A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode
Perhaps one of the most socially important people in Cheltenham in the late eighteenth century was John de la Bere, Steward to the Lord of the Manor, and a Cheltenham solicitor who lived in an impressive house in the High Street near to where the Beachwood Arcade stands in 2004. John de la Bere was a wealthy man and he and his son owned much land in Cheltenham and its outlying area south of the town in what is today Montpellier and Lansdown.
In 1801 or thereabouts, John de la Bere decided to dispose of some of his land holdings and the two main purchasers were the Earl of Suffolk and Henry Thompson. Henry Thompson was a wealthy London merchant banker and underwriter who had moved to live in Cheltenham and who in 1809 built the first Montpellier Spa and developed the Montpellier Walks and Rides around which today’s Montpellier Gardens were planned.
At the time of the sale of the de la Bere land, little development existed beyond the Old Well in Bayshill, and the only property of any note immediately beyond Montpellier was Gallipot Farm. The Earl of Suffolk’s purchase included this old farm, which he proceeded to have redesigned – amounting to an almost total rebuilding – by the local architect Joseph Rainger. On the 1809 map of Cheltenham, the property is shown as Earl Suffolk’s House, but by 1824 it was definitely known as Suffolk House. These two initiatives by the Earl and Henry Thompson, heralded the development of the Lansdown and Montpellier areas of the town which are today so well known to locals and visitors alike.
The creation of new buildings south of Cheltenham coincided with the Town Commissioners’ period of expansion of the town, which included improved access to the area which we know today as Montpellier. The Earl of Suffolk died in 1820 and most of his estate was sold by his daughter. The purchaser was a local hotelier named James Fisher who immediately made plans to develop part of it into a new district for the wealthier residents of Cheltenham. The Cheltenham Journal of 2nd June 1823 reported that a splendid range of buildings was about to be erected in the form of a crescent on that beautiful and picturesque property lately belonging to the Earl of Suffolk. The plans to the designs of a local architect by the name of Edward Jenkins, made provision for a spacious and elegant Pump Room. Although the Pump Room did not materialise, nor did the crescent, we do have the architectural delights of Suffolk Square to remind us of that period of rapid expansion of the town.
The later Pictorial Guide to Cheltenham c1876 was able to boast that Suffolk Square (and Lawn) were two of the best parts of Cheltenham, the houses being large and many of them having ornamental gardens or pleasure grounds attached. “The Square which may be entered through an opening in Montpellier Terrace opposite the upper corner of the Gardens, contains some of the best houses in Cheltenham occupied exclusively by families whose ample fortunes are vouched for by the appearance of the mansions in which they reside. One of the largest of them, Suffolk House, facing the entrance and enclosed by a high palisade, is said to have been the residence of Lord Suffolk. St James’ Church, stands at the eastern angle of the Square.”
St James’ Church was built through the sale of shares, where each share holder received five seats for every hundred pounds of shares held. The Church was designed by Edward Jenkins – of whom more later – and begun in 1825 but he did not see it through to completion, this being accomplished by JB Papworth, an important London architect in 1829. The Church was consecrated by the Bishop of Gloucester, Dr Monk, on 6th October 1830. The shareholders had the right to appoint the Incumbent for the first forty years after the consecration, and thereafter the right of appointment passed to the Rector of Cheltenham.
The Cheltenham Chronicle for July 1st 1824, praised the improvements being carried on in the vicinity of Suffolk House which added considerably to the importance of the area. The designs for the north side of the Square were progressing rapidly under Jenkins’ supervision and the designs were considered most creditable to his skills and taste.
The reasons for Jenkins’ failure to complete St James Church may be due in part to affairs of the heart. The Cheltenham Journal, 10th July 1826 carried a gossipy article which it assured its readers would excite and delight the bachelors, spinsters and old maids of Cheltenham. The report told how the only daughter of a wealthy resident of the town, lately returned from the West Indies, had taken advantage of her father’s absence from Cheltenham and thrown in her lot with a handsome architect and had eloped. So keen were they to tie the knot that they could not even wait for the completion of the new church on which he was engaged at the time so as to be the first couple to be happily united therein. The new church still awaited completion, but the newly weds were soon expected to return to beg father’s forgiveness, and “to sit down for the remainder of their days in the temple of happiness.”
Fourteen days later the Cheltenham Journal announced the marriage in London between Edward Jenkins and Charlotte Balfour, daughter of Walter Balfour of Cheltenham, on July 4th 1826, thus identifying the hitherto anonymous couple in the previous article.
Walter Balfour had arrived in Cheltenham at the beginning of the century and had a house built in Park Place – today called Suffolk Lawn – on land that had been part of James Fisher’s purchase. Edward Jenkins also owned some building land on the site, which he sold to Balfour. It is highly likely that he actually designed Balfour’s house and there first met Balfour’s daughter Charlotte. Balfour was also a shareholder in the new St James Church but the elopement obviously distressed him so greatly that he threatened to leave Cheltenham immediately and withdraw his support of the Church. However Edward Jenkins and his new wife returned to face father’s fury and seek reconciliation. Balfour obviously changed his mind, and was still living in Cheltenham until 1833 at least. Jenkins could no longer continue with the St James’ contract and that is where Papworth took over. Jenkins and Charlotte moved to Leamington Spa and later Bath, but came back to Cheltenham for the baptism of their twin sons Edward Balfour Jenkins and Balfour Jenkins in 1831. Walter Balfour died in Bath c1848 and Charlotte his daughter inherited his property at 6, Suffolk Lawn, where her romance with Edward Jenkins had first taken root.
