Created By: Cheltenham Local History Society
The Suffolk House flats were constructed in 1936 in the modernist style and replaced a Regency house of the same name. This was formerly the location of Gallipot Farm which, from at least the Middle Ages, sat in isolation about half a mile south of Cheltenham High Street, surrounded by fields with names such as Home Piece, Home Close and the Lypiates. The name Gallipot may refer to a small vessel used for medicines, confections, or similar preparations.
In 1756 Gallipot farm was bought by a local solicitor called John Delabere, whose son sold some of the land to Henry Thompson, the builder of the Montpellier estate and Suffolk Parade, at the start of the 19th century. In 1804 he then sold Gallipot Farm to John Howard, the 15th Earl of Suffolk.
It was the Earl who enlarged and remodelled the house in about 1808 and renamed it Suffolk House. His heirs sold some of his estate to a Cheltenham hotelier named James Fisher, who built Suffolk Square from about 1823, using the classic Regency layout of a central communal garden with magnificent terraces and grand houses facing towards it around all four sides.
At the centre of Suffolk Square we now have Cheltenham Bowling Club, which has been here since 1917, having relocated from a site adjacent to the Town Hall.
Cross onto the pavement on the north side of Suffolk Square and walk to St James church.
This point of interest is part of the tour: A Walk on the South Side - from Cheltenham to The Suffolks