Gloucester (/ˈɡlɒstər/ (listen)) is a city and district in Gloucestershire, in the South West of England, of which it is the county town. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest.

Gloucester was founded in AD 97 by the Romans under Emperor Nerva as Colonia Glevum Nervensis, and was granted its first charter in 1155 by King Henry II. Economically, the city is dominated by the service industries, and has a strong financial and business sector.[2] Historically it was prominent in the aerospace industry.[3]

Gloucester and its cathedral
Gloucester and its cathedral
Coat of arms of Gloucester

Coat of arms
City of Gloucester shown within Gloucestershire
City of Gloucester shown within Gloucestershire
Coordinates: 51°52′N 2°14′W / 51.87°N 2.24°WCoordinates: 51°52′N 2°14′W / 51.87°N 2.24°W
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth West England
Non-metropolitan countyGloucestershire
StatusNon-metropolitan district, City
Admin HQGloucester
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyGloucester City Council
 • LeadershipMayor & Cabinet (Conservative)
 • MPsRichard Graham
 • Total15.65 sq mi (40.54 km2)
Area rank289th (of 326)
(mid-2017 est.)
 • Total129,100
 • Rank168th (of 326)
 • Density8,200/sq mi (3,200/km2)
 • Ethnicity[1]
84.6% White British
4.6% White Other
4.8% Asian
2.9% Black or Black British
2.9% Mixed Race
0.3% Other
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Area code(s)01452
ONS code23UE (ONS)
E07000081 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSO832186


West prospect of Gloucester by Kip, c.1725.
Kip's West prospect of Gloucester, c. 1725, emphasises the causeway and bridges traversing the water meadows of the floodplain.

The origins of the name Gloucester are related to Caerloyw, its name in modern Welsh. The name 'caerloyw' is composed of two parts: caer (meaning fort, stronghold or castle, and whose cognate is the suffix "cester", both deriving from the Latin castrum) and 'loyw', a linguistic mutation of 'gloyw', meaning bright or shining. The name Gloucester thus means roughly "bright fort". There are various appellations of the city's name in history, such as Caer Glow, Gleawecastre, Gleucestre as an early British settlement is not confirmed by direct evidence. However, Gloucester was the Roman municipality of Colonia Nervia Glevensium, or Glevum, built in the reign of Nerva. Parts of the walls can be traced, and a number of remains and coins have been found, though inscriptions are scarce. In Historia Brittonum, a fabled account of the early rulers of Britain, Vortigern's grandfather, Gloiu (Gloyw Wallt Hir in Welsh, meaning "Gloiu Long-hair"), is given as the founder of Gloucester.[4][5] Part of the foundations of Roman Gloucester can be seen today in Eastgate Street (near Boots), while Roman tombstones and a range of other Roman artefacts can be seen in Gloucester City Museum.

After the withdrawal on the Roman Empire in the late 4th Century the town returned to the control of Celtic Dubonni tribe. By the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Gloucester is shown as part of Wessex from the Battle of Deorham in 577. At some point after this battle, along with the rest of Gloucestershire excluding the Forest of Dean, Gloucester was part of the minor kingdom of the Hwicce. In 628, as a result of the Battle of Cirencester, the kingdom of the Hwicce became a client or sub-kingdom of Mercia. From about 780, the Hwicce region was no longer a kingdom in its own right and was under full Mercian control until, along with the rest of Mercia, it submitted to Alfred the Great in about 877-883. The name Gloucester derives from the Anglo-Saxon for fort (Old English ceaster) preceded by Celtic name, which derived from the Roman stem Glev- (pronounced glaiw).[6] Claudia Castra is mentioned in the 18th Century as possible Latin name related to the city.[7]

Gloucester was captured by the Saxons in 577. Its situation on a navigable river, and the foundation in 681 of the abbey of St Peter by Æthelred, favoured the growth of the town; and before the Norman Conquest of England, Gloucester was a borough governed by a portreeve, with a castle which was frequently a royal residence, and a mint. In the early 10th century the remains of Saint Oswald were brought to a small church in Gloucester, bringing many pilgrims to the town. The core street layout is thought to date back to the reign of Ethelfleda in late Saxon times.[8]

Map of Gloucester in 1805 engraved by J.Roper from a drawing by G.Cole
Gloucester in 1805

In 1051 Edward the Confessor held court at Gloucester and was threatened there by an army led by Godwin, Earl of Wessex, but the incident resulted in a standoff rather than a battle. A unique coin, dated to 1077–80, was discovered, just north of the city, in November 2011. It features the name of the moneyer Silacwine and its place of minting. The Portable Antiquities Scheme said that, until the coin was discovered, there had been no known examples of William I coins minted in Gloucester in this period.[9]

After the Norman Conquest, William Rufus made Robert Fitzhamon the first baron or overlord of Gloucester. Fitzhamon had a military base at Cardiff Castle, and for the succeeding years the history of Gloucester was closely linked to that of Cardiff. During the Anarchy, Gloucester was a centre of support for the Empress Matilda[10] who was supported in her claim to the throne by her half-brother, Fitzhamon's grandson, Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester (also known as Robert of Gloucester). After this period of strife ended with the ascent of her son Henry to the throne Henry II of England, Henry granted Robert possession of Cardiff Castle, and it later passed to Mathilda's son Robert Curthose and his son, William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester. The story of the Anarchy is vividly told in a series of nineteenth-century paintings by William Burges at the Castle.