So where is Suffolk Lawn? The site is on the Suffolk Estate, on land that belonged to James Fisher, just to the west of Suffolk Square and was originally known as Park Place – today, Lypiatt Road. The first reference to it is in 1826 in the Minutes of the Paving Commissioners, when street lighting was being considered The first three houses to be built on the site are listed in the 1830 Directory. By 1845 Suffolk Lawn was the accepted designation and the properties were described as ‘those commanding villa residences.’ An 1854 description links their position to Suffolk Square, ‘half a dozen mansions of noble proportions known as Suffolk Square and a little to the left of these are another cluster of genteel residences, Suffolk Lawn’.
Humphris and Willoughby ‘At Cheltenham Spa’, tell how three of the substantial residences of Suffolk Lawn had been built by three friends, James Allardyce, MD; Mr Sherwood and Mr Ingledew all members of the medical profession and who with their neighbour Mr Balfour, were amongst the earliest of the Anglo Indian settlers in the town.
Two of these men, Robert Sherwood and William Ingledew took an active part in the affairs of the town, serving for many years as Town Commissioners. They had both died by 1851 but their widows continued to occupy the houses. Dr Allardyce later moved from Suffolk Lawn to Cambray where died at his residence there in 1866, aged 85, the oldest member of the medical profession in Cheltenham. He had lived in Cheltenham since 1822 and was buried without ceremony in Cheltenham’s old cemetery.
The houses that form Suffolk Lawn deserve attention for their situation and appearance. They were all probably designed by Jenkins as part of the estate laid out for James Fisher. The site is divided into six plots, the first of which is actually a large house facing Montpellier and adjoining Suffolk Place, now named Montpellier House. All the houses appear on the 1834 map of Cheltenham as Suffolk Lawn and apart from Montpellier House already mentioned, the other five have frontages on to Lypiatt Road. Montpellier House is listed as 1, Suffolk Place in the 1851 Census but in the Directories for subsequent years it is 1, Suffolk Lawn. In 2004 the houses are named in order, Montpellier House, Imperial House, Stanmer House, Carrick House, (the Sherwood home), Compass House, (the Ingledew home) and Burlington. Originally the houses were numbered 1-6 but from 1872 some are named – No 2, Lypiatt Lodge ( Imperial House); No 3, Stanmer House; No 4, Carrick House, No 5 Elmhurst, (Compass House) and No 6, Suffolk Hall (Burlington House). 1904 sale particulars by Young and Gilling, for 1 Suffolk Lawn describe it as ‘adjoining Lypiatt Lodge, late in the occupation of Mrs Livesay at a rental of £85, with Portico at the entrance supported by Corinthian pillars.’
Stanmer House was the first detached residence of their class built beyond the Rotunda when Bayshill and Lansdown were green fields or orchards. It was sold in 1886 for just £2,400.
Suffolk Hall was the home of the actress Harriet Mellon in the 1830s when she rented the property with her husband the Duke of St Albans. Harriet and the Duke entertained to a considerable extent giving several musical parties and entertained select guests to dinner.
Thomas Fortescue was born in Dublin in 1783 and came to Cheltenham in 1821.From the 1840s he lived at Suffolk Hall until he left Cheltenham in 1866 for London. He was a Conservative and in the election of 1863 Suffolk Hall was the Conservative HQ. When Mr Shrieber won by a narrow majority, the defeated Liberals attacked the Hall, broke the windows and caused a minor riot in protest.
In 1901-1902 Suffolk Hall was a junior boys’ school managed by a Miss James. It had a close connection with Brandon House School near St Philip and James Church, which took older boys. Miss James of Suffolk Hall prepared her boys for transfer at the appropriate age, to Brandon House.
In WWI Suffolk Hall was a VAD Hospital until 1919 when it became St Dunstan’s School for the blind. By 1926 Suffolk Hall was named Southwood and was for a time a boarding house for Cheltenham College and named after one of its first senior masters, Rev T Southwood. The house, Southwood, had a preservation order (listing) put on it in 1967 but it was delisted in 2001 although the railings retain their listed status. It is currently named Burlington House. The lane behind the house, was named Southwood Lane in 1960. In later times the property has served as premises for the Midlands Electricity Board c 1952, and the Gloucestershire Area Health Authority, c1970.
For most of the nineteenth century, the houses in Suffolk Lawn had been homes to members of the medical or clerical professions. After being divided into flats over a period of time since just before the second war until the 1970s, most of the houses are now professional and business premises.
One of the longest, if not the longest, residents of Suffolk Lawn must surely be Francis Cooke, MD who lived at number 1, Montpellier House. He bought the property in 1864 and was still living there in 1889. He was a very handsome man, and of fine physique. A doggerel apparently summed up his reputation in Cheltenham in the 1840s: Dr Cook, so meek and mild,
“How are you today my child?
Show me your tongue, where’s your pain?
Go on with your medicine, just the same.”
In 1908 the property was the premises of Messrs Waite and Chambers, Chemists. From 1920 at the latest this property is no longer listed under Suffolk Lawn, the first house listed there being Imperial House, formerly Lypiatt Lodge, and at the time, the premises of Ed J Burrows & Co. Ltd, Publishers and Fine Printers. Burrows’ first commission was for a guide book to Cheltenham and he went on to produce guide books covering the entire country, postcards and maps. The firm moved to London in 1974.
The road in which Suffolk Lawn stands is called Lypiatt Road and was given this name officially in 1906. A line indicating the position of the road appears on the 1820 map of Cheltenham and it was originally known as the Painswick Turnpike Road.
Lypiatts was a Sanford Tything field name and on a plan dated 1776, it is described as Lippets, part of Mr de la Bere’s land. James Fisher had bought the whole site from Montpellier down to Westal Green when he purchased the Suffolk Estate from the Earl’s daughter.
