Plans for Cheltenham Regency gem to become 'designer' homes
ONE of Cheltenham's most splendid Regency buildings will soon be a family home again – or, more likely, family homes.
Ellerslie House, in Albert Road, Pittville, once owned by 19th century novelist Sir Walter Scott, rivals its near neighbour, the Pump Room, for imposing stature.
It was used until recently as a nursing home, and went on the market in December.
It has now been snapped up, for close to the £1.5m asking price, by a private development company, which intends to convert the four-storey building for housing.
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The company bought the 29-bedroom property and its 1.5 acres of grounds from Gloucestershire County Council in a deal handled by estate agents Bruton Knowles.
Associate at the Bristol Road Gloucester, agents, Julian Capewell said: "There was a lot of interest in the property but the county council was keen to find someone who would retain the ambience of the location and not just fill the available land with as many units as possible. Portobello Designs have come up with a suitable future for this historic location in the Central Conservation Area."
The house boasts six reception rooms and its own laundry. Not only was it once owned by Sir Walter Scott but, in the early years of the 20th century, it became the home of Rowena Cade, the designer, who founded the Minack Theatre in Cornwall. She is remembered by the naming of Rowena Cade Avenue in The Park area.
Former chairman of Cheltenham Civic Society Stephen Clarke gave a cautious welcome to the news of the sale.
He said: "We'd certainly want the building to be kept as it is, it is of some historic significance.
"And if the conversion work is of high quality then we'd welcome it becoming housing.
"We are in favour of old buildings being restored to their former glory, but also welcome high-quality modern buildings."
The four-storey main building has a two-floor extension plus a two-storey block used to house horses owned by the original residents.