This morning I headed off to Cheltenham for my long awaited Urologist appointment. I left early because I knew that there were roadworks at Coombe Hill, that have been messing with traffic to and from the city for quite some time, and there was no way of knowing how long the bus would be delayed. (Turned out to be about 8 minutes or 100 years). I had my camera with as I wanted to do some investigating around Churchill Gardens and Cheltenham College before I headed to the hospital.
I have been meaning to get better images of the statues since 2015 and have still not managed. The artwork, just past Gupshill Manor on the Stonehills roundabout on the A38. features two large wooden statues collectively known as The Arrival (aka The Arrivall). The two 5 metre works, feature a victorious knight on horseback and a defeated horse. They took 15 years to plan and two years to make, and they were created by Sculptor Phil Bews from the Forest of Dean and were unveiled in May 2014. They pretty much sum up The Battle of Tewkesbury in two images. The knight above is known as “The Victor”
I bailed from the bus at Tesco’s as I wanted to get a better image of one of the artworks on the end of a row of houses. Last time I had seen it I had been unable to get a decent image of it, this time around I made sure that it was on my list.
It is really beautiful and in the months since I last saw it has not deteriorated at all. Kudos to the artist for an amazing work. The place I was really after this time around is not too far from here and when I had visited it in May I had come away without seeing the back of the building and any of the information boards associated with it. This I wanted to remedy today.
The information sheet for Churchill Gardens did not really tell me aanything that I did not know already. Just to recap: This area was once a cemetery for St Mary’s Minster and it was purchased in 1829, and the chapel (St Mary’s Mission) was built 1831. The first burial took place on 19 September 1831 and it remained in use until 1864 when the new cemetery opened in Prestbury. Following a period of neglect, the cemetery was purchased by the council in 1965 and developed into a garden. The chapel was designed by Rowland Paul in Classical style and it is a grade II listed building. (https://www.cheltenham.gov.uk/info/33/parks_and_open_spaces/354/winston_churchill_memorial_gardens/2)
Theoretically this is the front of the bulding and I had missed seeing the back of it in May. I remedied that this time around. Unfortunately I could not see into the building as the glass had wire mesh in it so the interior still eludes me.
What I did manage to get was an outline of the gardens from the information sheet.
Mission accomplished, it was time to head to the hospital. I had not walked through this area before so this was new territory for me, it has a somewhat seedy feel about it but the buildings are amazing.
To get to the hospital I had to pass through Sandford Park again and there was not much new to see there, although I was happy to see that the fountains were working.
The park is looking very drab though, the myriad of flowers are all in their Autumn state and it has left the gardens somewhat bare. The weak light just contributed to the feeling of drabness around me.
Last time I was at the hospital I had spotted the pavilion of the playing fields that were opposite the hospital.
It was a seriously impressive building and I had done some looking last night to see what else was around there and discovered that next to the ground was Cheltenham College, which meant that the grounds were probably associated with the college. I had also discovered a war memorial outside the main building and there was even a chapel. A slight detour was called for.
and finally the War Memorial. I was quite surprised to see that this memorial is to the Anglo Boer War casualties and not a world war memorial as I expected.
Behind it is the college building which is really magnificent. However, trying for a decent image was almost impossible due to traffic, the size of the building, large trees and sun position.
Looking across the playing fields I also shot two other buildings and I can only guess at the moment what their functions are.
Cheltenham College is a public school for pupils aged 13–18. It was opened in July 1841. and is well known for its classical, military and sporting traditions. Fourteen Victoria Crosses (VCs) have been awarded to Old Cheltonians, while 702 Old Cheltonians were killed in the First World War, and a further 363 died in World War II. Image below attributed to Prioryman, Cheltenham College Chapel and library, resize, CC BY-SA 3.0
Then it was time to head to the hospital and my appointment. It was going to be a long day. Once I was finished I headed back to the bus stop, pausing to photograph this beauty. The information plate informed me that it commemorated the visit of HRH The Princess Royal to Cheltenhams Memorial Garden on 21 April 2021.
I did want to read the information board but unfortunately it was being used as a trampoline by a child while the mother was busy on her phone. There are at least 4 of them and some reading found me the following: “the Friendship Circle, a set of shell-like sculptures cast iron by Neville Gabie.” (http://cheltenham4u.blogspot.com).
A last look around and I was outa there.
I know, I know… rub it in!
And I managed another pic of the Arrival. But it is still lousy. The riderless horse is known as “The Vanquished.”
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