The Italianate row of houses on the west side of the road was begun c1849. David Verey suggests that Samuel Whitfield Daukes was the architect, but James Hodgson accords the honour for numbers 1-12 at least, to Charles Baker. Whoever the architect was, they might have been flattered by the Cresy Report on Cheltenham of 1849 which refers to ‘that very elegant pile now constructing at Lypiatt Terrace.’
Probably the first reference to building on the site appears in the Cheltenham Examiner in August 1845 when valuable building lots are advertised for private sale in one of the best situations in Cheltenham. They are suggested as being suitable for the erection of villas and attached houses for families of the highest respectability immediately opposite Lansdown Place and Suffolk Lawn on a Close of land called the Lypiatts. Presumably this did not attract the interest that was anticipated for in June the following year, eleven acres of land called the Lypiatts, near to Montpellier Spa, was put up for auction at the Lansdown Hotel, for the erection of villas with part calculated for shops.
Again this did not seem to appeal to the targeted clients and exactly one year later, building lots in part of a field called The Lypiatts, unsurpassed by any property in the neighbourhood, were again offered for sale. Apparently work had already commenced on converting a portion of the site immediately facing Suffolk Lawn, in to building plots for the erection of a row of 18 first class houses. Roads and sewers had been formed the previous year in fact, but not one plot had been sold. However a respectable and reliable building speculator by the name of Mr Keightly had now shown interest in the site and this had encouraged interest from those anxious for a valuable investment at moderate prices with up to twelve months to pay the purchase price at no interest. Two of the original eleven acres had been bought and by March 1850, properties were offered for sale – ‘all those newly erected, well and substantially built stone fronted dwelling house premises known as 7,10,11 Lypiatt Terrace, each with a frontage of 26 feet to the road.’ In addition several vacant plots were available adjoining number 11, intended for the erection of six houses to assimilate with numbers 1-6 of the said newly built terrace. The completed houses proved attractive to purchasers and this was attested to in 1854 when ‘the row of modern antique buildings known as Lypiatt Terrace had as one of its occupants, the Lord of the Manor, Mr Agg Gardner.’ Completion of the Terrace was not achieved until 1860 however when the remaining lots were put up for auction as part of the whole Lypiatt Field Estate. The conditions implicit upon the purchasers were that the houses to be built should be similar in all respects to the portion of the Terrace already built, with ornamental lawns and carriage ways in front uniform with it. The first of these remaining plots was sold to Mr Keightly for £130 or £6 per foot, and the second to Mr Davis (proprietor of the Cheltenham Looker On who lived just over the road opposite Tivoli Road) for £130 and the fourth to Mr Keightly for £115. The other lots were not sold at the time but were purchased afterwards by private contract. Thus it would appear that the Terrace was completed in two stages and this is clearly visible when one examines the Terrace from the rear, in Lypiatt Lane. Both return ends of the Terrace have attached glass houses and the one at the southern end is very ornate. The Pictorial Guide to Chheltenham of 1876 refers to the completed Terrace as being one of the most elegant architectural series of private residences in the town. There were in fact only 17 houses in the completed Terrace, not 18 as originally advertised.
At the southern extremity of Lyiatt Road, stands a pair of semi detached villas, now one property, on a plot of land called Lypiatt Lawn. These too were erected on land sold as part of the Lypiatt Estate and date from c1845. Again, there is disagreement as to their architect, but Verey plumps for Daukes. Separating Lypiatt Lawn from Lypiatt Terrace is an unmade road known since 1860 as Lypiatt Drive, (Examiner 5.9.1860) It runs from Lypiatt Road to join the Andover Road near Westal Green, thus separating the original Lypiatt Field site.
Lypiatt Field was the site that now stretches from Lypiatt Road to Westal Green, and the nine acres were put up for sale again in 1860 having been the subject of a legal wrangle since 1850. It was mapped out into 26 plots, for first class villas. One row of 8 villas was to face Lansdown Place with a second row of 6 continuing from Lypiatt Terrace ( already dealt with above as numbers 12-17) and the third row of 8 facing the new road which was to intersect the estate, to be called henceforth, Lypiatt Drive. The remaining four plots nearest to Lypiatt Terrace had already been privately sold to Lady Darrel who owned The Lypiatts, the first house in Montpellier on the corner of Lypiatt Road opposite Lansdown Place, thus assuring her privacy. Details were available from Mr Keightly of Bleak House Tivioli (Gratton Road actually) or Mr T Darby, surveyor, of 9, Clarence Parade. All the lots were eventually sold either at the auction or later by private negotiation. It is interesting to note that five years later, Lady Darrell’s home was on the market. Obviously her privacy had been somewhat invaded by the new developments.
Two social incidents add to the interest of the area. In 1854 just after completion of the first stage of the Terrace, one of the residents, a Mr Raymond of number 1, reported to the Town Commissioners, a nuisance outside his house. This was caused by flys (carriages) standing there plying for trade. It was agreed that flys were objectionable to the residents of Lypiatt terrace and they should be told to go. The matter was referred to the Street and Highways Committee.
The other incident concerns a General Moore of Lypiatt Terrace who in 1885, while crossing the road near to Waite and Vile’s shop, was knocked down by a butcher’s van. He fell under the feet of the horse, was trodden on and sustained very serious injuries.
Residents: Hunts Fashionable Directory 1847:
Thomas Fortescue, 6 Suffolk Lawn
William Ingledew 5, Suffolk Lawn
Misses Northey, 6, Suffolk Lawn
Richard Crosier Sherwood, 4, Suffolk Lawn
1 H Middleton
2 Mrs Capper
3 Rev W Burne
4 Mrs Sherwood
5 Mrs Ingledew
6 T Fortescue
1 F Cook MD
2 Dr Disney thorpe
3 Rev R Lancaster
4 Mrs Sherwood
5 Miss Marriott
6 T Fortescue
1 F Cook MD
2 Dr Thorp
3 Rev Lancaster
4 Mrs Sherwood
5 Miss Marriott
6 R H V Walpole
1 Francis Cook MD
2 Lypiatt Lodge, Disney Thorp
3 Stanmer, Rev Lancaster
4 Mrs Sherwood
5 Elmhirst Miss Marriott
Suffolk Hall, R H V Walpole.
