About Cheltenham and these pages
Cheltenham is a beautiful Regency Town nestling in the Cotswolds hills approximately 100 miles West of London. It boasts many fine Gardens and Regency buildings. It is a Major regional Shopping Centre with easy access from the M5, and London on the A40. These pages look at the history of Cheltenham, sometimes in a light hearted way, but always based on fact.
The Three Ps.
Historically Cheltenham has a reputation of being Poor, Proud and Pretty and in many respects this holds true today. Its most important Historic claim to fame was the discovery of health giving natural waters which you can still sample today, (but they do taste very salty!)
The Cheltenham Waters
The story goes that the Locals noticed that a particular flock of Pigeons in the town were particularly plump and healthy, these same Pigeons were often seen pecking at the salts deposited by a spring on the land owned by William Mason, a local businessman and land owner in the town. The locals were aware that the water from this particular spring had some unusual side effects, it was in fact a very strong Purgative!
William Mason retired to Bristol to be near his son who was a merchant there, Mason’s Beautiful daughter, Elizabeth, moved with him. While in Bristol, Elizabeth met and married the flamboyant and well traveled Captain Henry Skillicorne.
Skillicorne, a former Privateer, (a kind of Licensed Pirate!) and Merchant Sea Captain, inherited William Mason’s land in Cheltenham and with Elizabeth moved back here to live. Seeing the potential of the ‘health giving’ waters, he covered the well, installed a pump and started to sell the water.
Hence the birth of Cheltenham as a Spa town.
Perhaps the three Ps do not stand for Poor, Proud and Pretty, but for Pigeons, Purgatives and Privateers instead!
Two new lists have been added to this site:-
Civic Trappings The Borough Crest, The Mace, The Mayoral Chain
Royal Visits / Events A table of Royal visits (pre 1974, from the Cheltenham Council Handbook 1975)
Civic Visits / Events Table of Civic Visits to and from Cheltenham. (pre 1974, from the Cheltenham Council Handbook 1975
Hot News A Light hearted look at the celebrations for the 25th Anniversary of King George V)
Full Table of Events Historic event in Cheltenham, (pre 1974, from the Cheltenham Council Handbook 1975)
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