circus Road). The first Cotswold Villa was advertised for sale or let in the Cheltenham Looker-On in late 1857, with its “southern aspect” and commanding “extensive and interesting views”. Miss Young moved in, from Park Place, Cheltenham in late 1858; she was followed in the next year by William Jones, magistrate, and his family, later of Segrave House and Anlaby House. The conventional, topographical name lasted only until 1859 (see Cotswold Lodge). From the 1840s Cheltenham had boasted Cotswold (also Cotteswold) Villas, at the southern end of Painswick Road.
Other names: Cotswold Lodge (name in use 1859 to present).
Cotswold Villa (2) (name in use 1870 - 1903; now Longville, Pittville Circus Road). After a gap of ten years the name Cotswold Villa was reintroduced in 1870 on the south side of Pittville Circus Road, for the house previously known as Combrash House (or Villa). The change of name coincided with the arrival at the house of accountant and Secretary to Cheltenham College William Levett Bain and his family, who lived there throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century. Soon after the death of W. L. Bain’s widow, Elizabeth, in 1910, the house name was changed again, to Longville.
Other names: Cornbrash House (name in use 1868 - 69); Longville (name in use 1911 to present).
Cranley Lodge (name in use 1864 – 1950+; Cranley, Wellington Square). Also Cranley (1891 to present). The house had previously been called The Aviary, but a year or so after Col. Arthur Walton Onslow took up residency with his family in 1862 he changed the name to Cranley Lodge, alluding to the family name Cranley, acquired by the Onslows almost a century earlier. Col. Onslow himself (1814 – 95) was the youngest child of Sir Thomas Onslow, 2nd Baronet Onslow, of Althair, Lancashire (1784 – 1853). Arthur and his father were members of the larger Onslow family, Earls of Onslow, of whom Thomas Onslow had been created Baron Cranley of Imber Court in the County of Surrey in 1776, and raised to Viscount Cranley of Cranley in the County of Surrey in 1801. Col. Onslow’s eldest brother was Richard Cranley Onslow, so the family had already used the name to signal their connection with the senior branch.
Other names: The Aviary (name in use 1837 – 63).
Cyntaf House (1833 – 85; now 88 Portland Street). Cartref (= “home”) is probably the most common Welsh word used in house names in Britain. Cyntaf (= “first”) is unusual as the name of a house. Cyntaf House was a corner property designed by Joseph Pitt’s Pittville architect Robert Stokes, and was an early build: perhaps Cyntaf means that it was the first house Stokes designed for the Pittville estate. Alternatively, it may have been so named as the first house (along with Stokes-designed Maisonette at 55 Portland Street opposite) which visitors to Pittville from central Cheltenham would have encountered on their way to the Pump Room along Portland Street. Early owners and residents do not seem to have particular associations with Wales.
Other names: Atherstone Lawn (1886 – 1907).
Daylesford: see Westville (name in use 1877 – 1903).
Deanwood House (name in use 1891 – 1938; now Homespring House, Pittville Circus Road). Also Dean Wood House (1891 – 1911+) and later Deanwood (1914 – 1986+). Originally Vallombrosa, the house name was changed when General Alexander Carnegy (Bombay Army, retired) brought his new wife Helen and their joint family to Pittville in 1891. The new name does not appear to be associated with the history of either family, and so its origin is currently uncertain. It is possible that it was influenced by the previous name Vallombrosa (“shady vale/valley”), the wooded region of Tuscany around the Vallombrosa abbey: dean (or dene) is an old word for “valley” (see also Hodsdon, Gazetteer).
Other names: Vallombrosa (name in use 1848 – 90).
Deerhurst (name in use 1897 – 1915+; Barnfield, Clarence Square). Deerhurst is the name of a village on the east bank of the Severn near Tewkesbury. The Cheltenham Annuaire associates the property in Clarence Square from 1895 with “Mrs. Newman”: Ellen Newman, widow of Peter Newham of Bath, lived in Camden Villa at the time, and appears to have let Deerhurst (formerly Clarence Villa). At present no particular resonances of the name for the Newman family have been found. See also Ravenhurst.
Other names: Clarence Villa (name in use 1843 - 1900).
Donore (name in use 1882 – 96; now St Anne’s, Pittville Circus Road). The house had proved difficult to sell or let after its chequered history (see St Anne’s and the Cheltenham Ghost) and had reverted from Garden Reach to Pittville Hall in 1881. But in the following year a new resident was found, and Captain Frederic William Despard, his wife Harriet, and their children moved in during April from Lansdown Place. They immediately changed the name of the house once again, this time to Donore. Although baptised in Gillingham, Kent in 1830, Frederic Despard was born in Ireland, the son of Henry and Anne Despard. The family’s ancestral home for a hundred and fifty years had been Donore House, in the township of Donore, County Laois (then Queen’s County), in the centre of Ireland just off the main Dublin-Limerick road. Donore House had been built by William Despard’s great-grandfather’s uncle Richard Despard (1682 – 1740) and although it was inhabited into the twentieth century by the descendants of Richard’s son George, it was clearly regarded as the family seat by other branches of the extended family.
Other names: Garden Reach (name in use 1865 – 79); Pittville Hall (name in use 1879 – 82 and also 1895 - 7); Pittville Court (2) (name in use 1896); Inholmes (name in use 1897 – 1911).
Dorset Villa (name in use 1843 to present; Dorset Villa, 83 Pittville Lawn). The name was perhaps conferred by the first owner, the Honourable Andrew Ramsay, fifth son of the 8th Earl of Dalhousie, who bought the house in 1842 and moved there from Banchory Lodge (later Evesham House), Wellington Road. No association has so far been established between Ramsay’s family or his life (much of which was spent in the employ of the Bengal Civil Service) and Dorsetshire. However, in the early 1840s fashionable Dorset Villas are also recorded by the Thames at Fulham and in another spa town, Tunbridge Wells.
Dover House (name in use 1874 – 96; now Park House, Wellington Square). Dover House first appears as the name for the house previously referred to as 2 Wellington Square East on the arrival of recently widowed retired solicitor Richard Henry Greatheed Wilson and his daughter Harriet in 1874. The motivation for the name is uncertain. Richard Wilson himself was born in India, where his father served with the East India Company’s Madras Army, and both he and his first wife Sarah Hewett lived in the north of England and in the midlands. The best-known Dover House was in Whitehall, the home of the Baron Dover and from 1885 the office of the Advocate General for Scotland, but no association has yet been established between Richard Wilson’s family and Dover or any building incorporating the word. After the death of Richard Wilson’s widow Anne Eliza (née Disney) in 1896, the name of the house was changed again to Inver.
Other names: Inver (name in use 1897 – 1910).
Drumholm (name in use 1889-1946+; now 15 Pittville Lawn). Irish-born Surgeon-General John Alexander William Thompson introduced the house name Drumholm (sometimes Drumholme) when he took up residency here with his wife and family after a successful career in the Army Medical staff in India and elsewhere. The inspiration for the name was Thompson’s home town: he was born around 1822 in Ballintra, County Donegal. Drumholm is an alternative name for Ballintra.
Drummond House (name in use 1901 to present; Drummond House, 6 Pittville Crescent). When the Aitkens arrived at Drummond House in 1897, the house was still called 6 Pittville Crescent. They retained the number until 1901, when they changed the name to Drummond House. The family consisted of Agnes Aitken, widow of William Aitken M.D., deputy surgeon-general in the service of the East India Company (Madras Army), and her two children Alice and William, both born in India around thirty years earlier. The choice of Drummond is not yet satisfactorily explained. Both William and his wife Agnes came from Edinburgh (Agnes lived centrally in Minto Street and William had joined the EICS at the Edinburgh Depot in 1841). As a trained surgeon, William is likely to have been familiar with the Royal Infirmary on Drummond Street, and the Old Surgeons Hall and the Drummond Library, now part of the University of Edinburgh campus, nearby. Perhaps this was a factor in the naming of Drummond House. See a similar explanation at Ross House.
Other names: Stanley Villa (name in use 1878 – 1882).
Dunboyne (name in use 1891 - 1913; now Cleeve House and Homewood, West Approach Drive). Major-General Thomas de Courcy Hamilton VC, a celebrated Crimean War veteran, moved into 3 Beaufort Villas with his large household in 1875. It was not until 1890, the year in which his son Ernest died aged 21, that he changed the name of the house to Dunboyne. Dunboyne is a village in County Meath in Ireland, and although Thomas Hamilton himself was born in Scotland, his father had been born on the Hamilton’s Ballymacoll estate at Dunboyne, and the family had long-standing associations with the place.
East Hayes (name in use 1844 – 1950+; now Lansdown House, Pittville Circus Road). This house was built “under the superintendence of [Pittville builder Mr. Edward Cope] ... for the Rev. John Browne, of Riverstown, Co. Cork”, and since the mid 1820s of Trinity Church, Pittville. In 1842 his congregation wished to show their respect for their minister, and to recompense him for contributing personally towards annual expenses for the choir and organ of the church. They raised over £1,500 in a matter of weeks, “for the purpose of enabling Mr. Browne to exchange his present house [2 (now 31) Pittville Lawn, which he owned] for a more commodious one” (Cheltenham Looker-On, 5 March 1842). The reason for the choice of East Hayes as the house name, though likely to be Browne’s, is uncertain. Perhaps it relates to the Upper and Lower East Hayes area of Bath, on the main approach to the city from the east, but this is not supported by evidence (Hodsdon, Gazetteer). Hayes Road off Pittville Circus Road is much later, and was named after the house in the 1950s.
Eastholme (1870 to present day; Wellington Square). Dublin QC George Bennett retired to Sodylt Hall, Shropshire around 1849, dying there seven years later, aged 78. His widow Elizabeth and her daughters Eleanor and Mary then moved down to 50 Clarence Square, Cheltenham and then to Percy House, Wellington Square. They then engaged an architect to design a new house for them at the north-eastern edge of Wellington Square. The architect was York-born John Middleton, by then an established Cheltenham architect. Shortly before designing Eastholme he designed and built his own home, Westholme (Bayshill, now on Overton Road), where he moved in December 1868. It is likely that the name Eastholme, where the Bennetts moved in 1870, is named after the architect Middleton’s own home, Westholme.
Edenholme (name in use 1892 – 1950+; now 106 Evesham Road). Edenholme had been called Iseultdene before the arrival of the Rev. Richard William Ferguson (b. 1828, Carlisle) and his wife Ellen in 1892. The couple moved from Balgowan House (now Fairhavens Court), Pittville Circus Road, though Richard Ferguson had previously been Vicar of Llandogo in Monmouthshire. Edenholme sounds a perfect house name for a retired clergyman, recalling the biblical Eden and his new home. However, the strongest associations are with Ferguson’s native city of Carlisle. Carlisle in Cumbria is built on the confluence of three rivers, the Eden, the Cardew, and the Petteril; holme (an island, or area of low-lying ground near a river) is a predominant place-name element around the Eden and elsewhere in Carlisle. The Ferguson family business was cotton-spinning, and the family mill on the Cardew was called the Holme Head Works. The Fergusons intermarried with the Dixons, who had built their palatial residence, Holme Eden, on the Eden in 1837 (referred to inadvertently as Edenholme in Walter White’s Northumberland, and the Border (1859)). Other similar names, especially along the flood-plain leading east out of Carlisle, include Willow Holme, Stony Holme, Robson Holme, and Holme House. The elements Eden and Holme would have been evocative to Richard Ferguson of his early life in Carlisle. Perhaps the Rev. Richard Ferguson had also read William Arnold’s short story “The Curate of Edenholm”, published in Fraser’s Magazine in October 1857, telling the gloomy tale of Francis, son of the Rev. Edward Rawden and his wife Ellen in the fictional Edenholm, Cumberland, published just a year after William’s own marriage to Ellen Smelt.
Other names: Iseultdene (name in use 1887 – 1891).
Edgbaston House (name in use 1873-1915; now Gate House, East Approach Drive). Edgbaston is the name of an affluent suburb in south-west Birmingham, attractive to wealthy Victorians as the controlling Gough-Calthorpe family banned the development of industry and warehousing in the area. The name Edgbaston House was employed by the estate agent Engells Sanders & Co when the property was first advertised in 1873 (Cheltenham Looker-On, 20 September). As the vendor is currently unknown, it is not possible to be more specific about the motivation for the house name.
Eglinton (name in use 1897 – 1934; now East Eglinton/West House, Pittville Circus). In 1891 Frederick William Frampton (born in Cheltenham), his wife Anne, three children, and six servants lived at Aban Court South, Malvern Place, Cheltenham. In 1897 they moved into Eglinton (previously St Idloes) on Pittville Circus. Although they changed the name of the house to Eglinton, the name was not new to them. When they had lived in Torquay in the 1880s they had lived at a house called Eglinton on Vansittart Road, in the Torr area of the city. The Torquay house had been called Eglinton since the 1860s, so they had simply taken over an existing name and then brought it to Cheltenham. The name Eglinton almost exclusively derives from the name of the Earls of Eglinton, the ancestral seat at Eglinton Castle, Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, or the place from which these are ultimately named. An infant son died while the Framptons were living at Eglinton in Torquay, and in his memory they presented All Saints’ Church in Torr with a small window. The Cheltenham name commemorated their life fifteen years earlier in Torquay. Mrs Frampton left the house, and Cheltenham in 1925, five years after the death of her husband. By the late 1930s it had been divided into two residences, East Eglington and Eglinton West (now West House), and a small East Wing added.
Other names: Rosehaugh Villa (names in use 1844 – 85); St Idloes (name in use 1887 – 96).
Ellenborough House: see Pittville Mansion (name in use 1833 - 1906).
Ellerslie (1876 to present; Ellerslie, 108 Albert Road). Ellerslie was becoming a fashionable house name when William Henry Bagnall and his second wife moved into the large house around 1876. The name had been popularised particularly by stories of William Wallace, such as the medieval Wallace; or the life and acts of Sir William Wallace, of Ellerslie, by “Blind Hary”, and John Finlay’s Wallace; or, The Vale of Ellerslie (1802): Wallace was said to have been born in Ellerslie (Ayrshire) or perhaps Elderslie (Renfrewshire) in Scotland. The Bagnalls did not introduce the name without prompting. Harriet Welchman, widow of Major-General Welchman, a distant cousin of William Bagnall’s first wife Harriet, lived in Leamington Spa and had called her house Ellerslie from at least 1872. Once the name was readily available to the family, it seems that William’s relation Benjamin Bagnall re-used it a few years later for his house in Eaton Gardens, Hove.
Ellingham House (name in use 1841 to present; Ellingham House, 79 Pittville Lawn). The first owner of the house, in 1841, was Susan Dawson née March Phillipps, widow of Edward Dawson of Leicestershire. The house is named after the village of Ellingham in Hampshire, where the March Phillipps (and the related Lisle family) had property interests: the village remained in Lisle family ownership until 1818, and the house name commemorates this family relationship. Susan Dawson’s brother, Whig MP Charles March Phillipps, lived in Ellingham House after her death in 1853, and their sisters Harriet and Frances lived at Lisle Villa, Clarence Square, Pittville. March Phillippses are found in both houses for several years to come.
Elton Villa (name in use 1861 – 1929; now 11 Pittville Crescent). Sarah Ryves moved into the newly built Elton Villa with her family in 1861 from Rosehaugh Villa (now East Eglinton) on Pittville Circus, a year after her husband’s death. William Harding Ryves (1797 – 1860) had been brought up at his ancestral home, Ryves Castle, Knocklong, in County Limerick. He was the last of his line to live there, having moved to Brighton earlier in the century. His widow Sarah named her new house Elton Villa in memory of her husband’s old family home and in particular of the village and townland of Elton, next door to Ryves Castle. An aunt, Mabella Ryves, had married Standish Grady of Elton House, and William must have remembered the place with affection.
Essex Lodge (name in use 1833 – 1903, when demolished). Essex Lodge was the name given to a small building erected in the late 1820s on the Pittville “pleasure grounds” as a subsidiary spa (it was also known as the “Little Spa”), where the public could take the waters. It stood at the corner of Central Cross Drive and Pittville Lawn, just to the east of the current café building, and census records show that it was occupied as living accommodation by families in both 1851 and 1891. The name derives from the Earls of Essex, who were historically substantial landowners in Cheltenham, and from whom Joseph Pitt acquired a considerable amount of property in and around the area which became the Pittville Estate (see also Capel Court).
Evesham House (name in use 1841 to present; now Evesham House, 21 Wellington Road/Little Evesham House, Wellington Road). Major-General Sir John Jones (Baronet) and his family moved into Evesham House in 1842, having bought it from the Hon. Andrew Ramsay the previous year, when the property was called Banchory Lodge. Evesham House stands on Wellington Road at the corner of the Evesham Road; the new name was more approachably distinctive than the old one, and should not be confused with older Evesham Lodge, just north of Windsor Terrace on the Prestbury Road. Sir John Jones was another old soldier who retired to Pittville. He was a Royal Engineer, commended by Wellington for his management of siege operations during the Peninsula campaign. He died in 1843, and was succeeded in title and at the house by his son Lawrence.
