The village of Prestbury was made part of Cheltenham Borough in 1991, following a boundary change. It has the population of about 5,300. Prestbury has retained much of its village character and has an array of attractive houses, thatched cottages and picturesque pubs. Soft honey
coloured stone walls, timber framed buildings and thatched or Cotswold stone tiled
roofs are the features of Prestbury, giving it the distinctive look of Cotswold country
Surrounded by Cleeve Hill which offers stunning views over Cheltenham, it contains a lovely medieval church of St. Mary, which dates back to the 12th century. Prestbury High Street with its numerous thatched cottages, some of which like Fogarty's have been shops for decades, offers a pleasant shopping experience for visitors and residents alike. Part of Prestbury called The Burgage is the place where the old Market Place was, when Prestbury was a small market town, and this tucked-away quarter of the village hasn't changed much since then.
Prestbury also figures in large in the history of horse racing. It is home to Cheltenham Racecourse, which hosts the world famous Gold Cup each March, and the record breaking champion jockey Fred Archer learnt to ride there while his father was a landlord of King’s Arms. Cheltenham Racecourse is also a place to go when you are on the hunt for antiques. Large Antiques and Collectors Fair, as well as a regular car boot sale take place there.
Prestbury is said to be one of the most haunted places in Gloucestershire. More than two dozen spirits are said to haunt its streets, the most famous being the Black Abbot, who is regularly seen in the church and churchyard, especially at Christmas and Easter. Maintaining the same route every year, this ghost materialises in the church before crossing the churchyard and disappearing through a wall in the High Street.
Prestbury dates back to the 9th century. As a separate village from Cheltenham, it belonged to the Bishop of Hereford. Granted a market in the mid-13th century it was a thriving market town on the route from Winchcombe to Gloucester.