This estate was part of the property which had in the 18th century belonged to wealthy John de la Bere, Steward to the Lord of the Manor of Cheltenham and also a Cheltenham solicitor who lived near to where Beechwood Arcade now is in the High Street.
In 1801 or thereabout, John de la Bere decided to dispose of some of his land holdings and the two main purchasers were the Earl of Suffolk and a wealthy London merchant, Henry Thompson. The Earl of Suffolk died in 1820 and most of his estate was sold, to one James Fisher, who immediately planned to develop his newly acquired land into a new district for the wealthier residents of Cheltenham. The extent of his purchase spread from Suffolk Square to Westal Green. Some of the land, what is today Suffolk Lawn in Lypiatt Road, was developed with impressive villas, started in the mid 1820s. On the other side of the road, then called the Road to Painswick, about half of the present Lypiatt Terrace was built by 1850 – the Cresy Report of 1849 refers to ‘that very elegant pile now constructing at Lypiatt Terrace.’
It is the development behind and to both sides of this Terrace on which our walk will concentrate.
The first reference to the site appears in the Examiner for August 1845 when valuable building lots are advertised for private sale, ‘plots suitable for families of the highest respectability, on land opposite Lansdwon Place and Suffolk Lawn, on a Close of land called the Lypiatts.’ There was little interest in the sale and in June of the following year, the whole site of eleven acres was again offered at auction, with a larger number of plots and to also include provision for shops.
Again this did not attract much attention apart from the 3 plots now filled by the row today called Lypiatt Terrace which is referred to above. 12 dwellings in this terrace were completed by 1850 but the remaining plot was still unsold when the Lypiatts Field Estate again came on the market in 1860. There appears to have been a prolonged legal wrangle and the estate had been in Chancery for over ten years in the suit of Hartland versus Murrell. The new plans of 1860, offered 26 lots as opposed to the original 47, and 8 of these were for villas facing Lansdown Place. Behind these was to be a new road, known from 1860 as Lypiatt Drive, thus dividing the estate into two from Suffolk Lawn to Westal Green. Another row of smaller villas was planned on the south of Lypiatt Drive, facing what is today, Andover Road.
Lady Darrel had already purchased and had built a superior mansion on the corner of Lypiatt Road and Lansdown Road, which she named The Lypiatts. This plot was 2-3 acres inextent. The plots next to hers were soon snapped up, but others did not reach their reserves – £3 per foot frontage was all that was asked. There were strict and rather repressive conditions about house designs for the plots however.
The original 47 lots were distributed as follows: Lot 1 was the present Lypiatt House Hotel; Lot 2 beside it; Lot 3, the Lypiatt Court flats site; lot 4/5 comprising what is today Astley House with lots 7-27 along Andover Road.
Lots 28-38 were to the north side of Lypiatt Drive and Lots 38-41 were where Lypiatt Terrace is now; Lots 42-47 were those fronting Lansdown road. A proposed road linking Lansdown Road with Andover Road, to be called Lansdown approach was also planned.
The Lypiatts ( 1930 Chelt Technical School)
New Court – (1916 VAD Hospital; 1919-1921
Temporary Police HQ; 1930 Hotel)
Merrowdown ( 1916 Trelawn)
Lypiatt Drive – off Lypiatt Road, Present on 1864 map. Though rarely mentioned on printed maps, it has been known as Lypiatt Drive since 1870. Possibly the proposed new road near Lypiatt Terrace for which Mr Christopher Lane sought approval from SHC 27th Feb 1871.
Lypiatt Lane off Lansdown Road. Service road to rear of Lypiatt Road and Terrace. Named 1965.
Lypiatt Lawn. Two houses in Lypiatt Terrace 1870-71 Directory.
Lypiatt Road, Lansdown. Line of road present on 1820 map. Verey dates Suffolk Lawn c1832 and the houses are present on the 1834 map but road unnamed. It is part of old turnpike road to Painswick, and formerly known as Painswick Turnpike Road on 1870 covenant at Lypiatt House Hotel. Lypiatt Road nameplate fixed 1906.
The Lypiatts was a Sandford tything field name. Shown on 1776 map as Lippetts part of Mr de la Bere’s land.
Lypiatt Terrace: Italianate Terrace of 17 houses opposite Suffolk Lawn. Begun 1847.
Cresy Report 1849 describes them as ‘that very elegant pile now constructing at Lypiatt Terrace.
Verey suggests Daukes, but Hodson suggests numbers 1-12 have architect Charles Baker’s hand in them.
Suffolk Estate developed by James Fisher from 1823 who bought the land bought by the Earl of Suffolk in 1808 from the de la Beres. The only existing building Gallipot Farm was remodelled for the new owner by Joseph Rainger c 1804 and is shown on 1809 map as Earl Suffolk’s House. Later known as Montpellier house but by 1824 renamed Suffolk House . Maybe same as Suffolk Lodge of 1820. Earl of Suffolk died 1820 and James Fisher, a hotelier bought the estate.
Cheltenham Journal of 2 June 1823 reported that a splendid range of buildings is about to be erected in the form of a crescent on that beautiful and picturesque property lately belonging to the Earl of Suffolk, with a spacious and elegant pump room. (Now Suffolk Square.)
