Cheltenham is well known for its hustle and bustle and thriving town centre. With many shops from large to small, a new John Lewis superstore under construction and many business-like Cheltenham Double Glazing windows companies such as it is hard to believe that this town started life as a small village and a few fields owned by Cirencester Abbey. Its fortunes rose with the discovery of Spa water and it now boasts a University, several festivals, GCHQ and of course the famous Cheltenham Race course.

Roll back the clock to the early nineteen hundred and you’ll see a much different scene. Running through the middle of a few rural farm houses, little more than hovels was the rather polluted river called the Chelt. It was polluted due to the stray and domestic animals wandering about and do their business where and when they felt like it. There was a bridge of sorts of you can accept that a stepping stone is a bridge course but that’s up to you. It was a well known for its brewing capabilities and the work of the fixing and making of stockings which make you wonder how they came to be able to advertise. Little did they know that the River Chelt was to become the source of how the community would make loads of Money and the move up the property.

Spa water was seen as being next big thing in health care. Cheltenham found that it had lots little Spa wells and this became a great money spinner for the locals. In fact, local entrepreneurs were soon out in their gardens digging wells down so that they could open up their own spa and start charging visitors to drink from it. It became a very competitive industry with different spas offering entertainment and other attractions along with the chance to drink the water. Getting the Royal seal of approval for its water is what finally sent it from a bit of a backwater to the major conurbation it is today. Suddenly the rich wanted to live there meaning that the roaming animals and fields had to go and so the building of the town house and Palladian façade was needed.

The good times were not due to last. By the eighteen thirties onwards as the Spas were slowly going out of business as things literally dried up. By Two thousand and three it was all over. The one remaining Spa in the mighty Pittville Pump rooms found that its supply was becoming tainted with normal groundwater and therefore not a pure supply. All was not lost though as the council in conjunction with a local business were able to create a new sink hole in two thousand and five. Its not expected that other on their back gardens will follow suit and anyway Cheltenham is no so established it probably doesn’t need the influx anymore!