King Henry II granted Gloucester its first charter in 1155, which gave the burgesses the same liberties as the citizens of London and Winchester. A second charter of Henry II gave them freedom of passage on the River Severn. The first charter was confirmed in 1194 by King Richard I. The privileges of the borough were greatly extended by the charter of King John (1200), which gave freedom from toll throughout the kingdom and from pleading outside the borough.

In 1216 King Henry III, aged only ten years, was crowned with a gilded iron ring in the Chapter House of Gloucester Cathedral.[11]

Gloucester's significance in the Middle Ages is underlined by the fact that it had a number of monastic establishments, including St Peter's Abbey founded in 679 (later Gloucester Cathedral), the nearby St Oswald's Priory, Gloucester founded in the 880s or 890s, Llanthony Secunda Priory, founded 1136 as a retreat for a community of Welsh monks (now near the western bypass),[12] the Franciscan Greyfriars community founded in 1231 (near Eastgate Shopping Centre),[13] and the Dominican Blackfriars community founded in 1239 (Ladybellegate Street).[14] It also has some very early churches including St Mary de Lode Church, Gloucester near the Cathedral and the Norman St Mary de Crypt Church, Gloucester in Southgate Street. Additionally, there is evidence of a Jewish community Gloucester as early as 1158-1159, who lived around present day East Gate Street and had a synagogue on the north side.[15]

In the Middle Ages the main export was wool, which came from the Cotswolds and was processed in Gloucester; other exports included leather and iron (tools and weapons). Gloucester also had a large fishing industry at that time. In 1223, thatched roofs were banned after a massive fire that destroyed part of Gloucester.

One of the most significant periods in Gloucester's history began in 1378 when Richard II of England convened Parliament in the city. Parliaments were held there until 1406 under Henry IV of England. The Parliament Rooms at the Cathedral remain as testimony to this important time.

Gloucester was incorporated by King Richard III in 1483, the town being made a county in itself. This charter was confirmed in 1489 and 1510, and other charters of incorporation were received by Gloucester from Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. Gloucester was the site of the execution by burning of John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester in the time of Queen Mary in 1555. In 1580, Gloucester was awarded the status of a port by Queen Elizabeth I.[16] The Siege of Gloucester in 1643 was a battle of the English Civil War in which the besieged parliamentarians emerged victorious.

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw the foundation of two of Gloucester's grammar schools: the Crypt School in 1539 and Sir Thomas Rich's School in 1666. Both still flourish as grammar schools today, along with Ribston Hall and Denmark Road High School.

During the Second World War, two petroleum storage depots were constructed in Gloucester. A Government Civil Storage depot with six 4,000-ton semi-buried tanks was constructed on the Berkley Canal in 1941/42 by Shell-Mex and BP and connected to the pipeline that ran from the Mersey to the Avon. It was also connected to the Air Force Reserve Depot and a Shell Mex and BP facility for road and rail loading. Due to severe tank corrosion, it was demolished in 1971/2 and disposed in 1976. The second depot was an Air Force Reserve Depot with four 4,000-ton semi-buried tanks constructed in 1941/42 by Shell, Shell-Mex and BP at the Monk Meadow Dock on the Canal. Originally, delivery was by road, rail and barge and pipeline. It was also connected to the docks and to the Shell Mex and B.P. installation for rail and road loading facilities and the civil storage site. It was transferred from the Air Ministry to the Ministry of Power in 1959, closed in the 1990s and disposed in the latter 2000s. [17]

Gloucester's most important citizens include Robert Raikes (founder of the Sunday School movement) who is still commemorated by the name of Robert Raikes' House in Southgate Street. Its most infamous citizen was Fred West.

In July 2007, Gloucester was hit badly by a flood that struck Gloucestershire and its surrounding areas. Hundreds of homes were flooded, but the event was most memorable because of its wider impact – about 40,000 people were without power for 24 hours, and the entire city (plus surrounding areas) was without piped water for 17 days.

In 2009, Gloucester Day was revived as an annual day of celebration of Gloucester's history and culture. The day originally dates from the lifting of the Siege of Gloucester in 1643, during which the city held out against Royalist forces during the First English Civil War.[18]

Coat of arms

Left: the arms of the Clare family; centre: the arms of the Bishop of Worcester; right: the arms of the city of Gloucester

Coat of arms of Richard de Clare, Earl of Hertford
Arms displayed by Walter de Gray, Bishop of Worcester, at the signing of Magna Charta
Coat of arms of the City of Gloucester

Gloucester is one of the few cities in England distinguished by having two coats of arms. The first consists of three chevrons surrounded by ten roundels. The chevrons come from the arms of the Clare family, who were earls of Gloucester from the 12th to the 14th centuries, while the roundels come from the arms of the Bishop of Worcester, whose bishopric historically encompassed Gloucester. This coat is the older of the two, though it is usually termed the "Commonwealth coat", as it was not officially granted to the city until 1652, during the Commonwealth period. The crest and supporters (lions bearing broadswords and trowels) were also adopted at this time, along with the motto Fides Invicta Triumphat ("unconquered faith triumphs", in reference to the royalist siege withstood by the city in 1643).

The second coat, termed the "Tudor coat", was granted in 1538. It features the roses of York and Lancaster, the boar's head of Richard III, a ceremonial sword and cap, and two horseshoes surrounded by nails, to represent Gloucester's historical association with ironworking.

