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About Us

Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...

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History

Here is little potted history of our pub and the local area... if you have a spare minute or two and maybe a cup of tea (or is that a G&T), we think it's well worth read.

Read on...

Cheltenham - A Regency Spa Town

Cheltenham began as an Anglo-Saxon settlement. It's also believed to be the site of a 9th-century monastery.

Remarkably little is known of Cheltenham before it became a popular spa town. We do know, however, that it was granted a market charter in 1226, thus allowing the town to grow.

It wasn't until the 18th century that Cheltenham saw any real changes, including a dramatic rise to fame and fortune. The story goes that in 1716, a few townsfolk noticed that a particular flock of pigeons that pecked near a local spring were thriving. It wasn't long before they decided to taste the benefits of the mineral spring for themselves. Eventually, the owner of the land on which the spring stood took the entrepreneurial measure of installing a pump and charging people to 'take the waters'.

By 1850, history shows that Cheltenham had become the largest town in the county of Gloucestershire. Among the early visitors to Cheltenham were Samuel Johnson, the Duke of Wellington and the novelist Jane Austen. However, one visitor in particular served to boost the town's popularity. King George III visited in 1788, lodging at Bayshill. He could often be seen strolling around town, accompanied by his family.

Visitors to Cheltenham could opt to take the waters at the original spa, situated on the site of the present-day Cheltenham Ladies' College.

Alternatively, they could enjoy one of the rival spas that emerged to meet growing demand - Montpellier and Pittville.

The Pittville Pump Room, the work of Joseph Pitt, was built in 1830 and the spa waters can still be enjoyed here today.

Cheltenham's racing history

It was during the early years of the 19th century that Cheltenham also acquired its links with horseracing. The town's earliest organised flat race meeting was held in 1815 on Nottingham Hill. Three years later, the first races were held on Cleeve Hill. However, not everyone was happy. In 1829, a local priest preached against the evils of horseracing and the grandstand was later burned to the ground. Consequently, in 1831, the racecourse was moved to Prestbury.

The Court

The County Court was constructed between 1869 and 1871 to the designs of Thomas Charles Sorby who, at the time, was the Surveyor of County Courts (albeit abolished in 1870).

Cheltenham County Court forms part of the local civil court system that was established in England and Wales, following the legislation in 1846, to allow a national system for the recovery of small debts. Derived from the Courts of Request or Courts of Conscience, these were the development of courts which had been established in a piecemeal fashion from around 1700 until 1846.

This new system established sixty districts in which one or more courts could operate. Each district had a judge who was an experienced barrister and courts could initially hear claims for up to £20. Juries comprised of five individuals and all verdicts had to be unanimous decisions. To ensure the efficient operation of the courts, each had a clerk, court servants, at least one high bailiff to serve the summonses and execute all warrants and writs; and a treasurer.

The Court at Cheltenham was operational until the beginning of the 21st Century when it was closed as part of the rationalisation of the Government's estate.

The plan of the building remains very similar to its courtroom days. On the ground floor was the large public waiting area, the two smaller rooms that now make up our Private Dining Room and the "cosy room" were once the "Counsel and Solicitors" Room and the "Clerks Office" (which retains its original fireplace). On the first floor is the Court Chamber which was originally in two parts, comprising the public benches and the court room split between the lovely Corinthian columns. The two grand rooms overlooking Regent Street, now used as our smaller kitchen and office were originally in use as offices for the judges. The basement is different in style; in comparison to the main courtroom it is utilitarian in appearance as it was never meant to be in use by the general public.

Thomas Charles Sorby (1836-1924) was a British architect, born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, who emigrated to Canada in 1883, where he mostly worked in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. He studied architecture in London under Charles Reeves, with whom he notably designed Salford County Court.

From 1843 Charles Reeves was architect and surveyor to the Metropolitan Police, designing and superintending forty-four new police stations. In 1847 he also became architect to the county courts in England and Wales, established the previous year; he designed and superintended sixty-four new courts across the country.

Charles Reeves design of Pont-Y-Prid County Court

Lambeth Magistrates Court

Court Life

Judge Alan Thomas presided here until the court closed. His first appearance was as a young solicitor in the 1970s, before becoming a judge in the 1996. He recalls the "early days" Solicitors would robe in the small room at the top of the stairs. There was a small sink with a block of carbolic soap for all to share and holes in the windows, it was uncomfortable and absolutely freezing. I remember one of my first appearances when I stood to address the Judge. can't see you Mr Thomas he said to me, I was baffled until a more senior solicitor whispered to me, "You haven't got a waistcoat on! I removed myself from court, borrowed a waistcoat and tried again, I can see you now the Judge said on my return. Thankfully, things had changed by the time the courts closed.