Other names: Banchory Lodge (name in use 1837 – 41).
Evesham Lawn (name in use 1881 - 96; now 102 Evesham Road). The house name is first seen in the 1881 national census, rather than in original sale advertisements for the new property, overlooking Pittville lawns on the Evesham Road. The first resident was Thomas Brown, a 77-year-old JP for Monmouthshire and Breconshire, who moved in with his wife in 1881. He died at the house in November 1884, and the name was retained until 1897, when it changed to Casa Echalez.
Other names: Casa Echalaz (name in use 1897 – 1914).
Fern Lawn (name in use 1875 – 1913; now Scoriton, 16 Pittville Crescent). Fern Lawn was the name given to the house by its first residents, Edward Pilgrim and his wife Emma, when they moved in during 1875. The name alludes to Edward Pilgrim’s passion for horticulture (see below). People knew that Edward Pilgrim was fortunate. His father was a sawyer, and he himself worked for many years as a servant and valet to Charles Hatt Velley, the wealthy occupant of 5 Segrave Place (now 9 Pittville Lawn). Emma had been a cook in the Velley establishment. When Charles Velley grew older, he decided to move to Bath, and is said to have offered his faithful servant Edward Pilgrim the substantial sum of £10,000 as a gift of gratitude even if he left his service, with the promise of more if Pilgrim accompanied Velley to Bath and continued to serve him (which he and Emma did) (see Pilgrim’s long obituary notice in the Cheltenham Mercury, Saturday 20 October 1883). Charles Velley died in 1873, quite soon after moving to Bath. Edward Pilgrim was his sole executor and a substantial beneficiary of Velley’s will (Velley’s estate was around £70,000). With some of his remarkable inheritance, Edward and his wife moved back to Cheltenham, and purchased Fern Lawn in Pittville Crescent. As a horticulturist Edward Pilgrim had few rivals in Cheltenham. Soon after moving into Fern Lawn he erected a grand glass-house in the gardens. Although ferns may sound unexciting to non-gardeners, they formed part of the new wave of exotic and ornamental plants of which Pilgrim was enamoured. They were minutely examined in books such as Joseph Lowe’s multi-volume Ferns: British and Exotic (1856-60). Pilgrim’s horticultural interests were widespread, and he competed and exhibited frequently and successfully across the region. The Cheltenham Mercury refers to “His magnificent collection of foliage plants [which] … were the talk of the whole county”. When his property came to be sold in 1910, the Gloucestershire Echo waxed lyrical about Fern Lawn, “a residence and pleasure grounds of exceptional beauty, including ornamental water”. When Edward Pilgrim died, he left over £65,000, almost as much as Velley’s original estate, but is commended by the Mercury for using the money wisely to bring happiness to so many people through his passion for beautiful and ornamental plants.
Flesk Lodge (name in use 1868 – 1939; now Old Lodge, Wellington Square). When fishmonger Daniel Olive and his family moved in during 1857, this house was called Victoria Cottage. The Olives soon changed the name to Wellington Cottage. But in 1868 the Olives changed the name again, to Flesk Lodge. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the name Flesk derives from the name of the River Flesk (or the Brown Flesk) in Co. Kerry in the west of Ireland, and from houses, such as Flesk Lodge and Flesk Cottage (and Flesk or Glenflesk Castle) known and occupied in the region of the river at the time. Although there is as yet no evidence associating the Olives with the river, it is significant that the Flesk is known as a salmon river. As a family of fishmongers in Cheltenham and Gloucester over three generations, the Olives were extensively associated with salmon. In 1843 the Bristol Mercury of 3 June noted that a huge male salmon was on display at the shop of Mr. Olive, fishmonger in the Colonnade, Cheltenham, caught at Beachley, on the Severn near Gloucester. In 1844 Daniel’s brother William, a fishmonger in Gloucester, advertised in Berrow’s Worcester Journal (30 May, etc.) that he could supply fresh salmon by railway to Worcester and surrounding areas. On 9 May Daniel Olive had a letter published in The Times in which he defended himself stoutly against a charge of selling immature salmon. On 24 June 1875 the Western Mail reported that Daniel Olive was called for the defence to counter an accusation of illegally selling breeding salmon out of season. In 1880 the Cheltenham Mercury of 10 January noted that Daniel Olive was charged with selling “unseasonable salmon” caught in Carmarthenshire and transported by railway through Cardiganshire (where the Olives had once lived). It seems likely that the Olives knew about the River Flesk first-hand.
Other names: Victoria Villa (name in use 1837 – 43); Victoria Cottage (1856 - 7); Wellington Cottage (name in use 1857 – 67); Wellington Villa (2) (name in use 1881).
Garden Reach (name in use 1865 – 79; now St Anne’s, Pittville Circus Road). Henry Swinhoe, the first owner of Garden Reach in Pittville Circus Road, was born in Calcutta (now Kolkota) in the mid 1820s. His parents were Thomas Bruce Swinhoe (sometime Solicitor to the East India Company in Calcutta) and his wife Jane. By the 1840s Thomas Swinhoe and his family lived in a suburb known as Garden Reach in the south-west of Calcutta near the Hooghly River, and Henry himself lived there with his wife and young family into the 1850s, when they emigrated to England around 1854. In 1861 Henry and his family lived in Sidmouth, in Devon, and by 1865 they had moved up to take possession of their new house in Pittville. Their stay in Pittville was not happy (see St Anne's and the Cheltenham Ghost for further information), though the house was originally named to remind the family of their happy memories of life in India. After Henry Swinhoe’s death in 1876 the house proved hard to sell or let, and after four apparently vacant years by 1880 it had been renamed Pittville Hall in the hope of giving it a new start.
Other names: Pittville Hall (name in use 1879 – 82 and also 1895 - 7); Donore (name in use 1882 – 96); Pittville Court (2) (name in use 1896); Inholmes (name in use 1897 – 1911).
Gate House: see Edgbaston House (name in use 1873 - 1915).
Georgina Villa (name in use 1839 – 76; now 18 Wellington Square). Georgina Ludlow, a spinster then living in Paris, purchased the house in 1839, apparently as an investment. It was either named by or after her, or in honour of one of her relatives with the same name. In 1855 Georgina Ludlow married Pierre Jules Cottat at the British Embassy in Paris: the marriage register states that she had previously lived in Bombay. She died a widow in Paris (Rue St Germain) on 18 April 1898, never apparently living in the Pittville house. Wellington House, Wellington Villa were apparently short-lived names for the house in the 1840s.
Other names: Cedar Villa (name in use 1873 – 1894); Cedar Holme (name in use 1894 – 1934).
Glenfall Lawn (name in use 1866 – 1911+; Pittville Circus Road). With its semi-detached neighbour Glenfall Villa, Glenfall Lawn was presumably named after nearby Glenfall Terrace (name recorded from 1852), of which the pair almost formed an extension. The terrace was named after the nearby and slightly older Glenfall Street, Fairview. See Hodsdon Gazetteer for the history of the street name, which is probably from older Glenfall House (previously Gutterfall) in Charlton Kings. The first occupant of the Pittville house was Rev. Godfrey Faussett MA and his family. Godfrey Faussett was originally from Oxford, but had more recently been vicar of Edgeworth, between Stroud and Cirencester. The Faussett Collection of Anglo-Saxon antiquities in Liverpool was amassed by his grandfather Rev. Bryan Faussett (1720-76), an early amateur archaeologist.
Glenfall Lodge (name in use 1882 – 1950+; now 94 All Saints Road). The rather grander name for Glenfall Villa introduced by former solicitor Henry Maltby and his wife Frances when they moved into the house in 1862. On the name Glenfall, see the entry for the adjoining property Glenfall Lawn.
Other names: Glenfall Villa (name in use 1866 – 1881).
Glenfall Villa (name in use 1866 – 1881; now 94 All Saints Road). The first recorded occupant of Glenfall Villa was Mrs Louisa Remington Mills, wife of silk-manufacturer John Remington Mills, in 1866. John Remington Mills had become Liberal MP for Wycombe in 1862, and the house was presumably held in Mrs Mills’s name. John Remington Mills was very substantially wealthy, and had other property elsewhere. He remained an MP until 1868 and in 1871 the couple lived in Tunbridge Wells. On the name Glenfall, see the entry for the adjoining property Glenfall Lawn. In 1882 the name of the house was changed by new owners to Glenfall Lodge.
Other names: Glenfall Lodge (name in use 1882 – 1950).
Glenmore Lodge (name in use 1836 – 2018; Wellington Square). Glenmore Lodge was built in the late 1820s for Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Limond (Lamont), on his return from a career with the Madras Army of the Honourable East India Company. Alexander Limond was born in Ayrshire, and his father David Limond was one-time Town Clerk of Ayr. Alexander Limont’s step-brother David lived at Dalblair House, on the banks of Glenmuir (also Glenmore) Water, a river in East Ayrshire flowing west through spectacular gorges into Lugar Water at Lugar. Alexander chose the name Glenmore Lodge to commemorate the scenery of his youth, and to remember property owned by his family nearby at Dalblair.
Goldington House: see St Leonard’s (name in use 1872 – 1909).
Gothic Cottage (name in use 1851 – 68; now Clive Lodge, Wellington Square). Gothic Cottage was a surprisingly common name for a small house, often one set in the garden of a larger house, from the early nineteenth century. Other, earlier examples in Cheltenham were located in modern Montpellier Arcade, Sandford Field, and in nearby Portland Street (see Hodsdon, Gazetteer). As elsewhere, the naming refers to the Gothic Revivalist style of architecture popular at the time, particularly evident slightly later along the main terrace on the west side of Wellington Square. Pittville’s Gothic Cottage was built in the nursery grounds originally set out by nurseryman Richard Ware in 1828-33, and was one of a pair of houses, originally 1 and 2 Victoria Villas, set back from Wellington Square and backing onto Wellesley Road. Slightly later, by 1857, the corner property had become Flesk Cottage. In 1851 Gothic Cottage was occupied by gardener Job Dyer and his family. The modern name Clive Lodge is comparatively recent, appearing in the Cheltenham newspapers from around 1940.
The Grange: see Marle Hill House (name in use 1830 – 1920).
The Gryphons (name in use 1888 to present; Pittville Circus Road). The house was built for Cheltenham solicitor William Henry Mellersh, and occupied by him, his wife Jane Sinnet Griffith Mellersh, and family until well into the twentieth century. William Mellersh himself died at The Gryphons in 1931, aged 87. Perhaps the name comes from stone gryphons which originally surmounted the gate posts, but if they existed they and the original house have been replaced. A gryphon (also griffin, griffon) is a mythological and heraldic creature with the head, wings, and talons of an eagle and the body of a lion.
Gundulf (name in use 1890-1901; now Parkgate, West Approach Drive). The house name was changed from 4 Beaufort Villas to Gundulf in 1890 by the then occupant Col. Richard Arthur Sargeaunt, who served for over thirty-three years as an officer in the Royal Engineers. Gundulf was the name of a monk at the abbey of Bec in Normandy who became Bishop of Rochester under William the Conqueror and was employed by William for his talents as a military and church architect: he supervised the construction of the White Tower (in the Tower of London) and Rochester Cathedral. Since their establishment in the eighteenth century the Royal Engineers have traditionally looked back to Gundulf as the founder of the modern science of military engineering, and as the first “royal” engineer, and this is commemorated in the house name conferred by Col. Richard Sargeaunt, R.E.
Gwernant Villa (name in use 1861 – 1950+; now Berkeley House, Pittville Circus Road). Also Gwernant (1876 – 1950+). Gwernant Villa is the first recorded name for this house, conferred by its first resident Caulfield Tynte Lloyd Williams when he moved in with his wife Anne in 1861. Caulfield Lloyd Williams had recently inherited the family seat, Gwernant Park, near Newcastle-Emlyn, in Cardiganshire, on the death of his father Edward Lloyd Williams (Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire) in July 1860. In the 1860s the Cheltenham Looker-On often records the Lloyd Williamses returning to Gwernant Park in Cardiganshire: they maintained both residences, with Gwernant Villa as their Cheltenham home. Caulfield Lloyd Williams was elected Sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1869. The road by his Cheltenham property was once known as Gwernant Close, after the house (now Selkirk Close) (see Hodsdon, Gazetteer).
Haddo (name in use 1888 to present; Pittville Circus Road). In 1888 (Cheltenham Looker-On, 2 June), Col. Thomas Peebles and his family moved into the house from Sunnyside, nearby on Pittville Circus Road. It is probably named after Haddo House in Aberdeenshire, a Scottish stately home now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. Thomas Peebles was born into a naval family near the dockyards in Chatham, Kent, but his parents were both Scottish. The precise birthplace of Thomas’s father Thomas Peebles is not certain, but his mother Ann (née Bruce) was born in Aberdeenshire in the 1780s and so the name of Haddo House is likely to have held fond memories for her, and perhaps also for her husband.
Halsey House (name in use 1873 – 1950+; now Devonshire House, Wellington Road). Primrose Lawn was renamed Halsey House on the arrival of retired Indian Civil Service police inspector Albemarle Bettington and his family in late 1872 or early 1873. Prior to moving to Cheltenham, the Bettingtons had lived and raised their young family in Sharnbrook on the Great Ouse in Bedfordshire, the home village of Albemarle’s wife Susanna (née Gibbard). Susanna Bettington’s family had extensive property around Sharbrook, including Halsey Wood on the modern A6 just to the north of the village.
Other names: Primrose Lawn (name in use 1833 – 87).
Harwood House (name in use 1837 to present; from 1889 – 1934 known as Wellington Court; Wellington Square). Bought and occupied from 1832 by Colonel William Larkins Watson CB, founder member of the Bengal Club (1827) and sometime Adjutant-General of the Army (East India Company). It was retained in the family’s ownership till 1888, when its name was changed to Wellington Court. Watson and his wife Sarah Marshall were both born in India, and raised their family there. Despite the Watson family’s long association with the house, the name cannot yet be linked to them or related families with any certainty, and may have been conferred by the original owner or architect. Several houses named Harwood House and Harwood Lodge predated the Pittville Harwood House, as did Lord Harewood’s Harewood House (often pronounced as if Harwood). The name reverted from Wellington Court to Harwood House around 1934.
Other names: Wellington Court (name in use 1889 - 1936).
Hawksworth (name in use 1894 to present; Hawksworth, 26 Albert Road). The house name was changed from Melcombe House to Hawksworth with the arrival of elderly spinster Ann Ord in 1894. She chose the name to commemorate her mother Isabella Frances Hawksworth (d. 1873) and her mother’s family. The Hawksworths trace their line back beyond Sir Walter Hawksworth (also Hawkesworth and Hoxworth; 1st Baronet, 1660-83) of Hawksworth, near Guiseley in Yorkshire.
Other names: Vista Villa (name in use 1861 - 6); Melcombe Villa (name in use 1867 – 78); Melcombe House (name in use 1878 - 93).
Heath Lodge (name in use 1868 to present; Pittville Circus). Heath Lodge has not changed its name since it was first so called in 1868, when the Rev. Maurice Allen Smelt and his wife Hannah moved in. The Smelts moved to Cheltenham from Hampshire, where Maurice Smelt had recently been Senior Curate at Petersfield (1861-3) and finally rector of Medstead, near Alton. They brought the name Heath Lodge with them, as it was the name of the house they lived in for most of their stay at Petersfield. Heath Lodge in Petersfield is now an elegant Grade 2-listed Georgian house overlooking Petersfield Heath, on Sussex Road, Petersfield. Rev. Smelt MA FRAS remained very active in Cheltenham, providing the Cheltenham Chronicle with weekly weather reports for Cheltenham, from statistics collected at his observatory at Heath Lodge, and he and his wife also maintained their charity work with the poor and disadvantaged in Cheltenham.
Heathfield Lodge (name in use 1841 – 1950+; now 69 Pittville Lawn). Heathfield Lodge was named indirectly after the village Heathfield in East Sussex. The house was bought by Lieutenant-Colonel William Elliott of Reading, Berkshire from Cheltenham builder Henry Haines in 1839. Elliott was the son of the Rev. William Elliott, for many years Vicar of Trim, Co. Meath, who is said to have bent the rules in 1791 to help the young Arthur Wellesley become Trim’s MP. The Elliotts were distant relatives of General Sir Gilbert Eliott (also Elliott, Eliott), 1st Baron of Heathfield, renowned and honoured for his gallant defence of Gibraltar 1779-83, during the American War of Independence (see The Elliots: the story of a border clan by Dora and Arthur Eliott of Stobs, published in 1986), and the house was doubtless named after William’s illustrious ancestor. Lt.-Col. William Elliott died and was buried at Niagara in 1795, while serving as the commander of the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment. There is a memorial to him in the Minster, Cheltenham. Later called Regency Lodge.
