Holst Birthplace Museum
4 Clarence Road
Gloucestershire GL52 2AY
For over three generations, the Holst family of musicians played an important role in the cultural development of 19th century Cheltenham Spa. This role had been memorialised in the interesting Holst Birthplace Museum until disaster struck in June 2016.
On 15th June torrential rain hit Cheltenham, flooding the museum and causing a significant amount of water damage. However, sometimes a catastrophe can be a blessing in disguise.
Although the museum was insured the proposed payout did not cover the costs of repairs. The Holst Birthplace Trust mobilised Friends, Associates and the general public to fundraise and cover the shortfall. This awakened interest in the museum has led to a renewed appreciation of Gustav Holst’s music.
The fully repaired and restored Holst Birthplace Museum was re-opened for business on Saturday, 8 December 2016.
Number 4 is a small Regency terrace house typical of the houses that were being built in Cheltenham in 1832.
Following careful research the house has been restored with re-created Victorian block-print wallpaper. Cole and Son, acclaimed manufacturers of fine printed wallpapers since 1875, have resurrected archival designs.
The Regency Room is papered with a ‘Quatrefoil’ design which uses a mica ground. The use of mica in wallpaper production meant that printers were able to achieve a strong overall metallic finish. The block print was applied onto the top of the mica. The contrast between the ground and the print provides a unique finish and is fairly changeable in different light sources, giving the paper an almost multi-faceted appearance.
The ‘Marigold’ design in the Victorian Bedroom was created using the original roller in the Cole and Son archive. Marigold is originally a ‘choke’ print, which means that the design is not carved in relief and when printed the ground forms the actual print colour.
Perhaps a bit too flamboyant for modern-day tastes, the house is a wonderful example of Victorian style.
Below stairs life has been recreated with a fully functioning Victorian kitchen complete with blazing range and kitchen staff.
During an excursion to the museum visitors will learn more of Holst's life, his music, his family and friendships, whilst being reminded of domestic life at the end of the 19th Century.
Gustav Holst was born in the house on 21st September 1874 and lived here until he was 8 years old. His mother died in 1882 and his father was left with two sons to bring up.
This period house has been been beautifully restored and I am sure that if Gustav was to walk into the house today he would instantly recognise it and feel at home.
Plan Your Visit
Due to the nature of the building there is no access for wheelchairs.
There are steps up to the front door and staircases to all floors. There is no lift but there is a handrail for all stairs.
A large-print guide to the house is available.
Summer Season - The museum is normally open:
Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 – 17:00
Sunday 13:00 – 17:00
Winter Season - The museum is normally open:
Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 – 16:00
Not open Sundays.
All Bank Holiday Mondays – Open.
For current details go to Web: Holst Birthplace Museum/ Your Visit/Times
Full Adult Price: around £5. Children (5-15): around £2.
Generous concessions available.
For full details go to Web: Holst Birthplace Museum / Your Visit/ Cost
Do it yourself tour with numerous volunteers on hand to answer questions. Plenty of hands-on activities for children and adults too if they wish.
Small gift shop selling books, music and DVDs.
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1242 524846
The museum is not in the centre of town and is about a 20 minute walk. Parking is on-street ‘Pay & Display’ if you can find any, but there is a large public car park nearby.
Google Maps - Holst Birthplace Museum