Created By: Cheltenham Local History Society
The Cheltenham Proprietary College for Boys opened in a house in St George’s Road in 1841, relocating to these new buildings in 1843. The school and its playing fields occupy a large part of the former Sandford common field, stretching away to the east.
Facing the Bath Road is the original range, the detailing of which is Victorian Gothic, superimposed on a classical or Georgian plan. It has symmetrical wings and a central tower with detached octagonal turrets. At the southern end is an 1860s range designed by local architect John Middleton for the junior school, whilst at the northern end is the chapel of 1896 by H.A. Prothero, in the Eton and King’s College Cambridge tradition.
The school was founded by retired army officers of the East India Company and funded by subscribers for day boys and boarders. Its aims were to prepare boys for university, the Army and the East India Company’s colleges at Addiscombe and Haileybury. There were over 600 pupils within 20 years of its foundation and by the late 19th century it was well known as a school for future soldiers. The octagonal war memorial in front of the college entrance on Bath Road commemorates those who lost their lives in the South African war of 1899-1902.
Amongst the many local traders who benefitted from the presence of the school was James Tyler, a baker from Suffolk Parade, who in the 1840s ran the tuck shop, where he was particularly appreciated for his "twopennies", a small sort of raised pie, made of fruit, gooseberries, apples or plums, completely enclosed with pastry and various other delicacies.
Continue to Thirlestaine Road and cross the traffic lights to stand in front of Thirlestaine House.
This point of interest is part of the tour: A Walk on the South Side - from Cheltenham to The Suffolks