Holmdale (name in use 1880 to present; Pittville Circus Road). Also Holme Dale (1881). This is the first and only name for the Pittville house, recorded from 1880 when the young Rev Benjamin Campbell Littlewood MA (Oxon) moved in with his recently widowed mother Sarah Campbell Derby Littlewood. Sarah Littlewood’s husband Benjamin (formerly of Greenways, Shurdington) had died at Pittville Hall (now St Anne’s, Pittville Circus Road) the previous year. The Rev Littlewood had previously been a curate at Codsall, Staffs (1877-80), and was in 1880 a clergyman without a living or “cure of souls”, and advertised himself from Holmdale as a “Priest […] of moderate views, [in search of] permanent work in the neighbourhood of Cheltenham” (John Bull, 11 September, 1880). After several years as a licensed preacher in the Gloucester diocese, the Rev Littlewood was appointed Vicar of Warfield, Berkshire, but returned to live with his mother at Holmdale three years before his death in 1911. Holmdale was a conventional house and road name by the 1880s, and at present there are no particular leads as to why it was chosen for the name of the house in Pittville Circus Road. See Holm Dene.
Holm Dene (name in use 1886 – 1950+; now 104 Evesham Road). Holm Dene was the name by which the house was first known, and it is likely to have been chosen by the house’s first resident, retired bank manager Adolphus Hume, who moved to Cheltenham with his family after his wife’s death in Tonbridge in 1885. The name may have no connection with the family other than the loose similarity of sound between Hume, home, and Holm; it was in Evesham Road it was next-door to two other Denes: Trevor Dene (1874) on one side, and Iseultdene (1889) on the other. It was one of a number of names becoming popular in the 1870s and 80s which evocated a generalised rural idyll fading into the past in later Victorian England (see also Deerhurst, Ravenhurst). See also Holmdale.
(Holy) Trinity Vicarage (name in use 1891 – 1950+; Camden House, Clarence Square). For many years this house was known as Camden House. Its name changed as a result of the legacy given by Miss Susan Mary Stokes, daughter of religious writer and editor George Stokes (see Tyndale), after her death in 1887. Susan left two houses to Holy Trinity Church in Portland Street, but both were considered unsuitable to become Holy Trinity Vicarage. They were therefore sold, and Camden House was bought with proceeds from the sale. The Reverent Percival Smith moved in with his family in 1890, from nearby at 1 Easton Villa (now 12 Albert Street). The house remained as a vicarage for many years, before reverting to its old style of Camden House.
Other names: Camden House (name in use 1837 – 1889 and 1950+ to present.
Homewood: see Dunboyne (name in use 1891 - 1913).
Inholmes (name in use 1897 – 1911; now St Anne’s, Pittville Circus Road). In April 1897 Leonard Myddleton Wallich MA advertised a new private school at Pittville Hall, the house that he, his wife Mary, and their family had just moved into in Pittville Circus Road. His father the Rev. Leonard Wallich had previously retired from Norfolk to Cheltenham, where he had died in 1894. By July 1897 the residents of Cheltenham were informed that the school was to be called Inholmes School, a prep school for boarders and day-pupils, opening that Christmas. Leonard Wallich was not new to schoolmastering: he had run Chichester House School in Worthing in Sussex in the early 1890s, and had then moved in 1893 to Burgess Hill in Sussex, where he founded the first Inholmes School, taking the name from the large house, Inholmes, where the school was based. There were two farms in the immediate area called Inholmes (Great and Little), from which the Sussex house doubtless got its name. Ultimately, the name probably derives from the Manor of Inholme in Lambourn, Berkshire, united by the Aldridge family who owned Inholme in Lambourn as well as property in Sussex. For Leonard, the name for his new home was based on practical considerations, maintaining continuity for the school he was translating from Sussex to Gloucestershire.
Other names: Garden Reach (name in use 1865 – 79); Pittville Hall (name in use 1879 – 82 and also 1895 - 7); Donore (name in use 1882 – 96); Pittville Court (2) (name in use 1896).
Inver (name in use 1897 – 1910; now Park House, Wellington Square). Elizabeth McMunn and her sisters Margaret, Hannah, and Rebecca (Ruby) moved into Inver in January 1897 with their nephew Hans Siree Hamilton, taking the house (previously called Dover House) over from Mrs Richard Wilson. All five of the new arrivals came originally from Donegal in Ireland, and the four aunts (and Hans’s mother Alicia McMunn) had been born in the village of Inver (Gaelic Inbhear river-mouth, estuary) on the southern Donegal coast. The new house name reminded them of their youth in the north-west of Ireland.
Other names: Dover House (name in use 1874 – 96).
Iseultdene (name in use 1887 – 1891; now 106 Evesham Road). This was the third of a short stretch of newly built houses in Evesham Road to be given a name ending in Dene (-dene) in the mid to late 1880s (see also Trevor Dene and Holm Dene). The motivation for the initial element Iseult comes from the Arthurian legend in which Tristan was dispatched to bring Irish princess Iseult (Isolde in Wagner’s version) to marry his uncle King Mark of Cornwall; the couple fall in love when they accidentally take a love potion and the tragedy unfolds. In 1887 Lydia Lillingston, widow of Edward Lillingston, late curate of Holy Trinity Church, moved into the Pittville house with her son George (George Brooks Percy Spooner Lillingston). George was an artist, fascinated by Cornish seascapes. In the late 1880s, he travelled down from Cheltenham on trips to Penzance, where he is associated with the Newlyn group of artists. By the time of the 1891 census he and his mother had moved to Penzance. His attraction to the Irish princess drawn to Cornwall is further attested by the fact that he named his yacht Iseult (see Lake’s Falmouth Packet 8 September, 1888).
Other names: Edenholme (name in use 1892 – 1950).
Kenilworth House (name in use 1837 to present; Kenilworth House, 27 Pittville Lawn). The first resident of Kenilworth House was William Buckler Astley. He only stayed a year, but he is likely to have named the property. Astley was born in 1781 in Wiltshire, but he belonged to the long-established Warwickshire family of Astleys, and doubtless heard stories from his father Francis Dugdale Astley of Astley Castle near Nuneaton and its grander counterpart Kenilworth Castle. Astley Castle was recently the subject of a major restoration project, winning the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2013. Latterly the Astley family estates had been at Barston, about seven miles from Kenilworth, and Francis Dugdale Astley was an absentee landlord receiving rents from property in Barston during William Buckler Astley’s youth. The name of Kenilworth House was likely intended to hint at the old Astley fortunes in Warwickshire.
Kingsmuir (name in use 1885 to present; now Kingsmuir Hotel, Pittville Circus). Originally called 2 Oakley Villas, Kingsmuir acquired its present name with the arrival of Major-General Robert Sutton Burge, his wife Rebecca, and their children. Until a few years earlier, the family had lived in India, where Robert Sutton was a senior and decorated officer in the Madras Army. They gave the house its new name after the house, Kingmuir, that they had leased for a while on Worcester Road, Sutton, Surrey. The Sutton house was owned by East India merchant David Leckie from Peebles, Peebleshire, and he and his family had moved out temporarily and were lodging in Marylebone when the Burges lived in his house in 1881. Leckie named his house in Sutton after the Kings Muir just over the Tweed from central Peebles (muir = moor or moorland).
Kingswood House: see Moultondale (name in use 1881 – 1950+).
Kirkella (name in use 1901 – 39; now North Hall, Pittville Circus Road). One of the first actions of Francis Brandt JP when he moved into the house formerly called Berkeley Hall on Pittville Circus Road in January 1901 was to place a notice in the Gloucestershire Echo saying that from that time forward the house would be known as Kirkella. The name Kirkella was chosen to commemorate the village of Kirk Ella, five miles west of central Hull, in which his mother Margaret Sarah Brandt née Dobson had been born around 1805, and where her parents brewer Matthew Dobson and his wife Mary had owned a grand house in Church Lane.
Other names: Berkeley Hall (name in use 1867 - 1926).
Kyrle Villa (name in use 1849 – 69; now Priors Lodge, Pittville Circus). Kyrle Villa was named after John Kyrle (1637-1727), an extensive public benefactor to the town of Ross-on-Wye, celebrated by Alexander Pope as “the Man of Ross” in his Moral Essay “On the Use of Riches” (1734). Kyrle gave money towards the reconstruction of Ross church and the Causeway to Witton Bridge, as well as providing funds of local needy children to attend school. The first owner of Kyrle Villa was its builder, Edward Cope, who died there in 1849. Cope was born and brought up in Ross-on-Wye, and named his house after one of Ross-on-Wye’s best-known philanthropists.
Other names: Phayrecot (name in use 1867 – 83); Ash Priors (name in use 1883 – 1950+).
Lake View (name in use 1882 - 1925; now Lake House, 91 Pittville Lawn). A conventional descriptive name, comparable to the common Sea View: the large semi-detached house Lake View, attached to Ravenhurst, 93 Pittville Lawn, immediately overlooks the main lake in Pittville. It was originally named 1 Essex Villas (see Capel Court for the association with Pittville of the Earls of Essex), but was changed to Lake View in 1882 with the arrival of Colonel James Smyth and his household from Vittoria House, Cheltenham. Col. Smyth had previously seen service with the 69th (South Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot in Canada and elsewhere.
Lansdown House: see East Hayes (name in use 1844 – 1950+).
Laurel Lodge (name in use 1835 to present; Wellington Square). The two semi-detached villas built by Mrs Eleanor Wallace and her daughter Eliza next to their own house The Aviary on Wellington Square were originally called Laurel Lodge West and Laurel Lodge East (later Laurel Lodge and Percy House). As the Wallaces were keen gardeners, and often won awards at the Pittville Horticultural Society exhibitions in the Pump Room, it is likely that the conventional name Laurel Lodge was given by them in relation to a distinctive aspect of planting in the two gardens. The name Laurel Lodge first appears in public in relation to the Laurel Lodge School established on the site by Mrs Mary Mechelen in 1835, and intended as a boarding school for twelve girls. Mrs Mechelen had previously run similar establishments in Bath and then Bristol, but her husband Joseph (also Josiah) was being sued for bankruptcy in 1835, and the finances of the school were unstable. Mrs Mechelen could not meet her rent (agreed with the Wallaces as £170 per annum) and the school moved next year to Sussex House, Winchcombe Street, before the unfortunate Mechelens left Cheltenham in the late 1830s.
Leamington House (name in use 1835 – 1950+; now 6 Prestbury Road). This was the house of builder Nathaniel Walford, who moved here from Fairview, until bankruptcy interrupted his career in the mid 1830s. The house is the first in the group of houses, Leamington Place, from which it was named. Leamington Place was presumably named after the rising spa of Leamington (Hodsdon, Gazetteer).
Linden Lawn (name in use 1891 - 1898; 19 Clarence Square). Linden (= lime tree) is a popular element in house names. The house in Clarence Square was simply known as No 19 until the arrival of clothier and loan agent Hurman Samuel and his family in 1891. A house called Linden Lawn already existed in Charlton Kings at the time, and the Hurmans' choice of house name may have been influenced by this, or by Linden House, College Lawn, in Cheltenham. Despite the frequency of Linden generally in house names, Linden Lawn itself is not recorded elsewhere in the country in contemporary newspapers. However, there is another possible influence. Both of Hurman Samuel's parents were born in Poland, as was the father of his wife Sarah. The linden tree is a widespread favourite in Poland, where it is common in place names and folklore and is regarded as symbolic of summer and good fortune, especially in the home. The Polish for the month of July is called Lipiec, after lipa, the linden tree. In addition, in the early twentieth century, this branch of the Samuel family donated several drinking fountains to parks and other locations in their previous home town of Cardiff, in honour of Hurman's parents Moses and Esther. It seems likely that Linden Lawn connotes not only the leisured luxury of an elegant house, but was also reminiscent for the Hurmans of the former life they had led in Poland.
Lisle House (name in use 1867 to present; Clarence Square). See the earlier name of the house, Lisle Villa.
Other names: Lisle Villa (name in use 1841 – 1866).
Lisle Villa (name in use 1841 – 1866; now Lisle House, Clarence Square). The house Lisle Villa was named after the Lisle family, who held property in Hampshire in the seventeenth century. The original occupant of Lisle Villa, Harriet March Phillips, was the daughter of Thomas March and Susan Lisle (Thomas March adopted the surname Phillipps when he inherited the Garendon estate in Leicestershire). Harriet’s brother Charles March Phillipps adopted the ancient de Lisle crest and arms. After her death in 1859 her nieces Lucy Frances and Rose March Phillipps resided at the house until they moved back to Leicestershire in the early 1860s, putting Lisle Villa up for sale. The new owner William Donald, newly returned from Australia, decided to change the name to Lisle House on his arrival in 1866.
Other names: Lisle House (name in use 1867 to present).
Longville (name in use 1911 to present; Pittville Circus Road). Soon after Dublin-born John Peyton Lambert, Post Office surveyor, married Bessie Edwards in 1872 the couple moved into Longville House, Cheney Longville, near Church Stretton in Shropshire, where two of their children were born. Later, the family relocated to the Cheltenham area and in 1911 moved into Pittville Circus Road, renaming their house (then called Cotswold Villa) as Longville, after their old house in Shropshire.
Other names: Cornbrash House (name in use 1868 - 69); Cotswold Villa (2) (name in use 1870 - 1903).
Lorraine Villa (name in use 1860 – 1903; now 10 Pittville Crescent). Lorraine Villa was named by Stephen Demainbray, retired solicitor, when he arranged to move into the house in Pittville Crescent Road in 1861 with his wife Emma. The Demainbray papers, in the Gloucestershire Archives, contain Demainbray's agreement to purchase the house in July 1860, followed by the conveyance of October 1860 in which the house is described as "a messuage or dwelling house, Cornbrash Villa, but then intended to be called Lorraine Villa" (Stephen Blake). Although the Demainbray family were of French origin, they came from the central area of France, rather than from Lorraine in the east central region of the country. The Demainbrays were a French Huguenot family, and Stephen’s great-grandfather Stephen Triboudet had fled from France to England after Louis XIVth’s revocation of the Treaty of Nantes (1685), which had given protection from religious persecution to the Huguenot population. The Triboudet family came from Maimbray in the Nevers region of central France (hence the topographic name Demainbray). Stephen’s great-grandfather had died soon after arriving in England, but not before the birth of Stephen’s grandfather, Stephen Charles Demainbray (1710-82), at St-Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster. Stephen’s grandfather had in due course been boarded with the family of another Huguenot refugee, the celebrated lecturer on natural philosopher, John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683 – 1744), and in due course became a well-known natural philosopher in his own right, becoming superintendent of the King’s Observatory at Kew. Both men attended the Freemasons’ lodge at the Swan in Long Acre, Covent Garden (an area of Huguenot settlement in London). A Demainbray family story told of how grandfather Demainbray’s mentor Desaguliers had initiated Francis, Duke of Lorraine (and later Holy Roman Emperor), into the Freemasons in The Hague. This was perhaps a factor in the choice of the name Lorraine Villa, though a Lorraine House had just preceded it in Wellington Street (between Bath Road and Oriel Street), Cheltenham, and the family is likely to have had other associations with the Lorraine region. Stephen's own father, Stephen George Francis Triboudet Demainbray, took over as superintendent of the Kew Observatory from his father, and then served as Royal Chaplain and also for many years as Rector of Great Somerford in Wiltshire, where Pittville’s Stephen Demainbray was born in 1803.
Other names: Cornbrash Villa (name in use 1860).
Lothian Villa (name in use 1855 - 1928; now 8 Pittville Lawn). The name Lothian Villa was added to what was then known as 2 Clarendon Villas in 1855, when George Scott MD moved in with his wife and household. George Scott was born in Scotland, and on his marriage certificate is described as of Monimail, Fife, across the Firth of Forth from Lothian. He perhaps received his medical training in Edinburgh, Lothian. The name was clearly important to the family, as one son, born in 1841 in France, was christened “Lothian”.
Luddenham (name in use 1881 – 93; now Tower House, Pittville Circus). When Major-General John Blaxland (Madras Army) and his wife Ann moved into the house in Pittville Circus in 1881 they changed its name from Steeniecot to Luddenham. The Blaxlands were a Kent family, and the manor of Luddenham, near Faversham, had been owned by the family (and in particular by another John Blaxland) for a number of years in the mid eighteenth century. The name had been important to the family, and so when Major-General John Blaxland’s uncles John and Gregory Blaxland went out to New South Wales, they took the name with them. John Blaxford’s property near Sydney was called Luddenham, after the old family estate in Kent, and after he left the region developed to the extent that Luddenham is now the name of a western suburb of Sydney.
Other names: Apsley House (name in use 1844 – 74); Steeniecot (name in use 1875 – 81); St Paul’s Vicarage (name in use 1894 – 1914).
Maisonette (name in use 1833 - 1950+; now 59 Portland Road). To our ears Maisonette is an unusual name for a house. The OED dates the modern use "apartment; self-contained accommodation within a house" only from 1912. But before that - from the late eighteenth century, it carried the original French meaning "small house". In the earliest known English use (1785), Maisonette is the name of a house in Stoke Gabriel, Devonshire, owned by a Cranfield Beecher. In Cheltenham, Col. Michael White Lee and his wife Barrett bought and moved into Maisonette (now 59 Portland Road) in 1833. They lived there until they moved into the much grander Pittville Lawn Villa in Pittville Lawn in the mid 1830s, so they perhaps did regard it as a "small" house. The Lees are presumably responsible for the use of the name Maisonette here. It is probable that they borrowed it from one of the other Maisonettes in the country, of which at least two are repeatedly referred to in old newspapers: the house in Stoke Gabriel, later occupied by the family of Admiral Thomas Hicks and then by Richard Parrott Hulme, and a house in Inglestone, Essex, variously occupied by Kortrights, Brooks, and Maynes until the late 1830s. It is not known whether Col. Michael White Lee or his wife had any links with these families through their military and West Indian connections.
