Montpellier Gardens 6217

Cheltenham, England, Gloucestershire, Cheltenham

Brief Description

Montpellier Gardens are mid-19th-century public gardens that were originally associated with one of Cheltenham's spas. Features remaining from the Victorian period include the bandstand, some tree planting and a lodge.

History

The gardens started as tree-lined walks and rides associated with the Montpellier Spa. From about 1834 they were laid out as pleasure grounds for the private use of Spa subscribers. The gardens were opened to the public in 1861. A renovation and restoration project was carried out in the early 21st century.

Visitor Facilities

Montpellier Gardens are municipal gardens for general public use.

Detailed Description

The gardens have changed considerably in layout from the original 1834 plan, with only the main tree planting, some hedges, a statue of George IV, the bandstand and a Victorian Lodge having any links with the original design intention. Virtually all of the ornamental planting has been removed with the exception of some rose beds and shrubberies although a raised area that previously held a floral clock is still bedded out. The square now contains numerous tennis court, a gym, a children's play area and public lavatories.
Features
  • Bandstand
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Building
  • Description: A proscenium or outdoor theatre dating back to the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

Montpellier Gardens are municipal gardens for general public use.

Directions

The gardens are situated in the town centre between Montpellier Walk and Montpellier Terrace.
History

Detailed History

Montpellier Spa was founded in 1809 by Henry Thompson. The first pump room was on the site of the present Montpellier Spas (now Lloyd's Bank), and was replaced in 1817 by the Long Room, designed by G A Underwood. Thompson also laid out Montpellier Rides and Walks either side of a roughly square area of grass which is now the site of Montpellier Gardens. Papworth prepared two plans for the gardens but neither were executed. Thompson ran out of money and the site was sold on to the Jearrad brothers, who implemented their own scheme for the site as recorded on the Merret plan of 1834.

This layout divided the square into two unequal halves: the main part containing a series of serpentine walks, many flower beds and trees planted throughout, whilst the other part was more open with extensive ornamental conservatories at one end and a bandstand in the form of a Chinese pagoda at the other. The gardens were only used by subscribers to the Spa, until in 1861 a philanthropic welfare company purchased the gardens to make them available to the public for recreation. They still fulfil this purpose today.

Period

  • Mid 19th Century
References

Contributors

  • Gloucestershire Gardens & Landscape Trust