As a Civil court we heard non-criminal cases. Our days would be filled with Personal Injury cases, which could take up to two days, Family cases, Contract cases, Insolvencies and Housing cases of which we could do up to a dozen in a day.

The design of the courtroom was such that as a judge you felt perched up on high, looking down on all below. I often remarked that I needed an oxygen mask!

We rarely had a jury in court. However, I recall one case that lasted five days that required one. They sat each day in hats, scarfs, coats and gloves with electric fan heaters warming their feet. Such was the design and disrepair of the old building that it was either freezing cold or tropically hot due to the large glass feature in the ceiling. When it rained the water would dribble down the electric cables that the lights were suspended from and drip onto my chair.

It was the extent of this disrepair that led to its closure. Sadly, the old building was in such a state that it would have cost a fortune to modernise the plumbing and electrics and bring it into the 21st century, and so its cases and its 6 clerks all moved into the main Gloucester Court system and the court was closed.

Modern Day

After a spell of being an Italian restaurant, we were offered the opportunity to turn the building into a pub and we jumped at the chance. We worked with the local planners to sensitively restore the building, uncovering and retaining its stunning original features, whilst plugging the holes and adding the comfort of heat!

Our thanks to Judge Alan Thomas for sharing his wonderful stories with us.

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If you'd like to put a name to a face, allow us to introduce you to the crew...


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Front of house

Dale Allison

Manager

Dale is a Yorkshire lad at heart but moved down to the midlands to start his career in pubs, and hasn't looked back! He is an avid Middlesbrough supporter and you'll find him talking all things football. When they aren't playing, Dale enjoys skiing and Geocahing (ask him if you're unsure of what this is, we were!) If you want to impress him, he has a keen liking for French reds wines.

Rachel Hanna

Deputy Manager

Rachel joined the BnP family in October 2015 after working in Michelin starred restaurants from London to Edinburgh. She has joined us here at the Old Courthouse after working at our sister pub, The Greyhound. Her passion for everything food related shows, but has a keen liking to Gin, Cheese and Coffee. In her spare time she will either be walking border collie Paige, driving around around in her blue beetle or down her local. With this typical blonde around, there is never a dull day at the Old Courthouse.

Elodie Stephens

Senior Assistant Manager

Elodie has worked in several of our southern Brunning and price pubs over the past three years, starting at The Black Jug, where she spent two years keeping the punters in check, then moving onto The Fox Revived for a new challenge. Prior to this, she worked as an air stewardess for Monarch airlines. After finding her feet on the ground she decided to start her career within pub management. Elodie's never without a smile on her face and is always around for a chat, no matter what side of the bar she is on! But beware, her guilty pleasure is a cracking GnT.

Sallyanne Goddard

Assistant Manager

Sally has joined us as Assistant Manager, and her infections personality means that she is settling very well into B&P life. Her knowledge of Cheltenham and the surrounding areas means that her upcoming events are something to look out for. Her keen liking for Gin means shes right at home behind our bar.

Samuel Baylis

Supervisor

Sam is our boy about the bar, he's had plenty of experience behind them and is a gin lover at heart. Sam's claim to fame is that he represents England playing Bike Polo, Olympics here he comes! He also has a 1st class degree in Zoology which isn't something you hear every day!

Elliot Lee

Bar/Waiting Staff

Elliot previously worked in our sister pub, the Dysart Arms, which is back near his hometown in Cheshire. He claims to be a "useless facts machine" and didn’t know carrot was in carrot cake till he was 18, which is slightly concerning.

Rosa Day-Jones

Bar/Waiting Staff

When Rosa isn't behind the bar, she is part of a theatre company who have devised a piece about mental health. She's a true Cheltonian at heart and describes herself as unfortunately clumsy!

Asha Didcott

Bar/Waiting Staff

Asha is our little bundle of joy here at the Old Courthouse, she's never without a smile on her face and is always offering to help anyone. She loves socialising with her friends and returning home to Bristol to spend time with her family.

Gus Charlier

Bar/Waiting Staff

Gus' family originates from a North Indian tribe, but Gus was born and raised in Buckinghamshire. He is a chatty lad that is always cracking jokes behind the bar. In his spare time you can find him playing and watching both football and rugby.