Although grants made by Commonwealth heralds were nullified after the Restoration, the Commonwealth coat continued to be used by the city rather than the Tudor coat. The Commonwealth coat, along with the crest and supporters, was legally granted to the city by letters patent dated 16 April 1945. This was reconfirmed in 1974 following the local government changes of that year.[19][20]


Gloucester City Council
Seats39 councillors
Gloucester City Council composition
22 / 39
10 / 39
7 / 39
First past the post
Last election
5 May 2016

Gloucester is split into 18 wards, with a total of 39 councillors elected to serve on the City Council. Following the last election in 2016 there were 22 Conservative Councillors, 10 Labour Councilors, and 7 Liberal Democrat councillors.[21]


The district was formed from the County Borough of Gloucester on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The parish of Quedgeley was subsequently added in 1991. As of 24 April 2017, Quedgeley is now classed as a town.[22]


Gloucester City Council collects council tax and has main functions of:

  • Benefits: housing and council tax
  • Car parking
  • Concessionary travel
  • Elections and electoral registration
  • Environmental health (includes domestic and commercial premises)
  • Food safety and hygiene complaints
  • Noise pollution and pest control
  • Licensing
  • Caravan sites
  • Planning, including planning applications, advice and appeals
  • Public conveniences
  • Health and leisure centres
  • Refuse collection
  • Recycling
  • Social housing management and funding/construction
  • Tourism and visitor information.


Gloucester Docks at Night.jpeg
Gloucester Docks at night

Gloucester is the county town of Gloucestershire, and is the 53rd largest settlement in the United Kingdom by population.[23] In 2002, its population was 110,600.[24] The 2011 census recorded that the city had a population of 121,921 and by 2016 its population was estimated to be 128,488.[25] The city's urban area extends beyond its boundaries, with several outlying districts. The 2011 census gave the population of the Gloucester Urban Area as 150,053, absorbing areas such as Brockworth and Churchdown.[26]

The city is located on the eastern bank of the River Severn, sheltered by the Cotswolds to the east, while the Forest of Dean and the Malvern Hills rise to the west and north, respectively. Gloucester is a port, linked via the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal which runs from Gloucester's docks to the Severn Estuary, allowing larger ships to reach the docks than would be possible on the tidal reaches of the river itself, which go well north of the city to Haw Bridge. The wharfs, warehouses and the docks themselves fell into disrepair until their renovation in the 1980s. They now form a public open space. Some warehouses now house the Gloucester Waterways Museum, others were converted into residential flats, shops and bars. Additionally, the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum is located in the Custom House. Next to the museum is Gloucester Yacht Club. The port still houses the most inland RNLI lifeboat in the United Kingdom.

Gloucester is made up of a variety of neighbourhoods, some of which correspond to electoral divisions of the City Council.

† Quedgeley is the only town within the city's borders. Because of this it has its own town council.[22]

Green belt

The city itself contains no green belt; however it is bordered to the north east by the green belt in the surrounding Tewkesbury district, helping to maintain local green space, prevent further urban sprawl and unplanned expansion towards Cheltenham and Innsworth, as well as protecting smaller nearby villages such as Churchdown, Badgeworth, Shurdington, and Twigworth.


Gloucester Cathedral, in the north of the city near the river, originates in the foundation of an abbey dedicated to Saint Peter in 681. It is the burial place of King Edward II and Walter de Lacy. The cathedral (mainly its cloisters) was used for corridor scenes in the films Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The crypt was used for a scene in Sherlock Christmas special.[27] Attached to the deanery is the Norman prior's chapel. In St Mary's Square outside the Abbey gate, the Bishop of Gloucester, Bishop John Hooper, was martyred under Queen Mary I in 1555.

A good number of medieval and Tudor period gabled and half timbered houses survive from earlier periods of Gloucester's history. At the point where the four principal streets intersected stood the Tolsey (town hall), which was replaced by a modern building in 1894. None of the old public buildings are left except for the New Inn in Northgate Street. It is a timbered house, with strong, massive external galleries and courtyards. It was built around 1450 by John Twyning, a monk.[28]

King's Square, Gloucester - - 469564
Kings Square (1976)

Kings Square is at the heart of the city centre and occupies what was once a cattle market and bus station. Officially opened in 1972, it was the centrepiece of a radical redesign of the city, The Jellicoe Plan, which was first proposed in 1961. It stands beside the Debenham's (formerly Bon Marché) store built in the early 1960s. Many of the features of the redevelopment have since been dismantled; the brutalist concrete fountains in the middle of the square have gone and the overhead roadways which linked three multi storey car parks around the centre have been either closed or dismantled. The main bus station received a Civic Trust Award in 1963 but has since been demolished, with a new bus station being constructed on the same site during 2018. In 2012 a £60 million plan was unveiled to revamp the square.[29] In 2014 the prominent Golden Egg restaurant was demolished and a new look public space was created. A prior archaeological dig revealed a Roman house underneath.[30]

An indoor market opened in Eastgate Street in 1968, followed by the Eastgate Shopping Centre in 1973.[31] The Kings Walk Shopping Centre was built between 1969 and 1972.[32] The corner of Eastgate Street and Brunswick Road was redeveloped around this time; Roman remains unearthed below street level in 1974 may be seen through a glass observation panel outside the Boots building, which opened in 1980. The HSBC building on the Cross was renovated and a modern extension added to the Westgate Street aspect in 1972 which received a Civic Trust Award. Sainsbury's opened a supermarket in Northgate Street in 1970; it retains its original interior. Opposite, Tesco opened a large two-storey supermarket in June 1976 on the site of a demolished chapel. This is now occupied by Wilkinson's after Tesco moved to Quedgeley in 1984. Asda opened its first store in Gloucester in Bruton Way in 1983.

