Well Place

30 10 2008

Ah, Well Place. What a Cheltenhamesque name, conjuring up images of a line of Regency villas with a spa as its centrepiece. When I went there though, I found that the most interesting feature in the whole street was the sign that said Well Place. So here it is.

There was a time when Well Place might have been slightly more interesting. It did once have a spa in it, but it was a minor one, and relatively short-lived. It has a couple of intriguing looking Victorian walls, but whatever was originally enclosed by them has long since disappeared and been replaced by more recent housing, mostly luxury flats. This is an exclusive and expensive area to live, but the development is not exactly beautiful. The street runs diagonally between Douro Road and Christ Church Road, but it doesn’t match the beauty of either of them.

Well Place was a relatively late development in Cheltenham’s history. It doesn’t appear on the 1834 map, which shows the Lansdown area under development from the Crescent upwards. It appears in 1864, but unnamed.

The 1921 map (below) marks the location of the spa. It opened in 1857 under the name of Chadnor Villa Well, run by Miss Ann Webb. It was a saline well with an accompanying pump house, towards the north-west end of the street. On the map there’s also a confusing reference to “King’s Well” (the original King’s Well was a few streets away, in Overton Road). As far as I can tell the Well Place spa and pump house no longer exist.

There is a reference to a Well Place in Cheltenham in a deed of 1430. Its location is unknown but it’s most certainly unrelated to the present street.

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