Rebecca Gilbert

Bar/Waiting Staff

Being from Devon, Becky's guilty pleasure is a good ol' cider. She has pub work down to a T as her parents owned their own village pub back in Devon when she was growing up. Becky studies Film & Tv at uni, maybe one day we will see her on-screen!

Eleanor Guest

Bar/Waiting Staff

Ellie is one of the friendliest people we've ever met and has a rather infectious smile. Her hidden talent is that she plays the Ukulele, who would of guessed?

Tamsyn Harrod

Bar/Waiting Staff

Tamsyn, who is originally from South Africa, does a few nights a week with us whilst running her own business. She's a self confessed yoga lover and we've heard she's a pretty good cricket player.

Helen Matthews

Bar/Waiting Staff

Helen knows her stuff about the hospitality industry after working in it for as long as she can remember. She previously lived in Jersey before relocating to Cheltenham.

Benjamin Morris

Bar/Waiting Staff

Ben is a top quality waiter and sure knows how to make people laugh. He's full of energy and enjoys playing squash in his spare time when he isn't learning Mandarin or studying Business Management!

Danielle Scobbie

Bar/Waiting Staff

Danii is our talkative bar maid from Swindon. She's worked in hospitality for over four years now so knows all the tricks of the trade. Her bright red hair is unmissable and enjoys a cheeky glass of sweet rose after a shift.

Edward Lee

Bar/Waiting Staff

Ed is a product design graduate who also has 6 years experience in working for a florist & styling company, so he definitely has an eye for detail! His passion lies with drumming, but likes to keep active by hiking and cycling.

Liz Manning

Bar/Waiting Staff

Liz is full time with us here, but in her spare time is a keen artist who also enjoys yoga. We're not sure where she finds all this time, but she is also a Sea Turtle Protection worker and qualified Scuba diver.

Nicole Hofgartner

Bar/Waiting Staff

Nicole is studying Fashion Design at Uni as her passion lies in keeping up to date with the latest trends. She is a keen traveller but loves spending time back at home in Weston-Super-Mare.

Chad Wrenn

Bar/Waiting Staff

Chad's our Brummy lad who studies Sports Journalism alongside Joe & Elliot. He describes himself as small, loud and funny. When hes not propping up the bar (on either side) he's watching or playing football.

Joseph Davies

Bar/Waiting Staff

Joe is our lovable Welsh bar boy who is studying Sports Journalism at the University of Gloucestershire. He's a singer songwriter who also plays the guitar, we're still waiting for him to perform at one of our Live Music nights!

Rebecca Skinner

Bar/Waiting Staff

Becky is one of the kindest people we've ever had the pleasure of working with. She's a exceptional waitress and has a strong eye for detail. She studies health and social care and likes to spend her spare time going to the cinema.

Jordan Yates-Loftus

Bar/Waiting Staff

Jordan is a massive lover of beautiful historic buildings, so feels right at home here at the Old Courthouse. His passion lies on the bar (he's our beer guru!) and he's subject to a golden ale when he's not working.

Kate Mather

Bar/Waiting Staff

Kate is our little rocket that moves at 100 miles an hour. She plays netball when she isn't keeping the punters (and staff for that matter) in check. Her interesting fact is that she taught English in Thailand for a couple of months.



Kitchen

Edward Lack

Head Chef

Edward is our Sous and by golly we’re glad to have him on board. He has joined us after previously working in a tapas bar in Leeds. His passions include cheffing and motorbikes which we think is pretty cool. (Not sure we will be hitching a ride anytime soon though).

Luke Weller

Sous Chef

Luke joins us from our sister pub, The Hare in Langton. He says his move to Cheltenham had nothing to do with the fact that he is massive Gloucester Rugby fan, we’re not quite sure if we believe him yet. Luke is a workaholic so it’s difficult to get him out of the kitchen, but when we can, you can catch him chatting about his favourite football team; Chelsea.

Wojciech Osinski

Chef de Partie

Wojciech is originally from Grudiadz in Poland and likes to be known as Oscar. He has just completed his level 3 professional cooking diploma at Banbury college and now works full time with us at The Old Courthouse. Oscars favourite sport is volleyball and loves watching and even playing it! Oscar is very passionate about cooking and is well known for making the tastiest desserts.


Book online

Use the calendar to book a table. If the time you're after is not available, give us a call and we will try our best to fit you in. We keep some tables for phone bookings.

If you have guests who have mobility requirements, please give us a call on 01242 500930 and we will make sure we seat you in a suitable area.


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