Gloucester Leisure Centre opened on the corner of Eastgate Street and Bruton Way in September 1974 and was redeveloped and rebranded (as "GL1") in August 2002. Gloucester Central railway station was rebuilt in 1977 to serve both the original traffic to that railway station and the services from the closed Gloucester Eastgate railway station (former Midland Railway) which had stood on another site further east along the same road. Opposite the station stands one of the city's largest office blocks, Twyver House, opened in 1968, which houses the regional Land Registry. The main shopping streets were pedestrianised in the late 1980s.

The 1966 Heights Plan for Gloucester sought to restrict construction of tall buildings and defend spiritual values by protecting views of Gloucester Cathedral.[33] The tower of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, started in 1970 and completed in August 1975, can be seen from miles around. In Brunswick Road, a brown concrete tower, which housed classrooms at the Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology (now moved to a site near Llanthony Bridge). The tower was added incongruously to the existing 1930s Technical College buildings in 1971 which has now been demolished. Clapham Court, a tall block of flats, stands in Columbia Close, between London Road and Kingsholm Road. It was built in 1963 and stands on what was once Columbia Street in a small district formerly known as Clapham.

Other features of interest include the museum and school of art and science, the former county jail (on the site of a Saxon and Norman castle), the Shire Hall (now headquarters of the County Council) and the Whitefield memorial church. A park in the south of the city contains a spa, a chalybeate spring having been discovered in 1814. West of this, across the canal, are the remains (a gateway and some walls) of Llanthony Secunda Priory, a cell of the mother abbey in the Vale of Ewyas, Monmouthshire, which in the reign of King Edward IV became the secondary establishment.


View of Gloucester Thomas Hearne
View of Gloucester by Thomas Hearne, watercolour

The Three Choirs Festival, originating in the 18th century and one of the oldest music festivals in the British Isles, is held in Gloucester every third year, the other venues being Hereford and Worcester. Gloucester hosted the festival in 2016, and it is next due in the city in 2019.

The city's main theatre and cultural venue is the Guildhall.[34] The Guildhall hosts a huge amount of entertainment, including live music, dance sessions, a cinema, bar, café, art gallery and much more. The Leisure Centre, GL1, hosts concerts and has a larger capacity than the Guildhall.

The annual Gloucester International Rhythm and Blues Festival takes place at the end of July and early August.[35] Gloucester International Cajun and Zydeco Festival, the largest in the UK and longest-running in Europe, runs for a weekend in January each year.[36] A Medieval Fayre is held in Westgate Street each year during the summer.

Gloucester is also noted as the home of the Frightmare Halloween Festival, the largest Halloween festival in the South West.[37]

The main museum in the city is The Museum of Gloucester but there are several other important museums.

The Tailor of Gloucester House which is dedicated to the author Beatrix Potter can be found near the cathedral.

Since 2013 Gloucester has marked Armed Forces Day with a Drum Head Service held on College Green in the shadow of the cathedral. This is followed by a parade of serving forces, veterans and cadets through the city centre to the docks for a family day with military and military-related charity displays and entertainment in Back Badge Square in front of the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum.

Nature in Art is a gallery dedicated to the display of works of art inspired by the natural world.

The city features in the popular, well-known nursery rhyme (of unknown date and origin) about a Doctor Foster, who reportedly visited the city, got wet, and swore to stay away as a result.


Gloucester has many churches, and historically has also had many dissenting chapels[38]. It may have been the old proverb "as sure as God's in Gloucester" that provoked Oliver Cromwell to declare that the city had "more churches than godliness". Gloucester was the host of the first Sunday school in England; this was founded by Robert Raikes in 1780. Four of the churches that are of special interest are

In the neighbourhood around St Mary de Crypt there are slight remains of Greyfriars and Blackfriars monasteries, and also of the city wall. Under the Golden Fleece (The Monks Bar) and Saracen's Head inns early vaulted cellars still remains. In addition, in the city is St Peter's Roman Catholic Church, a Grade II* listed building.[39]

During the construction of the Boots store on the corner of Brunswick Road and Eastgate Street in 1974, Roman remains were found. These can be seen through a glass case on the street. At the back of the Gloucester Furniture Exhibition Centre part of the city's South Gate can be seen.


There are three endowed schools: The King's School, refounded by Henry VIII as part of the cathedral establishment; the school of St Mary de Crypt now known as "The Crypt School, Gloucester" since it moved to a mile from town centre to Podsmead, founded by Dame Joan Cooke in the same reign (1539), Sir Thomas Rich's School, previously known as Sir Thomas Rich's Bluecoat Hospital for Boys (1666); The High School for Girls (1883) ; and Ribston Hall High School for Girls. Comprehensives include Millbrook Academy, Beaufort Co-operative Academy, St Peter's High School (Catholic school), Chosen Hill School, Severn Vale School, Gloucester Academy, Barnwood Park Arts College and Churchdown School Academy. There is a Steiner Waldorf School founded in 1937 with a High School added just after the Second World War.

