Talk: The Perils of Speculation in Regency Cheltenham by Steven Blake

Date(s) - 5th Sep 2022

St Philip & St James Church


The Rise and Fall of the Honourable Miss Monson

During the early nineteenth century, Cheltenham’s housing stock increased dramatically from 710 in 1801, to an estimated 4,027, with 774 more being built, in June 1826. Large numbers of individuals were involved in the town’s building industry as developers, speculators and builders.

One of the most unusual, in terms of age, gender and social background, was the Honourable Katherine Monson (1754–1843), who built at least twenty houses on the north side of the town – including St Margaret’s Terrace – between 1804 and the late 1820s before going bankrupt in 1828. This talk considers what is known of her remarkable life and work and highlights a hitherto little-known aspect of the town’s building history, namely the role of women.

Dr Steven Blake worked for thirty years at Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, eventually filling the post of museum and collections manager, before taking early retirement in 2006. He is a former trustee, chair and now a vice-president of the Holst Birthplace Trust. He is a founder member and former chair of Cheltenham Local History Society and has a particular interest in the building history of early nineteenth century Cheltenham.

Cost per person: £10, to include tea/coffee

If you have any questions please phone Alison on 01242 519413.

Please book using one of the following options:

  • On-line bookings with a debit or credit card can be made using the form below. Alternatively you may reserve your place, select the ‘off-line’ payment option and pay by bank transfer or cheque.
  • Bank transfer – please email and wait for confirmation that places are available before arranging your bank transfer.
  • Cheque – please complete a booking form (download here ) and post it with your cheque.

Places are not confirmed until payment is received.

Bank transfers should be made to Friends of The Wilson (or as much of that as the bank will accept) Sort Code 30-91-87 Account 00005816. The reference must include your surname plus as much of the event title as will fit, for example SMITH Monson.

Please make cheques payable to Friends of The Wilson and send with a SAE or clearly written email address to Mrs Alison Pascoe, 77 Naunton Lane, Cheltenham, GL53 7AZ.


Bookings are now closed for this event.