Suffolk Lawn, east side of Lypiatt Road. 4 large houses originally known as Park Place. Architect Edward Jenkins. Possibly begun by 1826. First reference 1826 – lighting required PCM 6th April. 1,2,3 listed in 1830 Directory, though building certificate for 2 not issued until 1834. (See Davis p161)
EXAMINER– Suffolk and Lypiatts
Valuable building lots to be sold in one of the best situations in Cheltenham by private contract.
For the erection of villas, and attached houses for families of the highest respectability immediately opposite Lansdown Place and Suffolk Lawn on a Close of land called the Lypiatts.
Eleven acres near to Montpellier Spa called the Lypiatts, to be sold by auction at Lansdown Hotel, 3rd July 1846- villas etc and part calculated for shops.
Building Lots as part of field called The Lypiatts. Unsurpassed by any property in the neighbourhood. Prices are moderate with twelve months to pay the purchase price at no interest.
Cheltenham Looker On 20.2.1847 p119
New building speculation has begun within the last few days in a field opposite Suffolk Lawn and Lansdown Place, which for many years has attracted those anxious for eligible investment.
A number of workmen are busily employed in converting a large portion immediately facing Suffolk Lawn into building plots for the erection of a row of 18 first class houses. Roads and sewers were formed last summer, and the land was offered for sale some months ago by auction, but not one sold. Speculator at present instance is a respectable builder of the town, Mr Keightly.
For Sale – Building Land called the Lypiatts, in all 9 acres.
Sale of newly built and valuable house property and building land adjoining, part of Lypiatt Estate.
All those three newly erected, well and substantially built stone fronted dwelling house premises known as 7,10,11 Lypiatt Terrace. Frontage of 26 feet to the road on the other side of which stand those commanding Villa residences denominated Suffolk Lawn.
Plus building land adjoining No 11 with the party wall extending to Lypiatt Drive, intended for the erection of six houses to assimilate with 1 to 6 of the said terrace.
Sewerage connection £1.15.0 per annum apportioned to each property as erected as per the agreement between the vendor and James Fisher esq.
Town Commissioners: Complaint made to the Commissioners by Mr Raymond of 1, Lypiatt Terrace of a nuisance outside his house of flys standing there. Mr Fallon, agreed that flys standing was objectionable to the residents of Lypiatt Terrace and they should be told to go. The matter was referred to the Street and Highways Committee.
Norman’s Pictorial Handbook 1854
Standing at the corner (of Montpellier) we have an elegant row of modern antique buildings known as Lypiatt Terrace, the position of whose residents is sufficiently indicated by the fact that one of them is tenanted by the Lord of the Manor (Agg) of Cheltenham. Opposite them are some half dozen mansions of noble proportions known as Suffolk Lawn; and a little to the left of these are another cluster of genteel residences – Suffolk Square.
Lypiatt Field Estate: Announced for sale today in building lots. The estate which has been in Chancery for the past ten years has been mapped in 26 lots for first class villas, one line facing Lansdown Place, a second fronting Suffolk Square in continuation of Lypiatt Terrace, while the estate will be intersected by a road and double line of villas, henceforth to be called Lypiatt Drive.
26 Lots of land in Lypiatt Field to be sold by auction on 20.9.60.
Lot 1 No 1 Suffolk Place.
Lots 2-27 Building Land part of Lypiatt Field containing ornamental trees with an intended new road to be called Lypiatt Drive. Details form Mr Richard Keitley, Bleak House, Tivoli, Builder. Mr T Darby, Surveyor, Clarence Parade.9 Bleak House was in Gratton Road)
Examiner Sept 1860 Sale of the Lypiatt Field Estate.
On Thursday afternoon at the Lansdown Hotel, this estate as submitted to public auction, under the auspices of the Court of Chancery, by Mr James Villar. The property which comprises some of the best building sites in Cheltenham, has been in Chancery for many years in the suit “Hartland versus Murrel”. And but for this circumstance there is little doubt but that it would have been built over long ago. It was now divided into 26 lots 8 of which faced the Lansdown Road opposite Lansdown Place. 8 others lay at the back of these, facing a new road now being made, to be known as Lypiatt Drive; and the remaining six lots were in continuation of Lypiatt Terrace. Of these lots, the four nearest to Lypiatt Terrace and immediately surrounding the mansion of Lady Darrell, had been previously purchased by that Lady by private contract leaving as above stated 26 lots to be disposed of at the present sale.
The auctioneer in putting up the first lot said he felt some diffidence in being selected to dispose of this very valuable property but fortunately the excellence of the situation was known and appreciated by everyone in the town, and he was therefore relieved form expatiating on its advantages. He would merely say therefore that the property had an excellent title, had sewers and roads already made, the fees for transferring the lots would be very low, there would be nothing to pay the auctioneer and the reserve put o each lot would be very low. The property had been asked for over and over again but it could not be had and now the time had come when it could be had by anybody who chose to buy. He had been asked to say that a large portion of the purchase money would be allowed to stand over for any reasonable time at 5% interest.
The various lots were then put up. Lot 2 facing Lansdown Road and next to Lady Darrell’s was bought by Mr DJ Humphris for Capt Shapland Swiny, for £280 or rather less than £2 per foot frontage. Lot 3 immediately behind it went to the same purchaser for £180; Lot 5 adjoining 2 with the same frontage was sold to Mr Davis for £270; Lot 8 adjoining was not sold £280 bid by Mr Davis was found to be under the reserve price; The remaining lots to this frontage were also unsold, the bidding not coming up to the amount of the reserve.
