The Upper Bath Road – 200 Years of Trading History

Uncover the history behind Cheltenham's thriving Bath Road community

The Upper Bath Road – 200 Years of Trading History

England GL52 2AY, United Kingdom

Created By: Cheltenham Local History Society

Tour Information

This walk explores the Upper Bath Road, the main southern urban business district of Regency and Victorian Cheltenham. Here the rapidly developing town overtook earlier industrial enterprise to the south, also absorbing the fields, streams and country byways.

A horse-drawn Tramroad was punched northwards, towards Cheltenham, through the rural landscape of this area in 1810 to serve the stone quarries on Leckhampton Hill. This partly determined the later street pattern and provided employment to many who lived here.

Meanwhile, enabled by Act of Parliament in 1813, the New Bath Road eventually cut a swathe through the farmland to become the principal highway leading southwards from the High Street. The shopkeepers and small businesses attracted to the area serviced the inhabitants of the large mansions and elegant terraces to the west and a growing working-class population in the neighbouring streets.

Tour Information

Beginning at the junction of Great Norwood Street and Andover Road (the ‘Norwood triangle’) the route takes us southward to The Norwood Arms, before turning into the Upper Bath Road shopping district. From here we will head north to Thirlestaine House, at the junction of Bath Road and Suffolk Road. Along the way we will stop to look at some landmark buildings and touch upon their history. The area is very well provided with places to shop and for refreshment.

The walk takes about an hour but can be shortened by choosing the “Skip” option to select the next point of interest. If you'd prefer to select your own route, just select "Free Roam Mode" when you start the tour. Please note that you need to be within 50ft of each Point of Interest to open the detailed information. Please swipe left on Point of Interest images to see historic photos of the same location.

An audio version is available under Settings where you can also toggle-on "Auto Map Rotation" to assist with navigation.


This walk is produced by Cheltenham Local History Society. It was created by Stuart Manton and Andrea Creedon.

For more in-depth historical information see the website

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

In the 1790s Charles Brandon Trye built a horse-drawn tramroad at his quarries on Leckhampton Hill. In July 1810 he extended it to form a spur of the Gloucester and Cheltenham Tramroad, which ran from a wharf near the present Tesco supersto... Read more
The Norwood Arms was named in honour of the Norwoods, Lords of the Manor of Leckhampton, from 1486 to 1797. It was built in 1821 as a southern gateway into Cheltenham by Samuel Kearsey, who later claimed it had been the only house in the ar... Read more
This was formerly 1 Hermitage Terrace, named after a fine 1820s house called The Hermitage, built by John Barke Gustavus Ferryman, which stood on this site. It had stables, a coach house, outbuildings, a garden and a pleasure ground, and an... Read more
The right hand corner of this furniture shop was formerly known as 6 Waterloo Terrace, which in 1857 was Charles Ballinger’s butcher’s shop, possibly the first one in the Upper Bath Road. The shop was successful and after his death in 1... Read more
Between 1888 and 1905, this was the shop of a pork butcher names Charles Phipps, who was born in 1841, at nearby Commercial Street. He was married to Emma Simmonds at St Philip and St James’ church in 1874 and they had several children. T... Read more
The Exmouth Arms was named after a British naval hero, Vice-Admiral Edward Pellew, who became Viscount Exmouth in 1816. In the autumn of that year he visited Cheltenham to convalesce after a celebrated sea battle in the Mediterranean. This ... Read more
From the late 1880s, for more than 100 years, this was one of the shops belonging to Singletons the gentlemen’s outfitters. Benjamin and Samuel Singleton were brothers born in Newport on the Isle of Wight in the 1840’s. Benjamin was the... Read more
In 1911 Mr William Newman, who had been trading as an ironmonger in The Exmouth Buildings opposite since 1905, moved to these bigger premises with his wife Annie and their children, and his name remained above the shop until very recently. ... Read more
In 1889 this was the home of a Post Office clerk called William Woodward, who lived here with his wife and five children. The house still had a front garden at the time and the children played there and in the street, long before the electr... Read more
Now part of Cheltenham College, Thirlestaine House was largely built between 1820 and 1823 by an amateur architect named James Robert Scott as his private residence. The mansion, which originally consisted only of the central portion, has b... Read more


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