Malden Court (name in use 1858 to present; 71 Pittville Lawn). The previous name of the house, Capel Court, commemorated the original landholders the Earls of Essex. When Thomas Champion moved into the property in 1858 he changed the name to Malden Court. The new name still commemorates the Earls of Essex, as one of their subsidiary titles is “Viscount Malden”, from the town of Maldon (formerly also Malden) in Essex. The nearby Malden Road is a later name (see Hodsdon, Gazetteer).
Other names: Capel Court (name in use 1839 – 58).
Malvern Hill House (name in use 1873 to present; East Approach Road). The name by which Malvern Hill Villa was known after Col. Charles Sidney Hawkins and his family moved in during 1873.
Other names: Malvern Hill Villa (name in use 1859 - 83).
Malvern Hill Villa (name in use 1859 - 83; now Malvern Hill House, East Approach Road). Malvern Hill Villa was offered for sale or let by the builder, Charles Winstone, in 1859 (Cheltenham Looker-On, 5 November) under this name, at the same time as Winstone was offering next-door Marston Villa for sale. Both houses seem to have been named by the developer, rather than the first owner of the house. In his advertisement Winstone drew attention to the “extensive views of all the surrounding hills”, including the Malvern Hills lying twenty miles to the north-west beyond the Pump Room. Malvern Hill Road was an alternative name for Albert Road, but this derives from the house name and not vice versa. See Cotswold Grange and Malvern Hill House.
Other names: Malvern Hill House (name in use 1873 to present).
Marle Hill (1806/09 until demolition in the 1960s). Also Marle Hill House (1813), Marle Hill Mansion (1830). The house was built by Francis Welles on land acquired by him under the Cheltenham Enclosure award of 1806. Originally Marl Hill, the name comes from the subsoil of clay mixed with calcium carbonate (marl) underlying much of Cheltenham, instrumental in creating the mineral waters of the town. The large Marle Hill estate was privately owned and distinct from the Pittville estate. It was eventually acquired for the town by the Borough Council in 1931. See also Marle Hill House on Evesham Road, and Cornbrash House.
Marle Hill House (name in use 1830 – 1920; now The Grange, Evesham Road). Marle Hill House is the name of a grand house built around 1830 on the Evesham Road by Henry Haines in extensive grounds bordering the main Marle Hill estate. The land on which Marle Hill House was built belonged to Robert Capper, who then owned the Marle Hill estate, including its principal residence, known as Marle Hill. The house name Marle Hill House predates the first residents, and is found in sale advertisements of 1830 (Cheltenham Chronicle, 17 June etc.), implying that it was decided on by Capper, perhaps along with his builder and agent. The simple locational name helped to distinguish it for the main residence of Marle Hill, though there were still clearly grounds for confusion. The original Marle Hill had itself originally been known as Marle Hill House (1806-10 map: Hodsdon, Gazetteer), and was often so called again after the name of Marle Hill House was changed to The Grange in the 1890s.
Marle Hill House Lodge (1861). A lodge built at the start of the short approach drive to Marle Hill from Evesham Road, and just south of Marle Hill House. The 1861 census lists John Westborough (gardener) and his wife Mary as occupants of the Lodge, which is not otherwise noted by the censuses.
Marle Hill Lodge (also Marl Hill Lodge; 1835 – 71). Marle Hill Lodge was a lodge built on the southern boundary of the Marle Hill estate, near the present Agg-Gardner Lodge on Marle Hill Road, St Paul’s. It was occupied from at least 1835 until into the 1850s when the residents, William Lusty (greengrocer) and his family moved to nearby 1 Ebenezer Cottages, Larput Place, St Paul’s.
Marston Lodge (name in use 1861 - 1915; house demolished and now rebuilt as St Ives’ Court, East Approach Drive). An early alternative name for Marston Villa, and the name that proved more long-lasting.
Other names: Marston Villa (name in use 1859 - 71).
Marston Villa (name in use 1859 - 71; house demolished and now rebuilt as St Ives’ Court, East Approach Drive). The house was first advertised as Marston Villa by the builder Charles Winstone, of Sherborne Terrace, Cheltenham, rather than by the first owner of the house. At the same time Winstone was also advertising next-door Malvern Hill Villa for sale or let. Marston is a common place and personal name with historical associations (battle site Marston Moor, playwright John Marston, etc.), and this may be the reason that the developer chose it. The name of Marston Road, just north of East Approach Drive off Albert Road, is more recent, and derives from the house name (see Hodsdon, Gazetteer).
Other names: Marston Lodge (name in use 1861 - 1915; demolished).
Melcombe House (name in use 1878 - 93; now 26 Albert Road). The name given to Melcombe Villa when Col. and Mrs. Robert Dillon moved into the house from Promenade Terrace, Cheltenham, in 1868. It lived on until around 1893, when incoming occupant Ann Ord changed it to Hawksworth.
Other names: Vista Villa (name in use 1861 - 6); Melcombe Villa (name in use 1867 – 78); Hawksworth (1894 – present).
Melcombe Villa (name in use 1867 - 78; now 26 Albert Road). Sometimes Melcomb Villa. The house name was changed from Vista Villa to Melcombe Villa when Mary Lucy Hanson, widow of the Rev. John Acton Hanson (formerly Vicar of Burghill, Herefordshire), moved in around 1867. The motivation for the name change is uncertain. It may be coincidental that an Independent minister, the Rev. Robert Stone Ashton, lived at Melcombe Villa in Melcombe Regis, Weymouth, Dorset in the mid 1860s. The name was changed again, to Melcombe House, in 1878.
Other names: Vista Villa (name in use 1861 - 6); Melcombe House (name in use 1878 - 93); Hawksworth (1894 – present).
Montagu Villa (name in use 1849 - 1950+; now 6 Pittville Lawn). Also Montague Villa. The house was named by the first occupant Richard James Cuthbert Dunn R.N., who moved in with his household during 1849. It was not unusual for houses to be given names borrowed from the aristocracy, but in this case the link appears to be more specific. Montagu Villa was the original name of Buccleuch House, Richmond, Surrey, built by George, Duke of Montagu in the 18th century and inherited by his son-in-law the Duke of Buccleuch in 1790 (it was demolished in 1938). There was clearly an association between the Dunn family and the Dukes of Buccleuch, as Nicholas Dunn’s son was named Montagu Buccleuch Dunn (born 1820). Later occupants sometimes respelt the name of the house as Montague Villa. NB Cheltenham also contained a Montague Place (now 3-11 London Road) from the late 1820s, and a Montague Cottage, Portland Place from the 1830s.
Moultondale (name in use 1881 – 1950+; now Kingswood House, Pittville Circus Road). Moultondale was the name given to this house by its first resident, “landowner” Henry William Clark, when he moved in with his wife Elizabeth and their children in 1881. Although Elizabeth Clark came from Gloucester, her husband Henry was born in Whaplode Marsh, near Spalding, Lincolnshire, the son of an “opulent” farmer and grazier, also called Henry, whose family came from the next-door parish of Moulton. The family’s home village is commemorated by Henry William Clark by the name Moultondale.
Napier House (name in use 1850 - 1950+; now 4 Pittville Lawn). It is likely that the name of Napier House derives from that of General Sir Charles James Napier GCB (1782-1853). Napier was a national hero after his successful Indian campaign in Sindh (1842-3), after which he was regularly referred to as “the conqueror of Scinde” and “the hero of Meeanee” (Miani). He developed a close connection with Cheltenham, and in September 1848 took a house for six months in the town, where he and Lady Napier were feted at dinners and other social events. When he left Cheltenham in March 1849 Wellington appointed him Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in the Bombay Presidency.
Needwood House (name in use 1891 – 1950+; now 46 Clarence Square). The house name Needwood House was introduced to Pittville in 1891, when Elizabeth Webb moved in from Derbyshire, with her cousin Anne James. The Webbs were a Staffordshire family, and the house name commemorates the childhood home of Elizabeth Webb’s recently deceased husband, physician and surgeon William Webb, born in Barton-under-Needwood just south of Needwood in Staffordshire, who had died in Wirksworth, Derbyshire in late 1890.
Northerwood (name in use 1903 – 1946+; now Fairhavens Court, Pittville Circus Road). For many years this had been Balgowan House, but when the Misses Newbold arrived there in 1903 they immediately changed its name to Northerwood. The Newbold sisters had been living with their widowed mother in Oxford Parade, Cheltenham for twenty years, so knew the town well. When their mother died in 1902 they decided to move to Pittville. The sisters had been brought up in Lyndhurst, Hampshire. They called their new house after Northerwood House, a Georgian mansion (now Grade 2-listed) in Emery Down, which overlooks Lyndhurst, and would have been fiercely evocative of their childhood.
Other names: Balgowan Lodge (name in use 1859 – 60); Balgowan House (name in use 1859 – 1902).
Northlands (name in use 1846 – 1950+; now Northlands Apartments, Pittville Circus). Also The Northlands (1859 – 1912). Northlands is a name sometimes applied to a region in the northern part of a village, town, etc. Although Northlands is to the north of central Cheltenham, there seems to have been no historical precedent for naming this area Northlands, so the reason behind the name is at present unknown. The first occupants were the Misses Leyson, cousins of Baron Sudeley of Toddington, and frequent visitors to Toddington. Their cousin Frances Hanbury Tracy died at the house in December 1867, two months after the surviving Miss Leyson, Ellen Anne Leyson, died while on a visit to Geneva.
Northumberland Villa (name in use 1841 only: now 19 Pittville Lawn). The name Northumberland Villa was present on the original sale advertisement for the house in February 1841 (Cheltenham Chronicle), and so probably evoked the title (and lifestyle) of the Dukes of Northumberland. In the following year the name of the house was changed to 1 Berkeley Villas.
Novar Lodge (name in use 1834 – 1925; now 36 Evesham Road). The house was built and named by Lieutenant-Colonel (subsequently Major-General) William Munro of the Madras Army (East India Company) (c1779 – 1841), a more or less distant relation to General Sir Hector Munro, 8th laird of Novar in Ross-shire (1726-1805) and ninth Commander-in-Chief of India (1764–65). The precise relationship is currently uncertain, but it seems that William Munro was recommended by Hector Munro for a commission in his own regiment, the 42nd Royal Highlanders, in 1802.
Oakbank (name in use 1886 to present; Pittville Circus Road). Also Oak Bank (1881 – 1950+). Major Valentine Birch (Bombay Army, retired) moved into Oakbank around 1881 with his wife Jane, their three children, and Jane’s sister. Oakbank was set back from Pittville Circus Road, and its name invites comparison with 1 and 2 Fernbank further along. But Oakbank was a reminder to Valentine Birch of earlier family glories. His maternal great-grandmother was John Kingston MP of Oak Hill, East Barnet, Hertfordshire (1736–1820). John Kingston had bought the Oak Hill estate in 1790, and sold it on in 1808, but fond memories of it had clearly been passed down to Major Valentine Birch in Pittville. Perhaps it helped him see beyond his own sad childhood: by 1851 he was in the care of the London Orphan Asylum in Hackney. The name of his son Valentine Kingston Birch also recalls the same branch of the family, and did his own name “Valentine”, a name shared with MP John Kingston’s father-in-law.
Old Lodge: see Flesk Lodge (name in use 1868 – 1939); Victoria Cottage (1856 - 7); Victoria Villa (name in use 1837 – 43); Wellington Cottage (name in use 1857 – 67); Wellington Villa (2) (name in use 1881).
Parkgate: see Gundulf (name in use 1890-1901).
Pengwern College (name in use 1901 – 40; now Pengwern, Pittville Circus Road). Also Pengwern (1901 – 1940). For the beginning of the academic year in 1901 Mary Pearson and his husband Reginald moved their new private school, Pengwern School, from Albion Street in Cheltenham to a new purpose-built establishment at the eastern end of Pittville Circus Road, and renamed it Pengwern College. The name was not their invention. Pengwern was already the name of the house in Albion Street when they moved in around 1899, and they adopted it for their school. The previous owners, chemist Matthew and his wife Cecilia Mansbridge had named it when they moved into the house from the chemist’s establishment where they had lived on the High Street. Pengwern was doubtless chosen to remind Matthew of his youth spent in his home town of St Asaph, Denbighshire, from where the road north led to the next village, Pengwern. When Reginald and Mary eventually moved out of Cheltenham to retire in Ilfracombe, Devon, they named their new house there Pengwern.
Percy House (name in use 1845 to present; Wellington Square). The house, originally called Laurel Lodge East (see Laurel Lodge), was built as a semi-detached villa property by Eleanor and her daughter Eliza Wallace in the late 1820s. The name Percy House is first known from at least 1845, when clergyman and schoolmaster William Gilbart MA advertised that “the duties of his Establishment” would be resumed on Wednesday 6th August. But the name appears to be linked with the Dukes of Northumberland (the Percy family), though perhaps more by loose association than anything stronger. The Wallace family in Pittville were born in Ireland but traditionally had family links in the north said to involve Sir William Wallace. Eleanor’s eldest son, William Wallace Legge (the “Legge” was taken from his maternal uncle when he inherited Malone House, Belfast), was married at Bamburgh Parish Church in 1838 to Eleanor Wilkie Forster. The Forsters had governed Bamburgh Castle from the twelfth century until the Jacobite uprising of 1715, and at the time of the wedding occupied Addlestone Hall, owned (“like most local property”) by the Duke of Northumberland (Don Chapman, Wearing the Trousers 2017). It seems likely that this and other family associations with Northumberland and Percy property lies behind the introduction of the name to Percy House.
Phayrecot (name in use 1867 – 83; now Priors Lodge, Pittville Circus). Robert Deane Chamberlain married Georgina Phayre in Cheltenham in 1858, several years after returning to England after a career which had spanned military service and then farming in Victoria, Australia. The family house in Pittville was originally called Kyrle Villa, but Robert Chamberlain soon changed it to Phayrecot, merging his wife’s family name with cot, a regional word for a small house or humble lodging (see Steeniecot). The Phayres were a distinguished family of colonial administrators and military officers whose ancestor, Robert Phayre, had been one of the signatories to the death warrant of King Charles I.
Other names: Kyrle Villa (name in use 1849 – 69); Ash Priors (name in use 1883 – 1950+).
Pittville Cottage (name in use 1833 – 1950+; now 2 Prestbury Road). A cottage (small property not large enough to be called a villa) located towards the southern extent of Pittville. The name appears first in the Cheltenham Annuaire of 1833 (in a regular section documenting visitors and other new arrivals to Cheltenham), though the house had already been built for six years or so by then; the original lot included the site of this property and that of 7 Pittville Lawn adjoining (Blake, Pittville). See also next-door Segrave Cottage.
Pittville Court (2) (name in use 1896; now St Anne’s, Pittville Circus Road). The house name occurs once in the Cheltenham Annuaire, presumably in error or abandoned when Pittville Court (1) was noted.
Other names: Garden Reach (name in use 1865 – 79); Pittville Hall (name in use 1879 – 82 and also 1895 - 7); Donore (name in use 1882 – 96); Inholmes (name in use 1897 – 1911).
Pittville Crescent Cottage (name in use 1901-41). A three-room cottage with stabling apparently located in the 1901 census between Drummond House, 6 Pittville Crescent, and 10 Pittville Crescent (Lorraine Villa), occupied in 1901 and 1911 by coachman John Haines and his wife Alice.
Pittville Hall (name in use 1879 – 82 and also 1895 - 7; now St Anne’s, Pittville Circus Road). When Garden Reach was proving hard to sell or let, it was advertised under a neutral name which incorporated the name of the area (Pittville) and a sense of the building’s grandeur (Hall). This seemed to work, and in July 1879 the house had new occupants, as Benjamin Littlewood (JP and Deputy Lieutenant for Worcestershire and JP for Staffordshire) moved in with his wife Sarah and his family. Unfortunately the shadow cast over the house earlier had not lifted, and Benjamin Littlewood died with a month, aged 77. After another year or so his widow moved out to Holmdale in Pittville Circus. Pittville Hall then underwent another name change to Donore with its next occupants, the Despards. But this name did not outlast them, and when they moved on in 1894 the house again remained unoccupied for three years and its name reverted to the neutral Pittville Hall. Finally, in 1897, Leonard Wallich MA transferred his school at Burgess Hill in Sussex to the house in Pittville Circus Road, under the name Inholmes.
Other names: Garden Reach (name in use 1865 – 79); Donore (name in use 1882 – 96); Pittville Court (2) (name in use 1896); Inholmes (name in use 1897 – 1911).
