Pittville Gates were built in 1833 as the grand entrance to the Pittville Estate and were designed by Robert Stokes. The ornamental arch was added in 1897. For more about the history of the Gates, see our booklet published in 2011.
Between 2011 and 2015, Friends of Pittville undertook a project to restore the gates and improve the surrounding area. The restored gates were formally re-opened on 7 April 2015.
The project led to the complete restoration of the gateway and the landscaping of the surrounding area. It also included research into Pittville history leading to the setting up of a local history group (Pittville History Works). Nearby schools and a drama group participated in creative activities based on local heritage, and the scout group buried a time capsule in front of the gateway. The adjoining garden was a joint endeavour between Friends of Pittville and Cheltenham Samaritans to celebrate their 50 years in the town.
The project was a partnership between Cheltenham Borough Council and Friends of Pittville. The Friends raised the funds required, nearly £290,000, mainly through grants from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust/Cory Environmental, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Summerfield Charitable trust, the Cheltenham Borough Council Environmental Fund, Gloucestershire County Council and donations from other charitable trusts and many generous individuals.
Pittville Gates are 22 metres wide and 3.5 metres high. There are six Forest of Dean stone piers, a central cast iron screen, two sets of carriage gates and two pedestrian gates, all cast iron weighing 630 kilos each. The central wrought iron overthrow, carrying the name of the, then, new Pittville Park, was added in 1897. The Gates were designed for horse-drawn traffic, and the coming of motor vehicles led to damage, the removal of the opening gates and posts, and eventually the closure of the road. Lack of proper maintenance caused the stonework to deteriorate beyond repair and the surrounding area was neglected. The gateway became a sorry sight despite being listed Grade 2 in 1972.
The restoration of the Gates was included in a Cheltenham Borough Council bid for Heritage Lottery funding for Pittville Park. The bid was unsuccessful but Friends of Pittville took up the restoration of the gateway as a separate project and launched the fundraising campaign in April 2011. Sufficient funding had been promised by November 2012 for the restoration work to begin. In the first phase of the project, completed in early 2014, the six stone piers were replaced, the surviving ironwork restored, four new pier-top lamps installed, with the surroundings landscaped and the length of railings along Prestbury Road put back. In the second phase the six missing gates and the central lamp were replaced. The ironwork is painted in a blue-green colour that is a close match of the original 1833 ‘patinated bronze’ paint.