Pittville Pump Room was the last and largest of the spa buildings to be constructed in Cheltenham. It was built by the architect John Forbes between 1825 and 1830 as a focal point of the new estate of Pittville and stands at the northern end of Pittville Park, with landscaped grounds running down to the lake.
The building has a colonnade of Ionic columns, above which are statues depicting Aesculapius (the god of medicine), Hygeia (the goddess of health), and Hippocrates (the founder of Western medicine) which symbolise the health-giving properties of the spa. The interior has a large ballroom/assembly room on the ground floor (now used for concerts, exhibitions and weddings) which contains the original pump, to which the waters are today fed by electric pumping. There are further columns supporting a gallery under a dome; the smaller rooms on the upper floor, now used as meeting rooms, were originally a billiard room, library and reading room.
The Pump Room and its grounds were managed during the 19th century by a
succession of lessees, who offered entertainments including menageries, exhibitions and balloon rides. However the Pump Room was never really profitable and in 1890 it (and the Park) passed into the ownership of the Council.
The Pump Room is still owned by Cheltenham Borough Council but is managed by The Cheltenham Trust, and is available for hire. It is open to visitors from Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm provided it is not being used (or prepared) for an event. Phone 0844 576 2210 to check.