Pittville House (name in use 1835 to present; Wellington Road). A simple, distinguished name for the signature house on the Pittville estate, set in at southern end of the walks and rides, looking up towards the Pump Room. The house was bought in 1827 by Juliana Charlotte Wade for her return from India, let out for several years (in winter 1840 to Cheltenham MP Hon. Craven Berkeley and his wife: see Berkeley Court), and was eventually home to Juliana Wade’s daughter and family, including Aeneas McDonell and his son William Fraser, awarded the Victoria Cross in 1857 during the Indian Mutiny. Around 1831 there had been a short-lived and unrelated clothing establishment named Pittville House on High Street, Cheltenham, opposite Pittville Street.
Pittville Lawn Villa (name in use 1841 – 1904; now 39 Pittville Lawn). The house was probably named by the first owner Col. Michael White Lee and his wife Barrett, who bought the site in 1836 while they lived elsewhere in Pittville, at Maisonette (59 Portland Street). The simple, grand name suggests the status conferred by its position, towards the centre of the middle section of Pittville Lawn, overlooking the Walks and Rides.
Pittville Mansion (name in use 1833 - 1906; now Ellenborough House, Clarence Road). The plot or house was sold in 1831 to Thomas Fox and Anne Coleman (Blake, Pittville). The name Pittville Mansion was used when the house was advertised for sale or let in 1833, and interested parties were invited to contact the builder, Thomas Haines, of Berkeley Lodge. The name, of a conventional type designating a grand house in Pittville, was probably chosen by the owners.
Pittville Pump Room (name in use 1825 to present; also called Pittville Spa). The original “pump room” was a shelter erected for people who had come to bathe and take the waters at the King’s Bath at Bath in the early eighteenth century. By the time that the Pittville Pump Room was built, pump room had come to mean both the room in which the water-pump was housed, and also the whole building containing the pump room. Pittville’s Pump Room was occupied by the lessee’s family from the 1830s at least into the 1850s: see Pittville Spa.
Pittville Spa (name in use 1825 to present; now more often Pittville Pump Room). Pittville Spa is a toponymic descriptive name dating from the earliest years of planning for a spa at Pittville. It is modelled on other spa names in Cheltenham and elsewhere, such as Cheltenham’s Cambray Spa (1811 onwards), Alstone Spa (1812), Montpellier Spa (1817), and Sherborne Spa (also 1817). The name Spa derives from the name of the health resort of Spa, near Liège in Belgium, long popular with British and continental tourists. The Pittville Spa was home to the families of Henry Seymour, the first lessee of the Pump Room from 1830 until 1841, and of his successor Charles Wickes.
Portland Cottage (name in use 1853 - 77; now 35 Prestbury Road). The furniture in the house, formerly 2 Portland Terrace, was advertised for sale by auction in 1853, on the death of livery-stables keeper Robert Langbridge (“Newman and Langbridge”, in Winchcombe Street). In the advertisement the house was named as Portland Cottage, suggesting that Langbridge had previously lived there under that name (though this is not evident from other sources). “All the Cheltenham Portlands probably commemorate Henry Cavendish Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, twice Prime Minister (1783 and 1807-9), who died 1809”, of which the earliest are an old Portland Place (south off High Street) and Portland House in Albion Street (Hodsdon, Gazetteer). The name Portland Cottage was quite short-lived, and the house was known again as 2 Portland Terrace by the late 1870s. A set of six Portland Cottages existed in Portland Square from around 1917, but these are unrelated.
Prestbury Villa (name in use 1869 – 1932; now Carlton House, Pittville Circus Road). Architect and builder Richard Davis gave his new house the name Prestbury Villa when he moved in with his wife Mary during 1869. Davis was from a family of Prestbury builders, and the name doubtless reminded him of his old home, and reminded his clients that he was associated with the long-standing Prestbury builders. When he moved, he rented out his former Prestbury home, Tatchley Cottage, as a furnished let. He and his wife lived in the house until the early 1890s: Mary Davis died there in 1890 and Richard, “late of Prestbury Villa”, died in 1893. The name continued until the 1930s.
Prestwich Lodge (name in use 1858 – 1963+; now Star Court, Pittville Circus Road). William Gardner JP was born in Pendelton, Manchester in the early 1820s. In 1849 he married Louise Armitage in Cheltenham, and the couple moved in to live with her parents at Farnley Lodge, Vittoria Walk. William was independently wealthy, and became heavily involved in philanthropic activities in his adopted town of Cheltenham, notably serving as Honorary Secretary to the Female Orphan Asylum in Winchcombe Street for many years. The Gardners transferred to the newly built Prestwich Lodge in Pittville in 1858, and William lived there into the early years of the twentieth century. Whereas the “Lodge” element of his house name perhaps derives from Farnley Lodge, Prestwich dates back to his Manchester days. Prestwich is a northern suburb of Manchester, several miles from William Gardner’s birthplace to the west of the city. But William owned property in Prestwich, and in particular he owned nine acres of unspoilt land on Prestwich Clough, described by the Manchester Courier in 1906 as “one of the few remaining bits of natural beauty near Manchester city” (14 May). Shortly before his death, the philanthropic William Gardner made a gift of his nine acres of land on Prestwich Clough to Manchester Urban District Council and, together with additional land acquired by the Council, the Clough was opened to the public in perpetuity. In recognition of his benevolence, Manchester Council named the road passing across the north of the Clough Gardner Road.
Primrose Lawn (name in use 1833 – 87; now Devonshire House, Wellington Road). Primrose Lawn was bought by Captain William Broughton R.N., and occupied by him and his family from at least 1833, when the Cheltenham Looker-On noted that Eliza Broughton held a fashionable “dinner and evening party” (31 August). The name recalls Captain Broughton’s first command, the 18-gun sloop-of-war HMS Primrose, which he commanded from 1830. Captain Broughton had good reason to be grateful for his time aboard the Primrose. The ship formed part of a Royal Naval force conducting an anti-slavery blockade of the African coast. On 7 September 1830 the Primrose encountered the 20-gun Cuban slave ship the Veloz Passagera and its cargo of 556 slaves. Broughton’s crew boarded the Cuban ship and gallantly crushed the resistance, losing only three men to the slaver’s forty-three. After the action Broughton was promoted to Post-Captain (captain in official rank and not just by command or courtesy). Though he died in 1849, his wife and family retained Primrose Lawn for many years.
Other names: Halsey House (name in use 1873 – 1950+).
Queensholme (name in use 1867 to present; now Queensholme, Pittville Circus Road). Also Queen’s Holme (1866 – 1942). Margaret Block (née Orr) moved to Queensholme shortly after the death of her husband, London merchant Samuel Richard Block of Greenhill Grove, Chipping Barnet, Hertfordshire. Although several Pittville houses later made use of the element holm(e) (Cedar Holme, Eastholme, Edenholme, and others), Queensholme seems to have been the first to do so. The name Queensholme was occasionally used elsewhere by the mid 1860s (particularly an estate called Queen’s Holme at Willingham near Cambridge), but no association has yet been found between the Pittville house and any of these, nor with Kingsholm in Gloucester. The large Holm Oak to the rear of the house will have been well established when the house was built in the 1860s, and so is likely to have been a significant factor in the choice of the -holme element. Margaret Block was born Margaret Orr, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the daughter of Scottish Ceylon Civil Servant William Orr; two of her brothers went into military service, with the eldest, William Adam Orr, serving as Aide-de-Camp to Queen Victoria at the time of his sister’s move to Queensholme. Margaret was close to her eldest brother, providing a touching memorial from a “sorrowing sister” at St Cyrus’s church in southern Aberdeenshire when he died in 1869. It is possible that her family’s tradition of loyal service to the Crown induced Margaret Block to match Queen with the conventional house-name element holme when she named her new house in 1866, but this is unproven.
Rathlin: see Sinclair Villa (name in use 1845 - 1933).
Ravenhurst (name in use 1894 to present; 93 Pittville Lawn). At first the two grand semi-detached houses that are now 91 and 93 Pittville Lawn were for many years named 1 and 2 Essex Villas respectively. In 1882 No 91 changed its name to the more enticing Lake View, and when William Jones FRS and his family moved out of No 93 in late 1890 to Marston House (now St Ives’ Court) on East Approach Drive, the house was rather surprisingly advertised for sale as Ravenhurst (formerly “Essex Villa”, although supporting evidence is lacking for this assertion). The motivation for the name Ravenhurst is uncertain, though the existence of a Ravenhurst Farm/Lodge at Minety, Wiltshire may be relevant: Joseph Pitt, who was MP for Cricklade and had estates in Wiltshire, had purchased the manor of Minety in 1791 for £20,000 as another of his speculative investments. Alternative, the change of name to the descriptive Lake View was perhaps felt to have been successful in attracting sales and lettings, leading the owner of the remaining Essex Villa to follow suit. Coincidentally, William Jones died in 1904, having moved with his family back to Devon, in a house at East Cliff, Dawlish named Ermenhurst (called after an earlier resident, Godfrey Ermen). See also Deerhurst.
Richmond: see Bexley (name in use 1887-1917).
Roden House (name in use 1836 – 2018; now 23 Pittville Lawn). Roden House was designed by Pittville architect Robert Stokes, who bought the plot in 1833. The name “Roden” was best known to contemporaries as the title of an Anglo-Irish peer: Robert Jocelyn, 3rd Earl of Roden (1788-1870), was an active member of the House of Lords, and his ancestors took their title from High Roding in Tipperary. However, the name is also shared with the village (and river) of Roden near Wem in Shropshire, and with a river at Compton in Berkshire. All three had houses named after them, and no particular association has been discovered between any of these and Robert Stokes or the first inhabitant of the house, Captain George Schreiber, a veteran of Waterloo. It is perhaps significant that Roden House, in Compton, Berkshire, was originally known as Stokes Manor.
Rosehaugh Villa (names in use 1844 – 85; now East Eglinton/West House, Pittville Circus). Also Rosehaugh (1852 – 87). The name Rosehaugh derives from the name of the Rosehaugh estate formally owned by members of the Mackenzie clan north of Inverness in Ross and Cromarty. Haugh is a Scots word for level land along the banks a river. In the 1790s Sir Roderick Mackenzie built Rosehaugh House on the Rosehaugh estate (the building was eventually demolished in 1959). Lt.-Col. John Clunes (12th Regiment of the Bombay Native Infantry, retired, and a writer on Indian matters) moved into the Pittville house with his family soon after it was built, in 1844. The name Rosehaugh was chosen, it seems, in memory of his mother, Margaret Mackenzie, who was distantly related to the Mackenzies of Rosebaugh, and who doubtless knew the estate from her youth. It is probably no coincidence that the last Mackenzie owner of the Scottish estate was called James John Randoll Mackenzie (1814-84), and one of the Clunes’ children was named John Randoll Mackenzie Clunes (b. 1843).
Other names: St Idloes (name in use 1887 – 96); Eglinton (name in use 1897 – 1934).
Ross House (name in use 1840 -1899; now Clarence Court Hotel, Clarence Square). The first owner of Ross House was Archer Swinburne (1806-41). He was from a Derbyshire family, but had attended Edinburgh University in the mid 1820s, before becoming a Member of the Medical Society of Edinburgh in the 1827-8 session. As neither he nor his family have any known association with Ross-on-Wye it is quite possible that the name Ross House commemorates his days in Edinburgh. In the mid eighteenth century Ross House in Edinburgh was the property of William Ross, 14th Lord Ross, who died in 1754 (when the title became extinct). The house was known for its gay parties under its new owner, but when Archer Swinburne was in Edinburgh it had become the Edinburgh General Lying-In Hospital, and was in the university and medical area of the city which Archer would have frequented as a student. The Edinburgh house was noted by Walter Scott, in his novel Redgauntlet (1824), where the hero states that "Ross House in our neighbourhood is nearly finished, and it is thought to exceed Duff House in ornature". Archer Swinburne's mother Ann moved from Winchcombe to Pittville in her last years, buying 9 Clarence Square (1838) and then living at 4 Wellington Villas (now Avondale House), before her death at Ross House in 1840. See a similar explanation at Drummond House.
Other names: Wellesley Court (name in use 1900 - 1950+).
Rothesay House (name in use 1848 - 1918; now Rothesay Mansion, 2 Albert Road). William Morris Findon, a Superintendent Surgeon who retired from the East India Company’s Medical Service in 1843, moved into the newly built Rothesay House with his wife soon after they returned to England. He was probably responsible for the house name, which commemorates the name of the principal town of the Isle of Bute, presumably by way of Charles Stuart, 1st Baron Stuart de Rothesay. Charles Stuart was sometime British ambassador to France and Russia, who had died at his seat, Highcliffe Castle in Dorset, in 1845, shortly before Findon’s removal to Cheltenham. With Rothesay’s death the title became extinct, but it gave its name in the late 1840s to a cluster of elegant addresses, by the Thames in Fulham, in Coleraine, Cheltenham, and Bath. The Findon family came from Warwickshire, and no direct association with the Stuarts has been uncovered. William Findon’s niece Eliza Louisa and her new husband Thomas Sabin Harbidge recycled the name Rothesay in 1849 for the name of their new house in another spa town, Rothesay Villa, in Weston Road, Bath. Cheltenham’s Rothesay House was renamed Rothesay Mansion around 1918.
Rowanleigh (name in use 1878 – 1950+; now 17 Wellington Square). The name Rowanleigh is not recorded before 1878 (Rowanlea was quite common as a house name at the time, as was The Rowans). Captain W. Smith moved into 17 Wellington Square in 1873, and retained the old number until 1878, when the Cheltenham Annuaire records the name-change to Rowanleigh. Captain Smith remained in the house only for a further two years, as his lease expired in 1880 (Cheltenham Chronicle 8 June). The motivation for the name is not certain, but it may have been influenced by either or both of two factors. Firstly, the fact that the house next-door, No 18, changed its name several years earlier, in 1874, from Georgina Villa (also known at the time as 2 Wellington Square South) to Cedar Villa. Both names may have been influenced by planting regimes in Wellington Square (a nursery garden occupied the south-west corner). Secondly, and in relation to a house which was historically let for quite short periods and may have had an absentee landlord, it may be significant that a Miss Margaret Hicks visited 17 Wellington Square several years earlier from “Leigh Vicarage” (The Leigh, a village seven miles north-west of Cheltenham), on the same day as Mr Arthur Austin left 17 Wellington Square for Wales (Cheltenham Chronicle 4 September 1860). What is significant about this is that Arthur’s relation John Southgate Austin was vicar of The Leigh, living at the Vicarage or Parsonage, at the times of the censuses from 1861 until 1881.
Sandown House (name in use 1881; now 30 Albert Road). The name by which Sandown Lawn is recorded (only) in the 1871 census.
Other names: Sandown Lawn (name in use 1870 – 1950+).
Sandown Lawn (name in use 1870 – 1950+; now Park House, 30 Albert Road). The house name derives from the seaside town of Sandown, on the Isle of Wight. First residents Henry Osmore Newbery (a retired merchant, bapt. 1819) and his wife Julia were born in Manchester and Sheffield respectively, but they were married in late 1866 at the Register Office in Newport, Isle of Wight, inland from the resort of Sandown. The 1871 census shows servants caretaking at the house while the Newberys were away on the south coast again, this time at the Victoria and Albert Hotel in Torquay.
Other names: Sandown House (name in use 1881).
Saxony House (name in use 1897 – 1933; now 24 Prestbury Road). Saxony House was a private house in Leamington Place to which Edward Clee moved in 1897 to run his tailoring establishment. By then in his forties, Edward Clee had worked for at least twenty years as a tailor; his wife Mary was a dressmaker. The house name comes from the region of Saxony in the east of modern-day Germany. In the context of tailoring, it is likely that Clee chose the name with reference to the then-fashionable woollen fabric called Saxony used to make dresses, suits, scarves, and other garments. A fabric was made originally from the wool of merino sheep in Saxony: contemporary advertisements speak of “Saxonies, Harris Tweeds, Blarney Tweeds”, or “Fashionable Saxony and Cheviot Tweed Suitings”. From the 1870s Hill & Jones’s “trimming and fancy warehouse” in the Promenade had been known as Saxony House, though no connection is evident.
Segrave Cottage (name in use 1836 – 1901; now 4 Prestbury Road). Next-door to Pittville Cottage (2 Prestbury Road), Segrave Cottage was named after Col. William Fitzhardinge Berkeley (1786-1857), from 1831 Lord Segrave (see further information at Berkeley Court and Segrave House). The Cheltenham Annuaire noted that the Chevalier G. Guerini moved into the house during 1836: he advertised himself as a Professor of the Italian and French languages. The original lot included the site of this property and that of 9 Pittville Lawn adjoining (Blake, Pittville)
Segrave House (name in use 1837 – 1950+; now 2 Pittville Lawn). Segrave House in Pittville was preceded in Cheltenham by a Segrave House and academy in The Park estate. These and other houses and streets in Cheltenham (including the houses constituting Segrave Place in Pittville, named in 1827 deeds) commemorate Col. William Fitzhardinge Berkeley (1786-1857), a leading light of Cheltenham society, who entered the House of Lords as Lord Segrave in 1831 (Hodsdon, Gazetteer). Pittville’s Segrave House was put on the Cheltenham map on 30 March 1837 when Capt. William Moore Beetlestone held a fashionable fancy-dress ball there, soon after moving into his new home. See also Berkeley Court, Berkeley House.
