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to a hundred. A branch of this institution is carried on, for the training of schoolmistresses, in St. Mary's Hall, High Street.
THE LADIES' COLLEGE, Cambray House, was established in 1854, and is, like the Cheltenham College, a proprietary institution. To entitle a young lady to admission the nomination of a proprietor is required.
THE JUNIOR PROPRIETARY SCHOOL, Stamford House, acts the part of a nursery to Cheltenham College and other large schools. Here, too, the principle of nomination by a shareholder as a condition of admission is adhered to. The object of the provision in all these cases is to secure that the boys and girls who are admitted shall be the sons and daughters of “gentlemen.”
Besides these institutions, there are a School of Art, and numerous national and denominational schools. In the British Union Schools about 300 boys and 200 girls receive instruction daily.
PUBLIC BUILDINGS. — Besides its spa buildings, churches, and educational establishments, Cheltenham possesses few edifices requiring special notice. Those which are of any importance may be here mentioned.
THE ASSEMBLY Rooms, High Street, were erected in 1816, at a cost of nearly £50,000. This handsome building, like many others in Cheltenham, is the property of a joint-stock company. It contains many fine apartments, the chief of them—the ball-room-being considered one of the finest of the kind in England. This apartment measures 87 feet long by 40 wide, and 40 high. Here, as its name implies, the fashionable gatherings of the “season” take place—which may be taken as extending from December to April.
THE MARKET HALL has its entrance from High Street, and is a spacious and commodious structure.
THE GENERAL HOSPITAL AND DISPENSARY is situated in Sandford Road, near the College. It is a handsome building, with an entrance through a portico of Ionic columns. In its vestibule there is a fine marble group by Gibbons representing the Good Samaritan. This excellent institution is supported by voluntary donations and subscriptions, and has an annual income of about £2500.
THE FEMALE ORPHAN ASYLUM, Winchcomb Street, founded in 1806 by Queen Charlotte, but erected on its present plan in 1834, is for the education and maintenance of the female children of the poor, the preference being given to orphans. As may be supposed, there are always poor orphans in abundance to fill the institution. No child is received under eight or above ten years of age ; and no child, unless under the special sanction of the committee of management, is retained after fifteen. The building is a handsome one, in the Tudor style. The average number of orphans here taken care of is forty. The institution is maintained by voluntary contributions.
THIRLSTAINE HOUSE, Bath Road, was a great centre of attraction in the days of the late Lord Northwick, on
account of its valuable collection of paintings and other objects of art, which was in the most generous manner thrown open to the public. On the death of the noble owner the collection was brought to the hammer, and realised about £100,000. The house is a handsome one, its entrance being through a fine Ionic portico.
HOTELS.—Several of the hotels deserve a passing mention in an enumeration of the principal buildings of Cheltenham. The Plough, High Street, was the principal hotel when Cheltenham was just beginning to rise into celebrity; and it has maintained a place in the front rank during the long and keen competition resulting from the erection of other large and ambitious hotels in more attractive situations. THE QUEEN's, a large and elegant structure, is at the top of the Promenade, and in the immediate neighbourhood of the Montpellier Rotunda. It was erected in 1836 at a cost of £50,000. These are the largest and most fashionable of the Cheltenham hotels. Other hotels deserving of mention are the Fleece, George, Bellevue, Lansdown, and Royal.
VICINITY OF CHELTENHAM. Cheltenham is a convenient centre for excursions, numerous places of interest being either within walking distance or accessible by rail. Gloucester, with its Cathedral, is seven miles distant; and Tewkesbury, with its fine old Abbey Church, is distant eight or nine. These places are elsewhere described. A little farther off are Stroud (191 miles), and Cirencester (343), but only half that distance by road—also separately described. Here it is only necessary to notice places that can strictly be referred to the neighbourhood of Cheltenham.
It may be mentioned that various localities in this neighbourhood possess features interesting to the geologist. Leckhampton Hill, Birdlip, Sudeley, Cleeve, and other points in the Cotswold Hills in this neighbourhood, contain numerous fossils, and will repay a careful search.
COWLEY is five miles from Cheltenham, on the Cirencester road. A mile from Cheltenham the neat village of Charlton Kings is passed, and three miles farther Cubberley (noticed below). Cowley is interesting on account of its Church, which is a very fine example of early English, comparatively little altered by subsequent work.
CUBBERLEY, four miles from Cheltenham, is a place of some antiquity. The Church contains several finelypreserved monuments, with the effigies in armour of four members of the Berkeley family, in the south side of the chancel. An effigy in a recess in the north wall, presenting a heart on a shield borne on its breast, is doubtless that of the Lord Gilbert de Berkeley, who bequeathed his body to be buried in the chūrch of St. Giles, Little Malvern, and his heart in the church of St. Giles of Cubberley, about 1295. The tourist should not leave this neighbourhood without visiting the Seven Springs, about half a mile east from the church, often said to be the source of the river Thames, but really of the Churn, a branch of the Thames.
ELESTONE is a mile and a half beyond Cowley, and between six and seven from Cheltenham. This little village is of very great interest to the ecclesiologist on account of its Church. Rickman, in his “ Gothic Architecture,” says regarding it : “Elkstone church is small, but has a very handsome late Perpendicular tower, opening into the nave. The chancel is very curious, having some fine Norman groining and enriched arches, with a staircase leading to a chamber over it, which has no apparent opening to the nave, but a lancet window eastward. The walls of the nave and the south door are Norman, and the cornice of the wall enriched with carved heads. Several later windows have been inserted in both nave and chancel; but the east window, a small one, is a remarkably fine specimen of Norman enrichment, both within and without.” Over the south door is some quaint sculpture of a very unusual kind. It represents our Saviour enthroned, with the figure of a hand, the emblem of the Deity, pointing downwards, and round are the holy Lamb and symbols of the evangelists. In the interior there is a Perpendicular font.
LECKHAMPTON may be regarded as a suburb of Cheltenham. It possesses an old Church, dedicated to St. Peter, which contains several ancient monuments. One of these bears the recumbent effigies of a knight in armour and his lady. The inscription on this tomb is