Landmark living: a look inside the stylish apartments at John Dower House in Cheltenham

Apartment interior with period features

The luxury flats at John Dower House blend period features with contemporary interiors - Credit: Oliver Grahame Photography

The beautifully restored John Dower House offers a unique blend of classic and contemporary living in the heart of Cheltenham. Beyond the Regency façade of this iconic Grade II listed building lies 12 modern homes, each with their own unique interior and period features. 

Open plan living space with full height windows

Some apartments offer open plan living and floor-to-ceiling windows - Credit: Oliver Grahame Photography

We chat to Darren Thompson, head of sales at Lifestory, the company behind the restoration of John Dower House, to find out more about the one, two and three-bedroom apartments inside the landmark property. 

Q: What’s the history of John Dower House? 

Royal Coat of Arms at John Dower House

The Royal Coat of Arms over the entrance portico - Credit: Oliver Grahame Photography

John Dower House was originally built in 1812 as one of Cheltenham’s first hotels. The striking Royal Coat of Arms, which can still be seen over the entrance portico, was gifted by Adelaide, Duchess of Clarence, later Queen Consort to William IV.

 The Duchess’ visit led to the hotel being renamed as Clarence Hotel up until 1859, when it became a somewhat less glamorous police station and courthouse. In 1970, the building was home to the Countryside Commission until 2012, when it was vacated. After a few years of inactivity, it was acquired by Lifestory and transformed into 12 modern homes. 

Q: How has the building’s history been preserved? 

Entrance hall with sweeping staircase

The entrance hall features an impressive sweeping staircase - Credit: Oliver Grahame Photography

A great deal of care has been taken to renovate many of the original features to preserve the building’s unique history. As you would expect from a classical Regency building, each home offers ample space and grand windows. The elegant entrance hall on the ground floor features a spectacular sweeping staircase and decorative detailing which is carried through into the apartments.

Bedroom with period features

Bedrooms feature grand windows and fireplaces - Credit: Oliver Grahame Photography

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Q: How are the apartments suitable for modern living? 

Modern kitchen

Kitchens feature quartz composite stone worktops and integrated appliances - Credit: Oliver Grahame Photography

The interiors have been refurbished to a high specification, blending traditional Regency features with stylish, contemporary design. Each modern home has a unique layout – some offer open plan living, guest bedrooms and ensuites. Kitchens feature engineered oak floors, quartz composite stone worktops and integrated appliances. Spacious tiled bathrooms include walk-in showers or bathtubs. The building also has a central lift and secure underground parking. 

Tiled bathroom with walk-in shower

Tiled bathrooms include spacious walk-in showers - Credit: Oliver Grahame Photography

Q: What about the location? 

John Dower House benefits from a prime position in the centre of the town, with Cheltenham Promenade and Montpellier Gardens just a few minutes’ walk away.

Cheltenham also has great transport links, with the train station a 20-minute walk from the apartments and the M5 a 10-minute drive. The Royal Wells bus station is also just around the corner.  

Q: What makes Cheltenham a good place to live?  

John Dower House exterior

John Dower House is ideally located in the heart of Cheltenham - Credit: Oliver Grahame Photography

Voted by The Sunday Times as the best place to live in the south west, Cheltenham is a charming spa town known for its Regency architecture, upmarket restaurants, independent and high street shopping, and glorious surrounding countryside.  

The town is also renowned for its vibrant festival calendar, including Cheltenham Literature Festival, the Music Festival and Jazz and Science Festivals. And of course, not forgetting Cheltenham Festival – the world-famous horse racing event, held every March at Cheltenham Racecourse. 

Q: How can I find out more?  

There are limited two and three-bedroom apartments remaining, ranging from £390,000 to £650,000. All apartments are open market. To arrange a viewing, call 01242 292950 or email You can also visit for more information.