This is the Zoo that nearly was but never opened …Cheltenham in the 1830’s had at least 3 Proprietors / Groups looking to open a Zoological Gardens . The one actually proposed to be named Cheltenham Zoological Gardens was a proposal put forward by a Mr Joseph Pitt who was a British Lawyer who made money as a Property Speculator … He was an MP for Cricklade in Wiltshire for 19 years .. He was the founder of “Pittville” a residential suburb of Cheltenham and within the estate was Pittville Pleasure Gardens and the Pittville Pump Room (the last Spa building to be built in Cheltenham ) A prospectus was issued and over 600 shares for the project had been sold to many prominent business names … This would have been in 1835 / 6 … Mr Pitts son William Gregson Pitt was appointed to the Estate Management of Pittville ( he had previously been General Manager of the Cheltenham Branch of the County of Gloucester Bank … Due to the further advanced Zoological Gardens (to be known as Gloucestershire Zoological , Botanical and Horticultural Society ) things began to heat up Richard Forrest who had drawn up the plans for the Cheltenham Zoological Gardens denounced the Gloucestershire Zoological as poor for animals and the Gardens (Mr Forrest was the designer for the Bristol Zoological Gardens and the Manchester Zoological Gardens at Broughton Park … Mr Forrrest’s comments were pretty much ignored as the Gloucestershire Zoological forged ahead and opened first ( to be discussed in the next post ) … On 18th May 1837 the Pittville project was declared “dead” and they wished the Gloucestershire Zoological and Botanical Society every success in their quest in their yet to open Zoological Gardens
Between 1837 to 1840 the Pittville Pleasure Gardens had many amusements including the Travelling Menagerie from Van Amburgh at times
Joseph Pitt passed away in 1842 he was in debt by about £150,000 his estate was essentially sold off to cover debts leaving just the Pump House and Gardens … The Pittville Spa was taken over by the Council and now run by a Charitable trust
Pittville Park currently have the following enclosures which house a variety of birds, chipmunks and rabbits. The bird collection includes: cockatiels, green parrots, canaries, peacocks and chickens.
1st image is the proposed Cheltenham Zoological Gardens layout , 2nd Image Pittville Pump House , 3rd Image Prospectus from 1836
For information on Zoos both existing and old ones join this facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/671948229882510