The sale of the building lots adjoining Lypiatt Terrace excited some spirited competition, each lot being of 24 feet frontage, and the conditions stipulated that the houses to be built there should be similar in all respects to the portion of the terrace already built. With ornamental lawns and carriage ways in front uniform with it. The first of these lots was sold to Mr Keitley for £130 or nearly £6 per foot frontage, the second lot to Mr Davis for £130, the fourth lot to Mr Keitley for £115. The other lots were declared unsold but we understand that most of them found purchasers afterwards by private contract.
For Sale, Family Mansion, late residence of Lady Darrell. Conservatory, house with portico entrance. 2-3 acres.
Road at back of Lypiatt Terrace of approximately 121 yards to be deemed a highway.
No 4 Suffolk Lawn for sale.
At Cheltenham Spa pp 243/4
Harriet Mellon came to Cheltenham 1838 (wrong date as she died 1837) with her Duke of St Albans and took a house in Suffolk Lawn, one of the substantial residences of which three had been built by three friends James Allerdyce, MD; Mr Sherwood and Mr Ingledew, all members of the medical profession who with their neighbour Mr Balfour were amongst the earliest of Anglo Indian settlers in the town and the most material contributors to its colonisation by refined members of the East India Company’s Civil Servants.
Harriet and the Duke entertained to a considerable extent, giving several musical parties, and entertaining select parties to dinner at one of which Mr Dorn performed on the horn, and Mr Eulenstein on the Jew’s harp, while Mr Blatz was in attendance with his sleight of hand tricks. Photo of Harriet p 148.
Gwen Hart p 187 2nd edition
Major Agg of the Hewletts was one of the first of a long steam of arrivals who returned to Cheltenham in 1802, after having made his fortune in India. Shortly afterwards three doctors who had also acquired wealth in the service of EI Company came to Cheltenham and built for themselves three magnificent houses in Suffolk Lawn. Two of these, Robert Sherwood and William Ingledew took an active part in the affairs of the town serving for many years as Commissioners.
CLO 1866 pp 234-235
Death at his residence in Cambray. Dr Allardyce MD in his 85th year. Oldest member of the medical profession in Cheltenham. Passed his exams at 19. Retired from army at 1822 and settled in Cheltenham. Contemporary of Dr Boisragon. Buried in old cemetery as unostentatiously as possible at his request.
Some Parliamentary Recollections by Sir James Agg Gardner.
(Photo of Mr C Shreiber MP 1865-1868 p102)
Mr Thomas Fortescue lived in Suffolk Hall. He was Conservative and in the election of 1863 was the conservative’s HQ. When Shreiber won, by a narrow majority, the liberals broke the windows of the Hall and caused a minor riot in protest.
CLO 1.12.1866 p771Cheltenham has lost one of its oldest, honoured and most hospitable residents in the departure of Thomas Fortesque of Suffolk Hall after 30 years, for London. Loss to the political party to which he was attached will be irreparable.
Death of Mr Tomas Fortescue, aged 92. Born 1780, came to Cheltenham first in 1821. Lived for 20 years at Suffolk Hall.
An accident occurred to General Moore of Lypiatt Terrace near to Waite and Vile’s shop. He was knocked down as he was crossing the road, by a butcher’s van and fell under the feet of the horse, was trodden on and sustained considerable injuries.
CLO 8.5.86 p301
Stanmer House, one of the fine old mansions of Suffolk Lawn, the first detached residence of their class built beyond the Rotunda when Bayshill and Lansdown were green fields or orchards, was sold last Thursday for £2,4000. Late the property of Miss Lancaster and sold to Mr Gooding.
Examiner: 24.7.1826 Married on Tuesday last, 4th, in London. Edward Jenkins esq of Cambray Place, Cheltenham to Charlotte only daughter of Walter Balfour esq of then former place.
Examiner 29.9.1858 Death: On Sept 26th at his residence, Suffolk lawn, Cheltenham, Rev W Burne, in 83rd year of his age.
Suffolk Hall was given to Colonel WG Dawkins, the Rev SA Dawkins and Miss Dawkins nephews and nieces of the late Mrs Walpole, in the will of the late Mr Walpole. His estate was valued at £185,000.
Cheltenham Garden Town of England
In 1901-1902 Suffolk Hall was a school managed by a lady and very successful for first preparation of little boys. Had a close connection with Brandon House School, near St Philip and James, which took older boys. Miss James of Suffolk Hall, received boys from 6+ and they then went on to Brandon House.
(Inholmes was a school for boys of 7-15 years and prepared or Public School scholarships.)
Lypiatt Lawn and Lypiatt Lodge. Possibly c1840-1850 and possibly by SW Daukes. Grade II.
Lypiatt Road: Burlington House, formerly Southwood c 1826-1832. Architect Edward Jenkins.
This house,. Carrick House, Compass House, Imperial House, and Stanmer House, marked on 1834 map as Suffolk Lawn all designed by Jenkins as part of the estate laid out for James Fisher and including Suffolk Square.
Burlington delisted 2001 but railings still Grade II
Compass House, formerly Elmhurst.
Lypiatt Terrace 1-7 by Daukes. Behind Terrace is Lypiatt Lane. Clear signs of two stages of terrace; 1-11 Gable roof extensions. 12+ have square extensions.
Both return ends of the terrace have glass houses – that at Lypiatt Drive end very ornate.
2004 names: Imperial House, Stanmer, Carrick, Compass and Burlington.
Carrick has an unrofed and incpomplete iron balcony to the south.
Burlington was originally called Southwood and was for a time a Gents College Boarding house. After Rev T Southwood. Land behind Suffolk Lawn continues name of the house, named in 1960
About & Around Cheltenham (Daniel Lipson MP introduction)
Part of the Technical College is situated at The Lypiatts, Lansdown Road, opposite Lansdown Place – now 2004, Westbury House.
Next door is New Court – now called Acclaim Studios.