The city is home to a campus of the University of the West of England.[40]


Gloucester c1798
Cargo boats known as trows navigating under a bridge at Gloucester

Gloucester is served by the M5 motorway, opened in 1971, which runs to the east of the city. Junction 12 serves south Gloucester and Quedgeley. Junction 11a serves central Gloucester and junction 11 serves north Gloucester. The A38 runs north–south through Gloucester connecting the city with Tewkesbury and Bristol. The A40 runs west to east, connecting Gloucester with Cheltenham to the east (via a dual carriageway section known as The Golden Valley Bypass) and the Forest of Dean and Monmouth to the West. The A46 and A4173 links Gloucester and Stroud, and the A417 links Gloucester with Cirencester in the south east and Ledbury in the north west. Gloucester has a number of Cycle Paths.

Until the construction of the Severn Bridge in 1966, Gloucester was the lowest bridging point on the river and hence was an important settlement on the route between London and South Wales. The Severn is split into two branches at this point, so the road crosses first onto Alney Island and then onto the western bank. A road bridge on this western side at Over, built by Thomas Telford in 1829, still stands, notable for its very flat arch construction, but its fragility and narrow width means it is no longer used for traffic, and since 1974 it has been paralleled by a modern road bridge. There is a rail crossing, also across Alney Island, which was the lowest on the river until the opening of the Severn Railway Bridge in 1879, followed by the Severn Tunnel in 1886, although following the dismantling of the former in 1970 Gloucester once again has the furthest downstream rail bridge crossing of the Severn.

Gloucester railway station has frequent trains to London Paddington, Reading, Bristol, Cardiff Central, Nottingham and Birmingham. Gloucester was the site of the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company railway works, which have now closed. Buses are run by Stagecoach West, operating from its depot on London Road. For longer, slower journeys, National Express operate a number of services including the 444 to London and the 222 to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Hunts Grove railway station is proposed to open on the southern edge of the city near Quedgeley as part of metrowest plans to extend Bristol commuter services to the city.[41]

Gloucester is linked to the Severn Estuary by the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, which is navigable by small coasters. The city is linked to the River Avon and Stourport-on-Severn by the navigable part of the River Severn, which is navigable by river craft of a few hundred tonnes' displacement. Gloucester Docks mark the Normal Tidal Limit (NTL) of the river.[42] Gloucester was formerly linked to Ledbury and Hereford by the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal; and subsequently by the Ledbury and Gloucester Railway, which used the southern section of the former canal, until it also closed in 1964. This canal is now being restored, and the restored canal basin in the Gloucester suburb of Over is a local attraction.

The nearest commercial airport with scheduled services is Bristol Airport, around 50 miles to the south. Gloucestershire Airport, located some 8 miles to the east, currently offers no scheduled flights.

Aerial of Gloucestershire Airport, Gloucestershire, England 24May2017 arp
Gloucestershire Airport in 2017, looking east. On the left is the straight A40 road and at the bottom the M5 motorway. Innsworth and Gloucester are at the top.

Business and industry

Gloucester has a long history in the aerospace business. In 1926 the Gloucestershire Aircraft Company at Brockworth changed its name to the Gloster Aircraft Company because international customers claimed that the name "Gloucestershire" was too difficult to spell. A sculpture in the city centre celebrates Gloucester's aviation history and its involvement in the jet engine. Frank Whittle's pioneering turbojet engine powered the Gloster E.28/39, the first British jet aircraft, which first flew at the company's airfield at Brockworth. This is commemorated by the pub "The Whittle" at Gloucester Business Park, which now occupies the site. Roads in the business park are named after other Gloster aircraft and a small statue overlooks the site of the old main runway. Messier-Dowty's landing gear plant and GE Aviation Dowty Propellers plants are on the outskirts of the city.

The large insurer Ecclesiastical Insurance is based in the city, as is its owner, the charity Allchurches Trust.[43] Lloyds Banking Group and TSB Bank each have an office in Barnwood, the former previously having been the headquarters of Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society.[44]

Gloucester was the home of Priday, Metford and Company Limited, a family milling firm which survived for over one hundred years, and hydraulic engineering firm Fielding & Platt.

Gloucester Business Park is a business park on the outskirts on the city and is home to a number of big brands including Fortis and BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.[45]

Sport and leisure


The Citizen, published by Local World is Gloucester's main newspaper, which shares all its content with the Gloucestershire Echo and the weekly Forester covering the Forest of Dean and Chepstow. As of 2018, these newspapers have all moved to weekly publication rather than daily.

BBC Radio Gloucestershire has its studios on London Road in Gloucester. Heart Gloucestershire, previously Severn Sound, is based in Eastgate Shopping Centre. Gloucester FM is a community radio station specialising in black and urban music. (Sunshine Radio, which broadcasts for Herefordshire and Monmouthshire, can also be picked up in the city).

Local radio is broadcast from transmitters on Churchdown Hill (Chosen Hill).

For regional television reception Gloucester is covered by BBC West and ITV West.

A number of TV and film productions have been filmed in Gloucester; most notably at the cathedral and docks. These include three of the Harry Potter films, Doctor Who, Outlaw[50] and Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass.[51]


Crime rates in Gloucester (per 1000 population) 2012-2013[52]
Offence Gloucester South West England
Violence with injury 7.0 5.4 5.5
Violence without injury 5.0 4.5 5.1
Robbery 0.9 0.4 1.2
Theft from the person 1.1 0.8 1.9
Criminal damage and arson 11.0 9.4 9.3
Domestic burglary 5.5 2.6 4.1
Non domestic burglary 5.8 3.9 4.1
Vehicle offences 7.5 5.1 6.9
Drug offences 4.0 3.0 3.6
Sexual offences 1.3 1.0 0.9

According to a Home office report Gloucester had the third highest murder rate in England and Wales between October 2014 and September 2015.[53]

Twin cities

Gloucester is twinned with Metz, France, since 1967;[54][55] Trier, Germany, since 1957; Saint Ann, Jamaica, since 1987; and Gouda, Netherlands, since 1972.

