this site used to be The Plough Hotel, which dated back to 1654. It was one of Cheltenham’s most popular hotels and inns. The yard that was behind the High Street hotel was the biggest in the country (hence the size of the present shopping centre.) But after the Second World War the Plough fell into disrepair and was never as popular as in its heyday. It was eventually demolished in 1980.
near the High Street entrance to the arcade a Royal Coat of Arms is displayed on the wall. It comes from the 'Old Town Hall', an early 19th century building which stood in the now demolished Plough Yard, and which served in turn as a riding school, a Baptist Chapel and as Cheltenham's first Town Hall.
there is a commemorative model of the first jet engine, built by Frank Whittle in 1940. Old Regents Motors Garage, where Frank built his engine, was demolished to make way for the Arcade. The engine was fitted in the Gloster 28/39 it made its maiden voyage in May of 1941.
the famous "Wishing Fish Clock" was designed by Cotswold artist-craftsman Kit Williams, author of the book "Masquerade", and built by Cheltenham clockmakers, Sinclair Harding & Co. The 45 foot high clock was unveiled in January of 1987, costing £80,000. It is believed to be the worlds tallest mechanical clock, weighing in at just over 3 tonnes. Every half hour, the magical performance of the bubble-blowing clock brings the arcade to a stand-still, fascinating young and old. Jumping up and catching a bubble will grant you a wish.