In Suffolk Square is a large block of modern flats. In the centre of the square is the bowling green. The houses on the north eastern side of the Square reaching to the church, date from about 1850, those at each end almost unaltered.
The Pictorial Guide to Cheltenham – post 1876
Southward of the Montpellier are Suffolk Square and Lawn, two of the best parts of Cheltenham, the houses being large and many of them having ornamental gardens or pleasure grounds attached. The Square which may be entered through an opening in Montpellier Terrace opposite the upper corner of the Gardens, contains some of the best houses in Cheltenham occupied exclusively by families whose ample fortunes are vouched for by the appearance of the mansions in which they reside. One of the largest of them, Suffolk House, facing the entrance and enclosed by a high palisade is said to have been once upon a time, the residence of Lord Suffolk- and in very old maps is marked as Galipot Farm. St James’ Church to be noticed hereafter, stands at the eastern angle of the Square. The houses in Suffolk Lawn also deserve attention from their situation and appearance and the fine elm trees in their front though these are now considerably reduced in number. On the opposite side of the road, an exceedingly pretty row of buildings called Lypiatt Terrace also commends itself to approval being one of the most architectural series of private residences in the town.
St James’ Church, Suffolk Square was built in shares under the Forty Years’ Act, the Proprietors each receiving five sittings in return for every hundred pounds subscribed. It was designed and commenced by Mr E Jenkins but was completed under the superintendence of the late Mr JB Papworth, an eminent architect of the Metropolis, and is calculated to seat from 14 to 15 hundred persons…. Its interior can certainly clam to be more ecclesiastical in appearance than Trinity. Many architectural improvements have been affected 1876-1877 which have added greatly to its ornamentation. There are galleries around three sides of the building and an excellent and powerful organ costing £700 occupying a recess behind the west gallery and immediately over the principal entrance. The church was consecrated by Dr Monk, Bishop to the Diocese, on 6th October 1830. For forty years the Trustees could appoint the Incumbent but on the expiry of forty years from its consecration, the appointment fell to the Rector of the Parish Church
Pigot’s Directory 1830
Nobility, gentry and clergy:
William Ingledew esq, 3, Suffolk Lawn.
Captain Pel, 1, Suffolk Lawn
RC Sherwood, 2, Suffolk lawn.
(Pearson Tjhompson at 17, Lansdown Place.)
1853 Suffolk Lawn 1865 1872/3
1.H Middleton F Cook MD 1.Francis Cook MD
2.Mrs Cupper Dr Disney Thorpe Lypiatt Lodge Disney Thorpe
3.Rev W Burne Rev R Lancaster Stanmer House Rev Lancaster
4.Mrs Sherwood Mrs Sherwood 4. Mrs Sherwood
5 Mrs Ingledew Mrs Marriott 5.Elmhurst, Mrs Marriott (2004 Compass)
6.T Fortescue T Fortescue Suffolk Hall, Rev HV Walpole
1853: Lypiatt Terrrace: 1865
1.G Raymond G Raymond
2.J Agg Gardner
3.Mrs C Whitmore Mrs C Whitmore
4.Rev C Cotton Mrs Cotton
5.Hon Miss Monson
9 Miss Williams Miss Williams
11 LJ Venables
Houses now continue to No 17
1.F Cook MD Messrs Waite and Chambers
Lypiatt Lodge, Mrs Thorpe Dr S Pruen
Stanmer House JC Gooding MD JC Goooding MD
Carrick House RJ Lochhead Rev J Lochhead
Elmhurst J Lea WFH Pocock
Suffolk Hall, 6, Suffolk Lawn Mrs Tarratt AL Soames
1865: The Lypiatts, Lansdown Road, J Curtis Heyward
1872: The Lypiatts Lansdown Road, opposite Lansdown Place, unoccupied
BGAS 1967: Preservation Order on Southwood, Lypiatt Road.
Disastrous Fire gutted the Georgian House which formed part of the Westbury College building
From Local History Bulletin 1980
St James’ Church. Begun 1825, completed 1829. Delay in cpmpletion arose out of disagreement between building committee and the architect Edward Jenkins. Towards end of 1825 certain of shareholders claimed that neither the roof nor the pillars supporting the gallery were strong enough. Two new Birmingham architects – Rickman and Hutchinson were called in to mediate. Result was alterations to Jenkins’ roof span. Lack of funds held up work afterwards until 1827 when London architect JB Papworth took over work from Jenkins. Jenkins’ replacement probably due to these technical problems, but there was also a cupid story to add to them.
Chelt Journal 10th July 1826: At the early part of last week, our spinsters, old maids and bachelors, were on the tip toe of delight for that mischievous girl, scandal, had circulated a report that and elopement had taken place. An elopement! An elopement! Have you heard of the elopement? Circulated from one part of the town to the other like wildfire and such was the rapidity of the report’s progress that few young ladies’ ears were not fondly tickled with the pleasing intelligence in the space of 24 hours. Who is the happy one? how delightful in these times of poverty to be enlightened with such an occurrence was the universal exclamation. On enquiry it was found that the only daughter of a wealthy gentleman lately returned from the East Indies, had taken a most undutiful advantage of papa’s absence in London and threw herself under the protection of a handsome architect to whom ere this she is no doubt united by the everlasting cement of wedlock. Such was the over anxiety of the fond couple that they could not even wait for the finishing of a new church the swain had lately been building when the happy pair might be themselves the first fond votaries of Hymen within its sacred walls. Love, however, admits no delay; the church,, at least the new church is neglected for a moment and the runaways are shortly expected back to claim papa’s forgiveness and to sit down for the remainder of their days in the temple of happiness.