Notable people

Notable residents of Gloucester have included:

See also


  1. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Gloucester Local Authority (1946157375)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  2. ^ "The Economy in Gloucester". Gloucester City Council. Archived from the original on 14 August 2007. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  3. ^ "The Museum". Jet Age Museum. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  4. ^ Nennius (828). Historia Brittonum.
  5. ^ Robert Vermaat (2008). "Gloiu Long-Hair".
  6. ^ Kenneth Cameron: English Place Names
  7. ^ Robert Ainsworth. Thesaurus Linguae Latinae Compendiarius:. Mount, 1752 - 802 pages.
  8. ^ "Anglo-Saxon Gloucester: c.680 - 1066".
  9. ^ "'Unique' 11th Century coin discovered near Gloucester". BBC Gloucestershire. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  10. ^ Gesta Stephani, §47
  11. ^ "Short History of the City of Gloucester, Gloucestershire".
  12. ^ "Llanthony Secunda Priory".
  13. ^ "History of Greyfriars - English Heritage".
  14. ^ "Blackfriars Priory". Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  15. ^ "The Jewish Community of Gloucester". The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Point 3 - Gloucester Quay". BBC News. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  17. ^ Tim Whittle: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 to 2015 published 2017 p213. ISBN 9780992855468
  18. ^ Tradition revived for city pride. BBC News, 5 September 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  19. ^ "Gloucester City Council". Civic Heraldry of England and Wales.
  20. ^ N M Herbert (ed.). A History of the County of Gloucester. London: Victoria County History.
  21. ^ "Your Councillors". 1 December 2016.
  22. ^ a b "What's in a name? Quedgeley Parish Council becomes a town council after conclusive vote". GloucestershireLive. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  23. ^ List of largest United Kingdom settlements by population
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  26. ^ "United Kingdom: Urban Areas in England - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather and Web Information".
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Further reading

External links

Duke of Gloucester

Duke of Gloucester () is a British royal title (after Gloucester), often conferred on one of the sons of the reigning monarch. The first four creations were in the Peerage of England and the last in the Peerage of the United Kingdom; the current creation carries with it the subsidiary titles of Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden.

The title was first conferred on Thomas of Woodstock, the thirteenth child of King Edward III. The title became extinct at his death, as it did upon the death of the duke of the second creation, Humphrey of Lancaster, fourth son of King Henry IV.

The title was next conferred on Richard, brother to King Edward IV. When Richard himself became king, the dukedom merged into the crown. After Richard's death, the title was considered ominous, since the first three such dukes had all died without issue to inherit their titles. The title was not awarded for over 150 years: the next to receive the dukedom was the son of King Charles I, Henry Stuart, upon whose death the title again became extinct.

Prince William, son of the future Queen Anne, was styled "Duke of Gloucester" for his whole life (1689–1700), but was never formally created duke. Frederick, Prince of Wales, was styled "Duke of Gloucester" from 1718–1726, but was then created Duke of Edinburgh rather than of Gloucester.

There was next a creation of a double dukedom (not two dukedoms) for the brother of King George III, Prince William Henry, his proper title becoming "Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh".

The fifth and most recent creation was for the Prince Henry, son of King George V. Upon Prince Henry's death, the dukedom was inherited by his son Prince Richard, who still holds the title. The heir to the title is Alexander Windsor, styled Earl of Ulster. The next in the line of succession is the Earl of Ulster's son Xan Windsor, known by his grandfather's third title of Lord Culloden.

The royal dukedom will devolve into an ordinary one when inherited by the Earl of Ulster; as a great-grandson of a sovereign he lacks any royal style. Therefore, he will be styled as His Grace The Duke of Gloucester.

Gloucester, Massachusetts

Gloucester is a city on Cape Ann in Essex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. It is part of Massachusetts' North Shore. The population was 28,789 at the 2010 U.S. Census. An important center of the fishing industry and a popular summer destination, Gloucester consists of an urban core on the north side of the harbor and the outlying neighborhoods of Annisquam, Bay View, Lanesville, Folly Cove, Magnolia, Riverdale, East Gloucester, and West Gloucester.

Gloucester 1

Gloucester 1 is an English rugby union league which sits at the ninth level of league rugby union in England for teams based primarily in the county of Gloucestershire but also on occasion teams from Bristol. Promoted clubs move into Gloucester Premier and relegated clubs drop into Gloucester 2. Each year clubs in this division also take part in the RFU Junior Vase - a level 9-12 national competition.

Gloucester 2

Gloucester 2 North and Gloucester 2 South are English rugby union leagues which sits at the tenth level of league rugby union in England for teams primarily based in Gloucestershire as well as some teams from Bristol. Promoted clubs move into Gloucester 1 and since the discontinuation of Gloucester 3 at the end of the 2017-18 season there is currently no relegation. Up until 2017-18 Gloucester 2 was a single division but has since been split into two regional divisions.

Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Church of St Peter and the Holy and Indivisible Trinity, in Gloucester, England, stands in the north of the city near the River Severn. It originated in 678 or 679 with the foundation of an abbey dedicated to Saint Peter (dissolved by Henry VIII).

Gloucester City A.F.C.

Gloucester City Association Football Club is an English semi-professional association football club currently based in Evesham, Worcestershire in South West England, via groundshare agreement.

The club was established in 1883 as Gloucester, they became Gloucester City in 1902, but were briefly known as Gloucester YMCA from 1910 to 1925, before returning to their previous name. The club is currently in the National League South, having competed in the National League North from 2009 to 2017. Prior to that, it spent a record 70 years within the Southern Football League from 1939 until 2009. The club secured promotion after a playoff final win against Farnborough.

In July 2007, the club was considerably affected by the 2007 United Kingdom floods, which significantly affected Gloucestershire. and left the Meadow Park stadium under eight feet of water. The impact of the flooding has meant that the club has been in exile away from Gloucester ever since. The Tigers have played home games at Cheltenham Town's Whaddon Road, after spending three seasons sharing at Cirencester Town's Corinium Stadium and Forest Green Rovers' New Lawn stadium in Nailsworth. For the 2017–18 season, the club will play at Evesham United whilst construction continues on a new stadium on the old Meadow Park site.The club received full planning permission from Gloucester City Council to build a new 3,060 capacity stadium, raised by several feet, on the site of their former home of Meadow Park with plans to expand to over 4,000.

The club is currently managed by Mike Cook, who has been manager since January 2019. The club is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA.

Gloucester County, New Jersey

Gloucester County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2017 Census estimate, the county's population was 292,206, making it the state's 14th-most populous county, an increase of 1.4% from the 2010 United States Census, when its population was enumerated at 288,288, in turn an increase of 33,615 (+13.2%) from the 254,673 counted in the 2000 U.S. Census. The percentage increase in the county's population between 2000 and 2010 was the largest in New Jersey, almost triple the statewide increase of 4.5%, and the absolute increase in residents was the third highest. Its county seat is Woodbury.Gloucester County is located south of Philadelphia and northwest of Atlantic City. It is part of the Camden, New Jersey Metropolitan Division of the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Delaware Valley Combined Statistical Area.

Gloucester County, Virginia

Gloucester County () is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 36,858. Its county seat is Gloucester Courthouse. The county was founded in 1651 in the Virginia Colony and is named for Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester (third son of King Charles I of England).

Gloucester County is included in the Virginia Beach–Norfolk–Newport News, VA–NC Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located at the east end of the lower part of the Middle Peninsula, it is bordered on the south by the York River and the lower Chesapeake Bay on the east. The waterways shaped its development. Gloucester County is about 75 miles (121 km) east of Virginia's capital, Richmond.

Werowocomoco, capital of the large and powerful Powhatan Confederacy (a union of 30 Indian tribes under a paramount chief), was located on this part of the peninsula. In 2003 archeologists established that dense village had been located at this site from AD 1200 to the early 17th century.

The county was developed by colonists primarily for tobacco plantations, based on the labor of enslaved Africans imported in the slave trade. Tobacco was one of the first commodity crops but fishing also developed as an important industry. The county was home to numerous planters who were among the First Families of Virginia and leaders before the American Revolutionary War. Thomas Jefferson wrote early works for Virginia and colonial independence while staying at Rosewell Plantation, home of John Page (his close friend and fellow student at the College of William and Mary).

Gloucester County is rich in farmland. Its fishing industry is important to the state as well. It has a retail center located around the main street area of the county seat. Gloucester County and adjacent York County are linked by the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge, a toll facility across the York River carrying U.S. Route 17 to the Virginia Peninsula area. Gloucester County is self-nicknamed the "Daffodil Capital of the World"; it hosts an annual daffodil festival, parade and flower show.

Gloucester Premier

Gloucester Premier is an English rugby union league which sits at the eighth level of league rugby union in England with teams largely being based in the county of Gloucestershire and Bristol. The league champions are automatically promoted to Tribute Western Counties North while the runner-up play the runner-up from Tribute Somerset Premier for the third promotion place. Relegated teams drop down into Gloucester 1.

Each year all clubs in the division also take part in the RFU Senior Vase - a level 8 national competition.

Gloucester Rugby

Gloucester Rugby are an English professional rugby union club based in the West Country city of Gloucester. They play in the Premiership Rugby, England's top division of rugby, as well as in European competitions.

The club was formed in 1873 and since 1891 has played its home matches at Kingsholm Stadium, on the fringes of the city centre.

In the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season, they finished 7th and reached the final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup, qualifying to compete in the 2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup. The current head coach is Johan Ackermann, who was appointed in the summer of 2017.

The club has no official nickname but are occasionally referred to as the Cherry and Whites by supporters and the media in reference to the traditional red and white hooped shirts worn by the team. Matches with local rivals Bath and Bristol Bears are referred to as West Country derbies.


Gloucestershire ( (listen), (listen); formerly abbreviated as Gloucs. in print but now often as Glos.) is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.

The county town is the city of Gloucester, and other principal towns include Cheltenham, Stroud, Tewkesbury, Cirencester and Dursley.

Gloucestershire borders Herefordshire to the north west, Wiltshire to the south, Bristol and Somerset to the south west, Worcestershire to the north, Oxfordshire to the east, Warwickshire to the north east, and the Welsh county of Monmouthshire to the west.

King Lear

King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It depicts the gradual descent into madness of the title character, after he disposes of his kingdom by giving bequests to two of his three daughters egged on by their continual flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all. Derived from the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king, the play has been widely adapted for the stage and motion pictures, with the title role coveted by many of the world's most accomplished actors.

The first attribution to Shakespeare of this play, originally drafted in 1605 or 1606 at the latest with its first known performance on St. Stephen's Day in 1606, was a 1608 publication in a quarto of uncertain provenance, in which the play is listed as a history; it may be an early draft or simply reflect the first performance text. The Tragedy of King Lear, a more theatrical revision, was included in the 1623 First Folio. Modern editors usually conflate the two, though some insist that each version has its own individual integrity that should be preserved.

After the English Restoration, the play was often revised with a happy, non-tragic ending for audiences who disliked its dark and depressing tone, but since the 19th century Shakespeare's original version has been regarded as one of his supreme achievements. The tragedy is particularly noted for its probing observations on the nature of human suffering and kinship. George Bernard Shaw wrote, "No man will ever write a better tragedy than Lear."

National Register of Historic Places listings in Gloucester, Massachusetts

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in an online map.Essex County, of which Gloucester is a part, is the location of more than 450 properties and districts listed on the National Register. Gloucester itself is the location of 34 of these properties and districts.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted March 7, 2019.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Gloucester County, Virginia

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Gloucester County, Virginia.

This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Gloucester County, Virginia, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in a Google map.There are 33 properties and districts listed on the National Register in the county, including 1 National Historic Landmark.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted March 7, 2019.

Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester

Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, (Henry William Frederick Albert; 31 March 1900 – 10 June 1974) was the third son of King George V and Queen Mary. He served as Governor-General of Australia from 1945 to 1947, the only member of the British royal family to hold the post.

Henry was the first son of a British monarch to be educated at school, where he excelled at sports, and went on to attend Eton College, after which he was commissioned in the 10th Royal Hussars, a regiment he hoped to command. But his military career was interrupted by royal duties, and he was nicknamed "the unknown soldier". While big-game shooting in Kenya, he met the future aviator Beryl Markham, with whom he became romantically involved. The court put pressure on him to end the relationship, but had to pay regular hush-money to avert a public scandal. In 1935, also under parental pressure, he married Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott, with whom he had two sons, Princes William and Richard.

From 1939 to 1940, Henry served in France as a liaison officer to Lord Gort. He performed military and diplomatic duties during the rest of the war, then in 1945 was appointed as Australia's governor-general at the request of Prime Minister John Curtin. The post had originally been offered to his younger brother, the Duke of Kent, who died in an air crash. Henry attended the coronation of his niece Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and carried out several overseas tours, often accompanied by his wife. From 1965, he became incapacitated by a number of strokes. Upon his death, he was succeeded as the Duke of Gloucester by his only living son, Richard.

At the time of his death, Prince Henry was the last surviving child of King George V and Queen Mary. His widow, who died at the age of 102, became the longest-lived member of the British royal family in history.

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, (Richard Alexander Walter George; born 26 August 1944) is the youngest grandchild of King George V and Queen Mary. He practised as an architect until the death of his elder brother placed him in direct line to inherit his father's dukedom of Gloucester, which he inherited, as the second duke, in 1974. He is a paternal cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, and currently 26th in the line of succession to the British throne as well as the first in line not descended from King George VI. He is also the senior male line descendant of three British monarchs: Victoria, Edward VII and George V.

Prince William, Duke of Gloucester

Prince William, Duke of Gloucester (24 July 1689 – 30 July 1700) was the son of Princess Anne, later Queen of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1702, and her husband, Prince George of Denmark. He was their only child to survive infancy. Styled Duke of Gloucester, he was viewed by contemporaries as a Protestant champion because his birth seemed to cement the Protestant succession established in the "Glorious Revolution" that had deposed his Catholic grandfather James II the previous year.

Gloucester's mother was estranged from her brother-in-law and cousin, William III, and her sister, Mary II, but supported links between them and her son. He grew close to his uncle William, who created him a Knight of the Garter, and his aunt Mary, who frequently sent him presents. At his nursery in Campden House, Kensington, he befriended his Welsh body-servant, Jenkin Lewis, whose memoir of the Duke is an important source for historians, and operated his own miniature army, called the "Horse Guards", which eventually comprised 90 boys.

Gloucester's precarious health was a constant source of worry to his mother. His death, in 1700 at the age of 11, precipitated a succession crisis as his mother was the only individual remaining in the Protestant line of succession established by the Bill of Rights 1689. The English Parliament did not want the throne to revert to a Catholic, and so passed the Act of Settlement 1701, which settled the throne of England on Electress Sophia of Hanover, a cousin of King James II, and her Protestant heirs.

Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester

Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, (born Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott; 25 December 1901 – 29 October 2004) was the wife of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the third son of George V and Queen Mary. She was the mother of Prince William of Gloucester and Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester.

The daughter of the 7th Duke of Buccleuch, Scotland's largest landowner, she became by marriage a princess of the United Kingdom, and a sister-in-law to Edward VIII and George VI. She was thus an aunt by marriage to Elizabeth II. Princess Alice was extremely well travelled, both before and after her marriage.


A schooner is a type of sailing vessel with fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts. The most common type has two masts, the foremast being shorter than the main. While the schooner was originally gaff-rigged, modern schooners typically carry a Bermuda rig.

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