Selkirk House (name in use 1847 to present; Selkirk House, 73 Prestbury Road). Selkirk House and the associated terrace running south from it were named in the mid 1840s after nearby Selkirk Villa on the north side of Pittville Circus. The first recorded occupant of Selkirk House was a widow, Mrs Elizabeth Pardoe, who remained in the house for two years before moving to Brighton, where she died in September 1849.
Selkirk Villa (name in use 1837 – 1917; on site of present Tresmere, Pittville Circus). The house was the first of several roads and houses in the area to incorporate the name Selkirk. It was advertised to be let, fully furnished, in 1811, under the name Selkirk Villa. The motivation for the name is uncertain, but was perhaps selected as a noble Scottish name intended to attract potential occupants.
Shirley House (name in use 1862 – 1950+; now Askham Court, Pittville Circus Road). Askham Court had been known as Southam Lawn and Southam Villa in its early years. But when John Carroll Hele moved up with his wife Sarah, and their children from Devon in 1861 or 1862 he changed its name to Shirley House. The new name recognises the Heles’ association with the family of Rear Admiral Thomas Shirley, whom John Carroll Hele’s aunt Ann Hele had married in her home town of West Teignmouth in 1809. John Carroll Hele’s eldest son was christened Thomas Shirley Hele in the early 1830s, and sadly died “at his father’s residence, Shirley House”, in March 1862 (Cheltenham Chronicle, 18 March).
Other names: Southam Lawn (name in use 1851); Southam Villa (name in use 1861).
Sinclair Villa (name in use 1845 - 1933; now Rathlin, Pittville Circus). Also St Clair Villa (1846 - 78), Sinclair (1888 – 1916), St Clair (1881 - 1936). Built by Edward Cope as one of a semi-detached pair called Sinclair Villas (Hodsdon, Gazetteer), occupied in 1844 by the builder Edward Cope and by John Pearce, Gent. One became Stanbrook Villa, leaving the other to be known simply as Sinclair Villa, in the following year (still occupied by the Pearces). As the name originally appeared in the owner/builder’s Sinclair Villas, it was probably chosen as a suitable name to attract potential buyers, which might suggest general reference to the Scottish clan name and noble surname Sinclair. No specific association of the name Sinclair with either the house or villa pair has yet been determined.
Sligo House (name in use 1897 to present; Sligo House, 2 Wellington Road). In 1896 Irish surgeon Alexander Duke married Annie Davies, and the couple soon moved into their new home (previously called Tidmington House). Alexander Duke’s father was Alexander Duke Esq., of Newpark, Ballymote, County Sligo, and so in renaming his house Sligo House Alexander Duke was remembering his family homelands. The Duke family had been granted land in Sligo in the mid 17th century, and by 1876 owned 5,000 acres in the county, including residences at Newpark, Branchfield, Kilcreevin, and Kilmorgan.
Other names: Alwington Villa (name in use 1844 – 95); Tidmington House (name in use 1889 – 95).
South Cleeve House (name in use 1848 – 1945; now 40 Evesham Road). Also Cleeve House, (1848), South Cleeve (1853). Originally the first house at the southern end of Cleeveland Parade, but the parade was not completed, and retired Naval officer Joseph Morton and his family renamed it initially as Cleeve House but soon after as South Cleeve House, perhaps for distinguish it from Cleeve House in Bishop’s Cleeve. The house stands on what was then known as Cleeve Road.
Southam Lawn (name in use 1851; now Askham Court, Pittville Circus Road). The name Southam Lawn is only recorded in the 1851 census, when Pittville builder Edward Billings was living there with his wife Mary and their six children. By 1859 the adjoining semi-detached property was advertised as 1 Southam Villas, and so Southam Lawn would by implication be known as 2 Southam Villas. By 1861 the patchy record shows that the present house was called Southam Villa (its adjoining house being now Gwernant Villa). Southam was a village two miles north-east of Pittville, and Southam House was then home to local notable Edward Law, 1st Earl of Ellenborough, formerly Governor-General of India.
Other names: Southam Villa (name in use 1861); Shirley House (name in use 1862 – 1950+).
Southam Villa (name in use 1861; now Askham Court, Pittville Circus Road). A later, short-lived name for Southam Lawn, replaced in 1862 by Shirley House. The house should not be confused with Southam Villa, formerly the home of Thomas Haines, builder, just further north on the Prestbury Road.
Other names: Southam Lawn (name in use 1851); Southam Villa (name in use 1861); Shirley House (name in use 1862 – 1950+).
Southend House (name in use 1846 to present; Southend House, 32 Prestbury Road). Also South End House (1845-70). John Gregory Welch (1775–1854) had built Arle House in Cheltenham and lived there in some splendour, but after a period of financial embarrassment he had to retrench, living for a while in the 1840s at Southend House in Pittville. It was quite normal for a house on the southern end of a development to be called “South End House” (similarly “North End House”), and this would be an entirely appropriate name for a house at the southerly end of the spur of land where Prestbury Road meets Albert Road. But the primary motivation for the modern spelling Southend House comes from the fact that John Gregory Welch owned property in Southend in Essex as a result of his marriage to Frances White Asser in 1797. Documents at the Essex Record Office show John Gregory Welch leasing part of his holding in Southend, in the parish of Southchurch in 1806, and in the first half of the nineteenth century he regularly presided over a court baron in the Manor of Southchurch, while his eldest son presided over the parallel manorial court in the adjacent Manor of North Shoebury in Southend. Although it was fortuitous that the plot on which Southend House was built lay at the southern end of new development in Pittville, the name owes most to the property in Essex where the Welches could imagine themselves feudal overlords.
Southern House (name in use 1860 – 1950+; now 28 Albert Road). The precise motivation for the house name is unclear. Although Southern House is located towards the south east of the Pittville estate, it is not so distinctively southern (and was not when it was constructed) that this would be an obvious name for it. In 1870 it was re-advertised for let by Richard Davis, Pittville architect and builder originally from Prestbury, which suggests that he may have owned and named it. See Davis’s house name Prestbury Villa, in Pittville Circus Road.
Other names: Southern Villa (name in use 1861 - 4).
Southern Villa (name in use 1861 - 4; now 28 Albert Road). The name used for Southern House by the Cheltenham Annuaire for a short period in the early 1860s, after which it reverted to Southern House. The name Southern House was used in the 1861 census.
Other names: Southern House (name in use 1860 – 1950+).
Stanbrook House: see Stanbrook Villa (name in use 1845 – 1893).
Stanbrook Villa (name in use 1845 – 1893; now Stanbrook House, Pittville Circus). Also Stanbrook (1885 – 1946). Stanbrook Villa was one of the houses in Pittville Circus built by Edward Cope, along with its semi-detached neighbour Sinclair (now Rathlin). In 1844 Harper’s Directory of Cheltenham calls both Sinclair Villas (Hodsdon, Gazetteer), but by the following year one of the pair had become Stanbrook Villa (and the other Sinclair Villa). The name Stanbrook Villa should probably be associated with the village of Stanbrook in southern Worcestershire, and perhaps particularly with Stanbrook Villa in the nearby village of Powick. The first residents of the Pittville house were William Henry Robeson and his family. William Robeson had recently retired from a solicitors’ practice in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, and his father and brothers had run solicitors’ businesses in Bromsgrove and Droitwich for many years, and were landowners in the county. However, at present there is no documentary link between the Robesons and the village of Stanbrook.
Stanley Lawn (name in use 1873 - 1911; (demolished) just south of Pittville Court, Albert Road). The first residents of the house were Commander Conrad Augustus Watts R.N., son of Vice-Admiral George Watts, and his wife Julia. The fact that Commander Watts had enjoyed a life at sea, had named his daughter Agnes Malvina (born 1867), and that the father of Julia Watts née Herring, Charles Herring, ran a mining concern in Brazil, might suggest that Stanley could relate to the Falkland Islands. However, Malvina had been briefly popular as a personal name after James McPherson’s notorious Ossian poems of the late 18th century; Conrad Watts’s aunt (bapt. 1844) also had the middle name Malvina. Without further evidence it might be safer to associate Stanley was the national publicity surrounding journalist Henry Stanley’s African search for Dr Livingstone, whom he found in 1871, and with other nationalistic resonances from the titled surname Stanley.
Stanley Villa (name in use 1878 – 82; now Drummond House, 6 Pittville Crescent). Originally 6 Pittville Crescent, the short-lived house name was changed to Stanley Villa in 1878: it reverted to 6 Pittville Crescent in 1883. The motivation for the name-change is not certain. The Cheltenham Annuaire noted that the house was empty in 1877 and 1879, and so the name was perhaps intended to make the house more attractive to potential occupants: this may have been the case under similar circumstances earlier in the decade with Stanley Lawn, further along Albert Road (see Stanley Lawn). Stanley Villa was a fashionable house name elsewhere in Britain (often based on the name of the titled Stanleys). The fact that there was already an older Stanley Villa in Lansdown, Cheltenham, may have been a factor in the reversion to the designation 6 Pittville Crescent.
Other names: Drummond House (name in use 1901 to present).
St Anne’s: see Donore (name in use 1882 – 96); Garden Reach (name in use 1865 – 79); Inholmes (name in use 1897 – 1911); Pittville Court (2) (name in use 1896); Pittville Hall (name in use 1879 – 82 and also 1895 - 7).
Stantway (name in use 1896 – 1933; now 49 Clarence Square). Stantway is the name of a hamlet of the Forest of Dean, east of Westbury-on-Severn. The Pittville house name dates from 1896, the year stockbroker Richard Sims and his family moved into the property; he was born in Stroud and had lived in Stroud and Painswick. Stantway is about twenty miles from Stroud, across the Severn, but no specific association has yet been found with the Sims family other than general proximity to Stroud.
Star Court: see Prestwich Lodge (name in use 1858 – 1963+).
St Arvans (name in use 1873 – to present; St Arvans Court, 125 Evesham Road). St Arvans is paired with St Leonard’s next door on Evesham Road, near to the Pump Room. Both were built at the same time, and probably by the same builder. Both initially housed members of the clergy. The Rev. William Henry Wright was appointed Vicar of St Paul’s, Cheltenham in late 1870, and lived for the first few years on Bath Road. Lancashire-born, he had studied at St Bees’ Divinity College in Cumberland and had previously been Vicar of Everton, Liverpool. In 1873 he and his household moved into the newly built St Arvans. The reference in the case of St Arvans seems to be to the place rather than the locally known hermit/saint: the village of St Arvans is just outside Chepstow in Monmouthshire. It may be coincidental that the Duke of Beaufort, an extensive landowner in Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire, is the patron of St Arvans Church, and was commemorated in the name Beaufort Villas on land adjacent to Pittville’s St Arvans (see Beaufort).
Steeniecot (name in use 1875 – 81; now Tower House, Pittville Circus). Also Steenicot, Stenycott. The name Steeniecot commemorates the tragic death of Stephen Showers, son of Major Edward Samuel Graeme Showers, in 1869. Stephen Showers’ grandmother, the widow of Indian veteran General Edward Melian Gullifer Showers, had moved into the house with her son Major Edward Showers when it was known as Apsley House, in 1871. Two years earlier, the family had been devastated by a boating accident on the Avon near Tewkesbury, when Stephen Showers, aged fourteen and a half, had been in the process of changing sides in the rowing boat with his friend Frederick Dixon (16); they had tripped and both fallen in the water, drowning. Steenie is a familiar Scottish diminutive form of the name “Stephen” (see, for example, Walter Scott’s Redgauntlet – Letter 11: “‘Here, Dougal,’ said the Laird, ‘gie Steenie a tass of brandy down stairs, till I count the siller and write the receipt.’”) Cot is a regional word for a small house or humble lodging (comparable to cottage). Stephen’s grandmother died in late 1873, and his father renamed the house Steeniecot in memory his son “Steenie” in 1874/5. The style of name-formation is comparable to that of Phayrecot, further round the Circus, renamed in 1867.
Other names: Apsley House (name in use 1844 – 74); Luddenham (name in use 1881 – 93); St Paul’s Vicarage (name in use 1894 – 1914).
St Idloes (name in use 1887 – 96; now East Eglinton/West House, Pittville Circus). St Idloes is the name a 7th-century Celtic saint about whom little is known. He is said to have chosen the modern town of Llanidloes (“parish or settlement around the church of St Idloes”) in Powys, central Wales, for the site for his church. The Pittville house St Idloes was originally known as Rosehaugh (Villa), but the name was changed to St Idloes when the Rev. Thomas Wolseley Lewis moved in with his family during 1887. Thomas Lewis became a master at Cheltenham College, and his wife Emily taught at the Ladies’ College. Although Thomas Lewis was born in Llanrwst, Denbighshire, in North Wales, his father had become vicar of Llanbrynmair, a parish neighbouring Llanidloes in Powys, by 1841. The family, including the young Thomas, lived near the old parish church at Llan, outside Llanbrynmair on the Llanidloes road. In 1851 Thomas’s father became vicar of Manafon, slightly further from Llanidloes in Powys. Thomas Wolseley Lewis’s wife was also from Powys: she had been born and brought up in nearby Welshpool. Thomas Wolseley Lewis’s regard for St Idloes’ church is indicated by the fact that when the medieval Gothic church was restored by public appeal in the early 1880s, a generous donation of £50 was made by “The Rev. T. Wolseley Lewis and family” (Oswestry Advertiser, 12 April 1882). Several years later the Lewises moved to Pittville and brought the name of the saint with them.
Other names: Rosehaugh Villa (names in use 1844 – 85); Eglinton (name in use 1897 – 1934).
St Leonard’s (name in use 1872 – 1909; now Goldington House; Evesham Road). Built at the same time as its neighbour St Arvans, both initially housed clergymen. St Leonard’s was named after the Gloucestershire village of Upton St Leonard’s. The first residents, the Rev. Canon Newlove (in his mid sixties) and his wife Lucy moved into the house in late December 1872, from staying at Bowden Hall, Upton St Leonard’s, near Gloucester, where they knew the Birchalls (see Clarefield, and references in The diary of a Victorian squire: extracts from the diaries and letters of Dearman & Emily Birchall (1983), p. 12). Richard Newlove, born in Leeds in 1806 and long-time Vicar of Thorner in Yorkshire, had been domestic chaplain to the Earl of Harewood, and was a Canon of the diocese of Ripon.
St Paul’s Vicarage (name in use 1894 – 1914; now Tower House, Pittville Circus). In the early 1890s St Paul’s Church launched an appeal for its first vicarage, seeking to raise £400 from the residents of Cheltenham and the neighbourhood. By October 1892 £300 had been raised, and in 1894 the Rev. George Philips Pearce moved into the new St Paul’s Vicarage on the edge of Pittville Circus with his growing family, from private lodgings at 3 Blenheim Parade (now 7 Evesham Road). The house remained St Pauls’ vicarage until the Rev. Thomas Cave-Moyle moved out of the house into a new “vicarage” in Clarence Square, on the death of his elderly mother in 1911. The name lived on into 1914, though the house remained unoccupied. It was eventually put up for sale in that year, but not before fire had broken out in the upper storey servants’ quarters in May 1914. The fire brigade contained the damage, and the police were unable to decide whether it was caused accidentally or by incendiarism.
Strathdurn (name in use 1870 – 1950+; now Irving House (2), Pittville Circus Road). Also Strathdurn Villa (1876-7); Strathdown (1871, 1938); Strathburn (1872); Strathburne (1875); Stratherne (1875). The name Strathdurn appears to be unprecedented before it was associated with the house in Pittville Circus Road. Its first occurrence is in the Cheltenham Looker-On of 22 November 1870, when the house, a “superior villa” “known as Strathdurn, Pittville”, was offered for sale. As the original owner is unknown at this point, any ideas about the origin of the name are purely speculative. It would seem likely, however, that it is a variant of the place name Strathdearn (occasionally Strathdern), twenty miles south-east of Inverness. Surgeon-Major James Alexander Dunbar (Inspector of Hospitals in the Bengal Army) and his family moved in soon after the sale, and are unlikely to have been involved in the naming of the house. Early directories published during Dunbar’s residency seem confused as to the spelling of the name.
Sudeley Arms (name in use 1850 to present; Sudeley Arms, 25 Prestbury Road). Also Sudeley House (1851). Originally 1 Portland Square, the house was John Berington’s ale, porter, and cider stores before he sold up in 1848 and George Holland established the Sudeley Arms in 1850 (see Mike Grindley “Portland Square and Albert Place District”). The Sudeley Arms was preceded by a Sudeley Place in nearby Winchcombe Street (see Hodsdon, Gazetteer). Both take their name from Sudeley Castle just south of Winchcombe, or the names of the Barons Sudeley (first creation in 1299; third creation in 1838).