The handsome architect is surely Jenkins and the bride must be Charlotte Balfour. The Cheltenham Journal of 24th July announced the marriage in London between Edward Jenkins and charlotte Balfour, the daughter of Walter Balfour of Cheltenham, on July 4th 1826.
Cheltenham Chronicle July 1st 1824: The improvements carrying into effect on the property around Suffolk House must add considerable importance to the vicinity. The projection of the north side of Suffolk Square proceeds rapidly under the superintendence of Mr E Jenkins architect, to whose skills and taste, the designs are most creditable.
Suffolk Square was laid out 1824-5 by property developer James Fisher who provided the site for St James’ Church and who one assumes appointed Jenkins as architect.
Balfour came from Edinburgh and 1824-5 he built himself a house in the new Park Place as Suffolk Lawn was first named, which also belonged to Fisher. Jenkins also owned some building land on the site and this was later sold to Balfour to enlarge his garden. Perhaps he also designed Balfour’s house and thus came into contact with his daughter. Balfour was also a shareholder in the new church. However on July 8th 1826 he wrote to the secretary, Dr Newall, saying that as it was his intention to leave Cheltenham and to get rid of all his property in the town, he wished to be released from being a subscriber to the new church, now building in Suffolk Square. This must have been deferred for when the church was consecrated in 1830, Balfour was still on the shareholders register and appears to have lived in Cheltenham until about 1833.
Jenkins and his new wife did return to Cheltenham as there is correspondence from his for 1826 to do with work on the church, but in 1827 he was writing form an addresss in Warwick and in 1828 he is listed in Pigot’s Directory as resident in Leamington Spa, but also in Griffiths’ 1828 Guide as being an architect of 154 High Street Cheltenham. On Sept 7th 1831 their twin sons were baptised at Cheltenham Parish Church – Edward Balfour Jenkins and Balfour Jenkins. By 1837 they were living in Bath, and from 1833 to 1837 Walter Balfour is also living there. In 1848 Charlotte Jenkins was admitted to her father’s copyhold property at Cheltenham, 6, Suffolk Lawn, where she had lived 25 yeas previously
Suffolk Lawn, Montpellier: 1. F Cook MD
5 Mrs Ingledew
per R Beacham:
Suffolk Hall was VAD Hospital until 1919 and became St Dunstan’s School in 1920
Imperial House was originally Lypiatt Lodge
Burlington House was formerly Southwood – new Glos Health Authority HQ
Davis Guide 1834(Strangers Guide to Cheltenham and its environs.
Behind the south ward we arrive at the spas and the numerous buildings which they have been the means of calling into existence….At the back of Montpellier Terrace is Suffolk Square as yet unfinished, but advancing rapidly towards completion.. As far as the buildings already erected may be presumed to develop the design, the larger portion of the Square is to be formed of detached villas.
Close to the Square and facing the west, is Suffolk Lawn, a series of noble mansions having a row of magnificent elm trees in front. The profile view of these houses as seen from Montpellier Gate, down the vista formed by the elm trees is at once grand and beautiful, and more nearly resembling the palace scenes of Italy, than the suburbs of an English Borough.
References to follow up:
Chronicle June 28th 1924 GRO D2025 Box 32
I enclose a few copies of information I had taken from a local newspaper, the Cheltenham Examiner before starting my recent talk.
The rather idealised engraving of Suffolk Lawn is from Davis’ Strangers’ Guide to Cheltenham 1834. I also attach Davis’ glowing description taken from the Guide.
A one liner is given in the obituary column for the death of Miss Elizabeth Lancaster: Died at Stanmer House, aged 84, on 19th March.
Pigot’s Directory 1830 for Gloucestershire, the earliest Directory record of names we have for Suffolk Lawn in Cheltenham, gives under the heading of nobility, gentry and clergy (they are not much better rated even today!):
William Ingledew esq (a Doctor) 3 Suffolk Lawn
Captain Peel, 1, Suffolk Lawn
RC Sherwood ( a Doctor) 2, Suffolk Lawn
A deed I looked at recently in Gloucester dated 21st November 1828 refers to 4 houses for Messrs Holt, Ingledew, Sherwood and Balfour, now standing, form a piece called Suffolk Lawn or the greater part thereof. (Box 32 of D2025 at Glos Rec. Office.))
Walter Balfour was the first occupant of what was I think Stanmer, designed by Jenkins – on land which Jenkins had purchased from James Fisher, who had bought all of Earl Suffolk’s Estate. Jenkins then sold that particular plot to Balfour and the Deed gives the date 1st January 1825. This was the first house on the Lawn. In this deed, Jenkins agreed to build two villas at least, fit for habitation within two years. Each villa was to be of at least £700 in value including garden walls etc. Each villa was to face westwards, be lined up symmetrically, and the southern and northern sides of the villas to be covered with Parkers or Roman cement. No addition is to be added to west or south sides of these buildings at any time under whatever pretext.
No shrubs were to exceed 8 feet in height and each property was to be divided by garden walls. No more than six villas were to be built in total, and none should be less than 20 feet in width. Only one coach house and stable allowed for each building. No property is to be used for trade, business, hostelry, licensed premises or tavern or hotel under any circumstances.(Just look at today’s uses.)
The elm trees (see Davis engraving) are to remain unless they die naturally.
Davis’ description reads:
Close by Suffolk Square and facing the west is Suffolk Lawn, a series of noble mansions having a row of magnificent elm trees in front. The profile view of these houses as seen from Montpellier Gate down the vista formed by the elm trees, is at once grand and beautiful, and more nearly resembling the palace scenes of Italy than the suburbs of an English Borough.
Hope all this is of interest – I’m still researching both the occupants and the houses – but time is not on my side at present. Roll on the half term holidays.
Acton House, Suffolk Square
See the fascinating comments by Richard Peploe below: