In about 1716, a medicinal spring was discovered in a field to the south of the small market town of Cheltenham, on a site now occupied by Cheltenham Ladies College. The town developed as a spa. Its heyday came between 1788 and the 1840s, following King George III’s visit.
From these years come many of the elements which make Cheltenham England’s most complete Regency town – its pump rooms, villas, terraces and gardens. The late 18th and 19th centuries also saw the development of its social, cultural and sporting life, and of new roles as a residential, educational and manufacturing centre. By 1850 it was the largest town in Gloucestershire.