Sunnyside (name in use 1874 – 1950+; now Byron Court, Pittville Circus Road). A conventional house name first recorded in Pittville Circus Road in the Cheltenham Annuaire of 1874, when it was said to be unoccupied. This suggests that the name was conferred by the owner, keen to appeal to potential residents, perhaps with a light-hearted glance at Vallombrosa (“shady vale”) opposite. The house is on the southern side of the road, as it bends towards Hewlett Road, and so has a southern aspect to the rear. The first occupant was Mrs Angelena Brown (probably Angela E. Brown), widow of Royal Engineer Alexander Brown, and the couple had spent much time in Sri Lanka before Angela returned to England, to her family in Cornwall and then, after Sunnyside, to Pittville Lawn Villa on Pittville Lawn. By the early 1940s the house was being used as a maternity hospital.
Terhill House (name in use 1848 – 1909; now Terhill, Pittville Circus). Also Terhill (1888 to present; Pittville Circus). Edward Jefferies Esdaile, Esq. and his family were the first occupants of Terhill House in Pittville Circus. They moved in around 1848, and brought the house-name with them from Somerset, where Edward Esdaile had been born and brought up. Terhill House, at Terhill, Cothelstone, near Taunton, was built in 1788 by Thomas Slocombe, and the estate of Terhill Park was acquired by the Esdaile family early in the nineteenth century. Edward’s father, also Edward Jefferies Esdaile, lived at Terhill House, Taunton, when he married in 1809. His son Edward was born there several years afterwards (baptised 1813).
Tidmington House (name in use 1889 – 95; now Sligo House, 2 Wellington Road). Tidmington House was named after the village of Tidmington, just south of Shipston on Stour in Warwickshire. The name was introduced by surgeon Richard Edmund Brain Horniblow, when he moved into the house in Pittville with his family in 1889. For many years earlier the house had been known as Alwington House. Although Richard was born in Charlbury, Oxfordshire, his father and grandfather came from Shipston on Stour. Both had married into Tidmington families (the Snows and the Brains), and Richard’s grandfather, surgeon William Horniblow, engaged in property deals in Tidmington. The name Tidmington House was short-lived, and was changed to Sligo House with the arrival of Irishman Alexander Duke in 1900.
Other names: Alwington Villa (name in use 1844 – 95); Sligo House (name in use 1897 to present).
Tracy House (name in use 1878 – 1922; now 59 Pittville Lawn). In 1878 Tracy was principally a surname rather than a first name, from which it was (occasionally) transferred for use as a house name. Mary Crowdy lived at 59 Pittville Lawn (then known as No 11) with her parents Rear Admiral Charles Crowdy and his wife Harriet. Mary married her cousin Arthur Crowdy, comfortably widowed from his previous marriage to the heiress of Billersley Hall, Alcester, in Warwickshire. Settled in Billersley Hall, the younger Crowdys tried to rent out 11 Pittville Lawn, but the market was sluggish. Adverts offering the substantial property for rent appeared regularly from 1874 until early 1879. It was towards the end of this process, in late 1878, that the rental adverts suddenly switched from describing the house as 11 Pittville Lawn to Tracy House, Pittville Lawn, a name it retained into the twentieth century. Years later, Billersley Hall was eventually sold in 1906 to the Hon. Algernon Henry Charles Hanbury-Tracy, son of the 4th Baron Sudeley almost thirty years later in 1905-6. It is possible that the name Tracy House derives from Hanbury-Tracy, the surname of the Barons Sudeley of Toddington, Gloucestershire (see also the Sudeley Arms in Pittville). The Hanbury-Tracys had earlier connections with Pittville, as cousins, the Misses Leyson, lived at Sinclair Villa (now Rathlin, in Pittville Circus) from 1846 until 1866, and the Honourable Frances Hanbury Tracy died at the Circus house in 1867. However, any closer association between the Crowdys and the Baron remains hidden. The choice of the name Tracy in 1878 may have been influenced by more mundane factors. With the house difficult to rent, the Crowdys or their agents were looking for a means of making the house seem more attractive. In another spa town, Leamington, an eccentric writer and Russianist Edward Tracy Turnerelli, grandson of an Italian count and son of celebrated sculptor Peter Turnerelli, was attracting much media attention by various mediagenic and sometimes ill-judged schemes. In the early 1870s he had decided to call his house in Leamington Tracy Lodge or Tracy Villa (Tracy was his mother’s maiden name), he became embroiled in various extreme legal battles, and in mid 1878 launched a provocative plan to present Prime Minister Disraeli with a so-called “People’s Tribute”, a golden laurel wreath marking Disraeli’s success at the Congress of Berlin, seeking peace in the Balkans with Russia (Disraeli declined the gift). It is possible that Turnerelli’s name and showmanship may have influenced the renaming of 11 Pittville Lawn as Tracy House.
Tresmere: see (site of) Selkirk Villa (name in use 1837 – 1917).
Trevellis House (name in use 1836 – 49; now 66 Prestbury Road). Also Trevillis House (1841-6). Owner and occupier Anne Powne Fletcher (née Gully) named her new house Trevellis (also Trevillis) House after the house Trevillis in St Keyne, near Liskeard in Cornwall, which she inherited under the terms of her father’s will. Later the Pittville house was known as 1 Pittville Villas, before twentieth-century renumbering put it at 66 Prestbury Road. The Gullys held extensive property in Cornwall, and at one time Anne was in dispute with the Duchy of Cornwall about their holdings in the county, which she laid claim to (the “extraordinary claim” is itemised in the Morning Post of 9 June 1842).
Trevor Dene (name in use 1874 – 1939; now 98 Evesham Road). The name Trevor Dene is apparently previously unrecorded. It is associated with the arrival at the house of its first resident Elizabeth Taylor, widow of Liverpool-born Joshua Taylor, gentleman, and her four children in 1874. Dene is a conventional English place-name element, often deriving from Old English denu “(place in) the valley”. Trevor is a Welsh personal name (Trefor) deriving from the place-name element tre- or tref- “a farm or homestead”. It can also be an Irish personal name. No relevant link between the name and the Taylor family has yet been established. When Elizabeth Taylor arrived in 1874, Leckhampton already boasted a “Trevor Lodge”, as did several other places in Britain, including North Wales, where a number of Odd Fellow lodges were established called “Loyal Trevor Lodge”.
Trouville (name in use 1874 – 1944; now 96 Evesham Road). Trouville (in full, Trouville-sur-Mer) is the name of a fashionable holiday resort that was popular with Victorian holiday-makers and especially sea-bathers, near to Deauville, in the Calvados region of Normandy, northern France. The first residents of Pittville’s Trouville were stationer and travelling salesman Charles Smith (later variously described as a merchant, and then a gentleman), his wife Ann and sister Sarah, but there seems to be no documented association between the family and Trouville in France. Charles Smith died at the house in 1886, aged 71.
Tyndale House (name in use 1844 to present; Clarence Square). Also Tyndale. The house was known simply as 1 Pittville Terrace North until the arrival of George Stokes and his family from Colchester in 1844, who renamed it Tyndale House. Stokes had been President of the Colchester Mechanics’ Institute in Essex, and was also an indefatigable editor and leading light of the national Religious Tract Society, as well as a founder member of the Parker Society for the publication of texts by the Church Fathers. In Cheltenham he maintained his RTS interests and also became a committee member of the Cheltenham Auxiliary Church Missionary Society, under Francis Close. He named his house after William Tyndale, a leading figure of the Protestant Reformation, and translator of the Bible. Stokes wrote about Tyndale regularly in his publications for the RTS, including A brief history of the British Reformation (1832), though in his academic work he sometimes preferred the more scholarly spelling Tindal. See also Holy Trinity Vicarage.
Vallombrosa (name in use 1848 – 90; now Homespring House, Pittville Circus Road). Also Valambrose Cottage (1847), Vollombrosa House (1848), Vallambrosia (1851), Vallombrosoo (1871). The name Vallombrosa (=”shady vale”) comes from the forested region of the same name in Tuscany, twenty miles south-east of Florence. The area in general, and its Benedictine abbey in particular, were popular with English travellers in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and had welcomed William Beckford, William Wordsworth, Mary Shelley, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and many others. The key reference which alerted Victorians to the beauties of Vallombrosa was an allusion in the first book of Milton’s Paradise Lost (ll. 302-4): “Thick as Autumnal Leaves that strow the Brooks, In Vallombrosa, where th’ Etrurian shades High overarch’t imbowr”. The first occupant of the house, from 1846 until 1848, was former Indian judge William Henry Valpy, his wife Caroline, and their children. The family had returned to England to seek sanctuary first in Hastings and then in Cheltenham, as William was not healthy. William Valpy’s father was a schoolmaster who published Classical grammars and anthologies of classical poetry; his elder brother Abraham ran a publishing house specialising in the Classics (his 143 volumes of the Delphin Classics were well known at the time). William would have been brought up to be at home with epic literature (his father owned a first edition of Paradise Lost) , and so it is little surprise that he chose Vallombrosa for the name of his Cheltenham house. Perhaps he also knew that Elizabeth Barrett Browning, whom his brother had recently published, had visited the Abbey of Vallombrosa in 1847, the year in which the name was named. The Valpy family stayed in Cheltenham for only a few years, before emigrating (like other Pittville residents such as estate architect Robert Stokes and Pump Room lessee Henry Seymour) in 1849 to New Zealand, where the family enjoyed the life of wealthy farmers before William’s untimely and sudden death in 1852.
Other names: Deanwood House (name in use 1891 – 1938).
Victoria Cottage (1856 - 7; now Old Lodge, Wellington Square). The name by which the former 1 Victoria Villas was known, perhaps briefly when a furniture sale was advertised there in 1856 (Cheltenham Chronicle 12 February). The house retained the name into 1857, when fishmonger Daniel Olive moved in with his family, but the Olives soon changed it to Wellington Cottage.
Other names: Victoria Villa (name in use 1837 – 43); Wellington Cottage (name in use 1857 – 67); Flesk Lodge (name in use 1868 – 1939); Wellington Villa (2) (name in use 1881).
Victoria House (name in use 1841 – 60; now Wellington Lodge, Wellington Square). The house was built by nurseryman Richard Ware in 1828-9 as his own residence (Blake, Pittville). After his death in 1832, his trustees began the construction of two villas in his grounds, known from 1837 as Victoria Villas. Victoria House was the principal house in the grounds, and its name forms a group with the two villas, all celebrating the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne in 1837, as did many other buildings in Cheltenham, including the Queen’s Hotel, opened in 1838.
Other names: Wellington Lodge (name in use 1857 to present).
Victoria Villa (name in use 1837 – 43; now Old Lodge, Wellington Square). Also in early use the house seems to have been known briefly as 1 Victoria Villas, from which Victoria Villa derives. Both this and 2 Victoria Villas were built by the trustees of nurseryman Richard Ware’s will. In the 1850s it is referred to as Victoria Cottage (next-door to Gothic Cottage). By 1857 it had become known as Wellington Cottage. The name celebrates the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne in 1837. See also Victoria House.
Other names: Victoria Cottage (1856 - 7); Wellington Cottage (name in use 1857 – 67); Flesk Lodge (name in use 1868 – 1939); Wellington Villa (2) (name in use 1881).
Vista Villa (name in use 1861 - 6; now 26 Albert Road). Descriptive name: Vista Villa was the first name for this house, which offered a vista at the front over the southern and largely unbuilt section of Pittville Crescent and at the back, a direct line of sight through to the Pittville Gardens to the left of Wyddrington House on Pittville Lawn. The name is probably associated with the earliest residents, solicitor Joseph Allen Higgins, Herefordshire and Worcestershire JP, who moved here with his household from Ledbury. The name was short-lived, as it changed to Melcombe Villa around 1866 when the Higginses moved to Lansdown.
Other names: Melcombe Villa (name in use 1867 – 78); Melcombe House (name in use 1878 - 93); Hawksworth (1894 – present).
Walsingham (name in use 1881 – 1933; now 100 Evesham Road). Also Walsingham House (1902 – 5). The house name Walsingham comes from the middle name of the first occupant of the house, Charles Walsingham Minchener, born in Clontarf, Dublin of an English father, but a farmer at Lake Ellesmere (Te Waihora) in the Canterbury region of New Zealand before removing to Cheltenham, marriage, and then the couple’s Pittville house. Minchener’s New Zealand farm was also called Walsingham.
Wellesley Court (name in use 1900 - 1950+; now Clarence Court Hotel). Also Wellesley Court Hotel (1921 – 50+); The widowed Rev. Christopher Heath moved into Wellesley Court (then Ross House) in 1900, when he retired in his eighties from his post as Vicar of Hucclecote. He immediately changed the house name. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, had been a popular visitor to Cheltenham, staying on five occasions between 1805 and 1828 (see Blake & Beacham; Hodsdon, Gazetteer) and his name is commemorated in several streets and houses in Pittville (such as Wellington Road, Wellington Square, and Apsley House). The Rev. Heath died at Wellesley Court in 1909, aged 92. See also Wellington Court.
Other names: Ross House (name in use 1840 -1899).
Wellesley House (name in use 1841 to present; Wellington Square). Wellesley House was the distinguished name originally given to the house by the management of the Pittville estate. The house is listed in the 1841 census under this name (when it was occupied by a workman and his wife, prior to sale or let). The name Wellesley House was also used in sale advertisements when, after Joseph Pitt’s death in 1842, many of his properties, were auctioned by order of the High Court of Chancery (“Pitt v. Pitt”) in order to meet his debts (Cheltenham Chronicle 1843, 23 September). For the name Wellesley see Wellesley Court.
Wellesley Villa (name in use 1841 - 83; now Westbury/Wellington House, Wellington Square). The name Wellesley Villa was used from time to time (and sometimes perhaps in error) in the mid 19th century for either 1 or 2 Wellesley Villas, Wellington Square. 1 Wellesley Villas was in some years entered as Wellesley Villa in the Cheltenham Annuaire, alongside another Wellesley Villa, in Painswick Road. For the name Wellesley see Wellesley Court.
Other names: Westwick (name in use 1859 – 62).
Wellington Cottage (name in use 1857 – 67; now Old Lodge, Wellington Square). The name Wellington Cottage was introduced shortly after the arrival there of fishmonger Daniel Olive, his wife Mary Ann, and family in May 1857. They changed it from the short-lived Victoria Cottage. Later in May 1857, Mary Ann Olive gave birth to a son at the house, whom they named Nolan Wellesley Olive, suggesting some deep-rooted attachment to the name Wellington/Wellesley. In turn the house name was superseded, during the residency of the Olives, by Flesk Lodge. On the name Wellington in Cheltenham see Wellington Court.
Other names: Victoria Villa (name in use 1837 – 43); Victoria Cottage (1856 - 7); Flesk Lodge (name in use 1868 – 1939); Wellington Villa (2) (name in use 1881).
Wellington Court (name in use 1889 - 1936; now Harwood House, Wellington Square). A conventional and rather grand name introduced when Surgeon-Major John James Saville moved into the house (previously and subsequently Harwood House) on Wellington Square in October 1889. The name of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, a popular visitor to Cheltenham is commemorated in several streets and houses in Pittville (such as Wellesley Court, Wellington Road, Wellington Square, and Apsley House). The structure of this name parallels the name of the Savilles’ former house, Cressage Lodge, in Cressage, Shropshire. The house name reverted to Harwood House in the 1930s. See also Wellesley Court.
Other names: Harwood House (name in use 1837 to present).
Wellington Lodge (name in use 1857 to present; Wellington Square). Frances Maria Armstrong, one of the daughters of the Rev. Robert Carew Armstrong, late vicar of Templemore in County Tipperary, moved into Wellington Lodge from 9 Montpellier Street in 1857. Until then, the house had been called Victoria House. When Frances Armstrong moved in, it was renamed, from Wellington Square, on the east side of which it stood.
Other names: Victoria House (name in use 1841 – 60).
Wellington Villa (1) (name in use 1837 – 1917; now 19 Wellington Square, though historically and briefly also No 18). One of the first wave of Pittville house names, characterised by stately grandeur and patriotism, Wellington Villa was the home from 1837 of the Rev. John Clemson Egginton and his wife Ann, who moved down from Bilbrook House near Wolverhampton, Staffordshire. The directories show some early confusion in the names of 18 and 19 Wellington Square (variously 1 and 2 Wellington Villas; No 18 was also called Wellington Villa in 1843-4, and Wellington House in 1845). When No 18 reverted to being known as Georgina Villa, No 19 remained Wellington Villa for many years. After the Rev. Egginton’s death in 1850, his wife Anne remained in the house until 1867. On the name Wellington in Cheltenham see Wellington Court. See also Bilbrook House, Wellesley Villa.
Wellington Villa (2) (name in use 1881; now Old Lodge, Wellington Square). The name applied in the census of 1881, perhaps in error, to fishmonger Daniel Olive’s Flesk Lodge.
Other names: Victoria Villa (name in use 1837 – 43); Victoria Cottage (1856 - 7); Wellington Cottage (name in use 1857 – 67); Flesk Lodge (name in use 1868 – 1939).
Westbourne House (name in use 1851 to present; Westbourne Drive, off Pittville Circus Road). Westbourne House was advertised for sale, without a name, as a “well-built and commodious detached Freehold Villa Residence, as lately erected by [Pittville builder] Mr. Billings”, in the Cheltenham Chronicle of 31 January 1850. It was first occupied by General Edward Melian Gullifer Showers (Royal Horse Artillery) and his wife Amy, returned from a career in India spanning about fifty years. The reason for the name Westbourne House is unknown: it was the name of the London residence of General Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill, Commander-in-Chief of the Army (1828-39), which may be relevant. But Westbourne was by the mid nineteenth century a common element of street names (see, for example, earlier Westbourne Terrace and Westbourne Grove in London). Cheltenham’s Westbourne Terrace and Westbourne Villas, as well as Westbourne Drive leading to Westbourne House, are later. See Steeniecot.
Weston House (name in use 1845 to present; now 17 Pittville Lawn). Although the house was built by Cheltenham builder James Creed, it seems that it was named by its first resident, Maria (“Mrs. Waldo”) Sibthorp, who moved into the property in 1845. Maria was the estranged wife of the popular but outspoken ultra-right MP for Lincoln, Charles de Laet Waldo Sibthorp (who liked to be known as “Colonel Sibthorp”). After Mrs. Sibthorp moved into Weston House, she is regularly found in the Arrivals and Departures section of the Cheltenham Looker-On, sometimes alone and sometimes with her son Henry (Arthur Mainwaring Waldo) Sibthorp. Their destination is usually Weston Rectory, Weston-under-Penyard, near Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire. By the same token, the incumbent of the Rectory at Weston (now the Old Rectory), the Rev. Willam Brant and his wife Matilda, are both shown visiting Weston House in Cheltenham in the 1840s. The family link is not yet clear, though both Maria Sibthorp and Matilda Brant came from southern Ireland, and several Sibthorps overlapped with William Brant at Oxford.
Westville (name in use 1877 – 1903; now Daylesford, Wellington Square). Also Westville House (1878 - 1904). Formerly 3 Wellington Square East, the name of the house was changed to Westville in 1877 when long-time owner George Ridge sold up and moved out, soon after the death of his wife Amelia. According to the sale advertisement “The House is substantially built, and has a Westerly aspect, overlooking the tastefully disposed Gardens of Wellington Square” (Cheltenham Chronicle: 1877, 1 May). However, its new name commemorates the house in Sheffield, Westville House on Western Bank, in which George Ridge’s wife Amelia (née Pierson) had been brought up by her father Thomas, another solicitor, and mother Harriet.
Westwick (name in use 1859 – 62; now Westbury, Wellington Square). Dorothea Wightwick (née Fryer) moved into Westwick in December 1859, soon after the death of her husband, Staffordshire and Gloucestershire JP Stubbs Wightwick. The couple had lived at Capel Court, Pittville Lawn since the late 1830s. The name Westwick is etymologically related to Wightwick. Burke’s Landed Gentry (vol. 2: 1847, p. 1585) states that Wightwick of Great Bloxwich, Staffordshire was an “ancient family, which […] has been seated for centuries in the counties of Stafford and Salop: in Doomsday Book [sic], it is recorded that a place called Westwike is a member of the lordship of Tettenhall Regis, co. Stafford, and hath given name to a family of Wyghtwiche, Wightwyche, or Wightwick.” Dorothea Fryer was born in Wightwick, near Wolverhampton, and in 1829 married Stubbs Wightwick, head of the Wightwick family, at Tettenhall. When Dorothea Wightwick left Pittville she took the name Westwick with her, and in 1868 she lived at Westwick, Ascot, Berks, and died in 1888 at Westwick, Easthampstead, Berks. See also Capel Court.
Other names: Wellesley Villa (name in use 1841 - 83).
Worcester House (name in use 1895 to present; Pittville Circus Road). Lewis Moore was a successful judge and writer on Indian affairs in Madras. He had married in India, and he and his wife Edith Catherine Moore née Johnston had brought up their family there. Neither had any particular connection with England, let alone the city of Worcester: Lewis Moore’s family came from Armagh and he had attended Trinity College, Dublin, and Edith’s family were Scottish, but both families had spent much of their lives in India. Around 1880 Edith Moore came to England, and to Cheltenham, with her young children, living first in Imperial Square and subsequently at 1 Minsterworth Villa, Old Bath Road, while her boys attended Cheltenham College. When he was 18 her elder son Lewis Grenville Moore took the entrance exam for the Indian Civil Service, and at the same time won a scholarship to Worcester College, Oxford. He started to attend the university, but within two years he was sailing for India to follow in the footsteps of his father. A year or so after he left, his mother and her remaining family moved from Minsterworth Villas into their new house in Pittville Circus Road, which she seems to have named Worcester House after her elder son’s Oxford college.
Wyddrington House (name in use 1839 to present; 55 Pittville Lawn). Thomas Smith Esq. (c1796 Breconshire – 1865 Great Malvern) bought the plot in early 1836, and was probably responsible for the name Wyddrington House. Thomas’s wife Henrietta died in 1840 and he remained in the house until 1842, when he moved to Georgina Villa (now 18 Wellington Square). In 1845 he removed again, with his new wife Anne, to Worcestershire, where his family held property (Moreton Hall near Inkberrow). The origin of the name Wyddrington is not clear. It is an archaic spelling of Widdrington, the name of a village on the Northumberland coast north of Whitley Bay and Blyth, and of the family which historically owned estates there. The Smith family were said in 1833 to be pursuing an ancient claim to their ancestral possessions “in the northern counties” (Morning Post, 31 August), and were about to enter legal dispute over lands in Blanckney in Lincolnshire: perhaps these claims also included land in Northumberland. A possible secondary source for the same name occurs in the title of a popular Gothic romance of the day: Margiana; or Widdrington Tower by “Mrs. S. Sykes” (Henrietta Sykes, nee Masterman), published in Thomas’s youth in 1808. Whatever the case, Thomas Smith obviously liked the name, as he named his new house Wyddrington House when he later moved to Church Road, Edgbaston around 1847.
House-names index by street [back to top]
[houses listed in numerical sequence in each street; italics indicates names formerly in use]
2 Albert Road, Rothesay Mansion: Rothesay House (name in use 1848 - 1918)
16 Albert Road: Bennington (name in use 1864 - 1918)
26 Albert Road: Hawksworth (name in use 1894 to present); Melcombe House (name in use 1878 - 93); Melcombe Villa (name in use 1867 – 78); Vista Villa (name in use 1861 - 6)
28 Albert Road: Southern House (name in use 1860 – 1950+); Southern Villa (name in use 1861 - 4)
30 Albert Road, Park House: Sandown Lawn (name in use 1870 – 1950+); Sandown House (name in use 1881)
Stanley Lawn (name in use 1873 - 1911; demolished) Pittville Court (name in use 1874 to present; (rebuilt)
108 Albert Road: Ellerslie (1876 to present)
All Saints Road
Central Cross Drive
Essex Lodge (name in use 1833 – 1903; demolished)
Tyndale House (name in use 1844 to present)
Clarence Lodge (name in use 1850 to present)
19 Clarence Square: Linden Lawn (name in use 1891 - 1898)
Clarence Villa (name in use 1843 - 1900): Deerhurst (name in use 1897 – 1915+)
43 Clarence Square: Amberley House (name in use 1853 to present)
Lisle House (name in use 1867 to present): Lisle Villa (name in use 1841 – 1866)
Clarence Court Hotel: Ross House (name in use 1840 -1899); Wellesley Court (name in use 1900 - 1950+)
46 Clarence Square: Needwood House (name in use 1891 – 1950+)
49 Clarence Square: Stantway (name in use 1896 – 1933)
Camden House (name in use 1837 – 1889 and 1950+ to present): (Holy) Trinity Vicarage (name in use 1891 – 1950+)
East Approach Drive
St Ives’ Court: Marston Lodge (name in use 1861 - 1915; demolished); Marston Villa (name in use 1859 - 71)
Malvern Hill House (name in use 1873 to present): Malvern Hill Villa (name in use 1859 - 83)
Brompton House: Altidore Villa (name in use 1866 - 1925)
Gate House: Edgbaston House (name in use 1873 - 1915)
Pittville Pump Room (name in use 1825 to present): Pittville Spa (name in use 1825 to present)
Aubervie (name in use 1876 - 1950+; demolished, now 26-40 East Approach Drive)
1 Evesham Road: Blenheim House (name in use 1834 to present)
36 Evesham Road: Novar Lodge (name in use 1834 – 1925)
38 Evesham Road: Cleveland House (name in use 1828– 1950+)
40 Evesham Road: South Cleeve House (name in use 1848 – 1945)
82-92 Evesham Road: (site of) Anlaby House (name in use 1842 – 1919; demolished)
96 Evesham Road: Trouville (name in use 1874 – 1944)
98 Evesham Road: Trevor Dene (name in use 1874 – 1939)
100 Evesham Road: Walsingham (name in use 1881 – 1933)
102 Evesham Road: Casa Echalaz (name in use 1897 – 1914); Evesham Lawn (name in use 1881 - 96)
104 Evesham Road: Holm Dene (name in use 1886 – 1950+)
106 Evesham Road: Edenholme (name in use 1892 – 1950+); Iseultdene (name in use 1887 – 1891)
Goldington House: St Leonard’s (name in use 1872 – 1909)
The Grange: Marle Hill House (name in use 1830 – 1920)
125 Evesham Road: St Arvans (name in use 1873 – to present)
Tower House: Apsley House (name in use 1844 – 74); Luddenham (name in use 1881 – 93); Steeniecot (name in use 1875 – 81); St Paul’s Vicarage (name in use 1894 – 1914)
East Eglinton/West House: Eglinton (name in use 1897 – 1934); Rosehaugh Villa (names in use 1844 – 85); St Idloes (name in use 1887 – 96)
Stanbrook House: Stanbrook Villa (name in use 1845 – 1893)
Rathlin: Sinclair Villa (name in use 1845 - 1933)
Northlands Apartments: Northlands (name in use 1846 – 1950+)
Terhill: Terhill House (name in use 1848 – 1909)
Priors Lodge: Ash Priors (name in use 1883 – 1950+); Kyrle Villa (name in use 1849 – 69); Phayrecot (name in use 1867 – 83)
Heath Lodge (name in use 1868 to present)
Kingsmuir Hotel: Kingsmuir (name in use 1885 to present)
Burston House (name in use 1886 to present)
Tresmere: (site of) Selkirk Villa (name in use 1837 – 1917)
Apsley Lodge (name in use 1873 to present): Apsley Villa (name in use 1844 – 73)
Pittville Circus Road
Berkeley House: Gwernant Villa (name in use 1861 – 1950+)
Askham Court: Shirley House (name in use 1862 – 1950+); Southam Lawn (name in use 1851); Southam Villa (name in use 1861)
Fairhavens Court: Balgowan House (name in use 1859 – 1902); Balgowan Lodge (name in use 1859 – 60); Northerwood (name in use 1903 – 1946+)
Star Court: Prestwich Lodge (name in use 1858 – 1963+)
Cotswold Lodge (name in use 1859 to present): Cotswold Villa (1) (name in use 1857 – 60)
Cotswold Grange Hotel: Cotswold Grange (name in use 1848 – 1950+)
Queensholme (name in use 1867 to present)
Oakbank (name in use 1886 to present)
Lansdown House: East Hayes (name in use 1844 – 1950+)
Homespring House: Deanwood House (name in use 1891 – 1938); Vallombrosa (name in use 1848 – 90)
Byron Court: Sunnyside (name in use 1874 – 1950+)
Pengwern: Pengwern College (name in use 1901 – 40)
Worcester House (name in use 1895 to present)
The Gryphons (name in use 1888 to present)
Haddo (name in use 1888 to present)
Carlton House: Prestbury Villa (name in use 1869 – 1932)
Kingswood House: Moultondale (name in use 1881 – 1950+)
Irving House (1): Strathdurn (name in use 1870 – 1950+)
Irving House (2): Acton Lodge (name in use 1873 – 92); Askham House (name in use 1892 – 1950+)
Holmdale (name in use 1880 to present)
Longville (name in use 1911 to present): Cornbrash House (name in use 1868 - 69); Cotswold Villa (2) (name in use 1870 - 1903)
North Hall: Berkeley Hall (name in use 1867 - 1926); Kirkella (name in use 1901 – 39)
St Anne’s: Donore (name in use 1882 – 96); Garden Reach (name in use 1865 – 79); Inholmes (name in use 1897 – 1911); Pittville Court (2) (name in use 1896); Pittville Hall (name in use 1879 – 82 and also 1895 - 7)
Glenfall Lawn (name in use 1866 to present)
6 Pittville Crescent: Drummond House (name in use 1901 to present); Stanley Villa (name in use 1878 – 1882)
Pittville Crescent Cottage (name in use 1901-41)
10 Pittville Crescent: Cornbrash Villa (1860); Lorraine Villa (name in use 1861 – 1903)
11 Pittville Crescent: Elton Villa (name in use 1861 – 1929)
16 Pittville Crescent, Scoriton: Fern Lawn (name in use 1875 – 1913)
2 Pittville Lawn: Segrave House (name in use 1837 – 1950+)
4 Pittville Lawn: Napier House (name in use 1850 to present)
6 Pittville Lawn: Montagu Villa (name in use 1849 - 1950+)
8 Pittville Lawn: Lothian Villa (name in use 1855 - 1928)
15 Pittville Lawn: Drumholm (name in use 1889-1946+)
17 Pittville Lawn: Weston House (name in use 1845 to present)
19 Pittville Lawn: Northumberland Villa (name in use 1841 only)
21 Pittville Lawn: Berkeley Villa (name in use 1841 - 2; 1861)
23 Pittville Lawn: Roden House (name in use 1836 to present)
25 Pittville Lawn: Admington House (name in use 1839 - 72); Berkeley Court (name in use 1873 - 83); Berkeley House (name in use 1884 - 1950+)
27 Pittville Lawn: Kenilworth House (name in use 1837 to present)
39 Pittville Lawn: Pittville Lawn Villa (name in use 1841 – 1904)
55 Pittville Lawn: Wyddrington House (name in use 1839 to present)
59 Pittville Lawn: Tracy House (name in use 1878 – 1922)
69 Pittville Lawn: Heathfield Lodge (name in use 1841 – 1950+)
71 Pittville Lawn: Capel Court (name in use 1839 – 58); Malden Court (name in use 1858 to present)
79 Pittville Lawn: Ellingham House (name in use 1841 to present)
83 Pittville Lawn: Dorset Villa (name in use 1843 to present)
91 Pittville Lawn, Lake House: Lake View (name in use 1882 - 1925)
93 Pittville Lawn: Ravenhurst (name in use 1894 to present)
2 Prestbury Road: Pittville Cottage (name in use 1833 – 1950+)
4 Prestbury Road: Segrave Cottage (name in use 1836 – 1901)
6 Prestbury Road: Leamington House (name in use 1835 – 1950+)
24 Prestbury Road: Saxony House (name in use 1897 – 1933)
25 Prestbury Road: Sudeley Arms (name in use 1850 to present)
32 Prestbury Road: Southend House (name in use 1846 to present)
35 Prestbury Road: Portland Cottage (name in use 1853 - 77)
66 Prestbury Road: Trevellis House (name in use 1836 – 49)
73 Prestbury Road: Selkirk House (name in use 1847 to present)
Camden Villa (name in use 1834 to present)
2 Wellington Road: Alwington Villa (name in use 1844 – 95); Sligo House (name in use 1897 to present); Tidmington House (name in use 1889 – 95)
Devonshire House: Halsey House (name in use 1873 – 1950+); Primrose Lawn (name in use 1833 – 87)
Pittville House (name in use 1835 to present)
21 Wellington Road/Evesham Road: Banchory Lodge (name in use 1837 – 41); Evesham House (name in use 1841 to present)
Avondale House (name in use 1840 to present)
17 Wellington Square: Rowanleigh (name in use 1878 – 1950+)
18 Wellington Square: Cedar Holme (name in use 1894 – 1934); Cedar Villa (name in use 1873 – 1894); Georgina Villa (name in use 1839 – 76)
19 Wellington Square: Wellington Villa (1) (name in use 1837 – 1917)
Old Lodge: Flesk Lodge (name in use 1868 – 1939); Victoria Cottage (1856 - 7); Victoria Villa (name in use 1837 – 43); Wellington Cottage (name in use 1857 – 67); Wellington Villa (2) (name in use 1881)
Clive Lodge: Gothic Cottage (name in use 1851 – 68)
Wellington Lodge (name in use 1857 to present; Wellington Square): Victoria House (name in use 1841 – 60)
Cranley: The Aviary (name in use 1837 – 63); Cranley Lodge (name in use 1864 – 1950+)
Laurel Lodge (name in use 1835 to present)
Percy House (name in use 1845 to present)
Eastholme (1870 to present day)
Westbury: Wellesley Villa (name in use 1841 - 83); Westwick (name in use 1859 – 62)
Wellington Lodge (name in use 1857 to present)
Wellesley House (name in use 1841 to present)
Daylesford: Westville (name in use 1877 – 1903)
Park House: Dover House (name in use 1874 – 96); Inver (name in use 1897 – 1910)
Harwood House (name in use 1837 to present): Wellington Court (name in use 1889 - 1936)
Glenmore Lodge (name in use 1836 – 2018)
West Approach Drive
Westbourne Drive, off Pittville Circus Road
Westbourne House (name in use 1851 to present)