Gloucestershire (/ˈɡlɒstərʃər/ (listen), /-ʃɪər/ (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.
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.
|Motto: Prorsum semper |
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Lord Lieutenant||Janet Trotter|
|High Sheriff||Robert Charles Grantley Berkeley|
|Area||3,150 km2 (1,220 sq mi)|
|• Ranked||16th of 48|
|Population (mid-2017 est.)||907,200|
|• Ranked||23rd of 48|
|Density||287/km2 (740/sq mi)|
|Ethnicity||91.6% White British|
Gloucestershire County Council
|Area||2,653 km2 (1,024 sq mi)|
|• Ranked||13th of 27|
|• Ranked||19th of 27|
|Density||236/km2 (610/sq mi)|
|Councils||South Gloucestershire Council|
Districts of Gloucestershire
Unitary County council area
|Members of Parliament||List of MPs|
|Time zone||Greenwich Mean Time (UTC)|
|• Summer (DST)||British Summer Time (UTC+1)|
Gloucestershire is a historic county mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in the 10th century, though the areas of Winchcombe and the Forest of Dean were not added until the late 11th century. Gloucestershire originally included Bristol, then a small town. The local rural community moved to the port city (as Bristol was to become), and Bristol's population growth accelerated during the industrial revolution. Bristol became a county in its own right, separate from Gloucestershire and Somerset in 1373. It later became part of the administrative County of Avon from 1974 to 1996.
The official former postal county abbreviation was "Glos.", rather than the frequently used but erroneous "Gloucs." or "Glouc".
In July 2007, Gloucestershire suffered the worst flooding in recorded British history, with tens of thousands of residents affected. The RAF conducted the largest peacetime domestic operation in its history to rescue over 120 residents from flood affected areas. The damage was estimated at over £2 billion.
Gloucestershire has three main landscape areas, a large part of the Cotswolds, the Royal Forest of Dean and the Severn Vale. The Cotswolds take up a large portion of the east and south of the county, The Forest of Dean taking up the west, with the Severn and its valley running between these features. The Daffodil Way in the Leadon Valley, on the border of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire surrounding the village of Dymock, is known for its many spring flowers, orchards, and woodland, which attracts many walkers.
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Gloucestershire at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Year||GVA (£ million)|
The 2009 estimation of £11,452 million GVA can be compared to the South West regional average of £7,927 million.
Gloucestershire has mainly comprehensive schools with seven selective schools; two are in Stroud (Stroud High School for girls and Marling School for boys), one in Cheltenham (Pate's Grammar) and four in Gloucester (Sir Thomas Rich's and The Crypt for boys and The High School and Ribston Hall for girls). There are 42 state secondary schools, not including sixth form colleges, and 12 independent schools, including the renowned Cheltenham Ladies' College, Cheltenham College and Dean Close School. All but about two schools in each district have a sixth form, but the Forest of Dean only has two schools with sixth forms. All schools in South Gloucestershire have sixth forms.
Gloucestershire has two universities, the University of Gloucestershire and the Royal Agricultural University, and four higher and further education colleges, Gloucestershire College, Cirencester College, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and the Royal Forest of Dean College. Each has campuses at multiple locations throughout the county. The University of the West of England also has three locations in Gloucestershire; an associate faculty (Hartpury College) specialising in animal behaviour and welfare, agricultural and sports related courses in Hartpury, Gloucestershire; a regional centre at the Gloucester Docks, Alexandra Warehouse, specialising in Adult and Mental Health Nursing; and Frenchay Campus in South Gloucestershire.
Gloucestershire has one city and 33 towns:
The towns in Gloucestershire are:
Town in Monmouthshire with suburbs in Gloucestershire:
The county has two green belt areas, the first covers the southern area in the South Gloucestershire district, to protect outlying villages and towns between Thornbury and Chipping Sodbury from the urban sprawl of the Bristol conurbation. The second belt lies around Gloucester, Cheltenham, and Bishop's Cleeve, to afford those areas and villages in between a protection from urban sprawl and further convergence. Both belts intersect with the boundaries of the Cotswolds AONB.
There are a variety of religious buildings across the county, notably the cathedral of Gloucester, the abbey church of Tewkesbury (which is over 500 years old and has the tallest Norman tower in England), and the church of Cirencester. Of the abbey of Hailes near Winchcombe, founded by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, in 1246, little more than the foundations are left, but these have been excavated and fragments have been brought to light.
Most of the old market towns have parish churches. At Deerhurst near Tewkesbury and Bishop's Cleeve near Cheltenham, there are churches of special interest on account of the pre-Norman work they retain. There is also a Perpendicular church in Lechlade, and that at Fairford was built (c. 1500), according to tradition, to contain a series of stained-glass windows which are said to have been brought from the Netherlands. These are, however, adjudged to be of English workmanship.
Other notable buildings include Calcot Barn in Calcot, a relic of Kingswood Abbey. Thornbury Castle is a Tudor country house, the pretensions of which evoked the jealousy of Cardinal Wolsey against its builder, Edward Stafford, duke of Buckingham, who was beheaded in 1521. Near Cheltenham is the 15th-century mansion of Southam de la Bere, of timber and stone. Memorials of the de la Bere family appear in the church at Cleeve. The mansion contains a tiled floor from Hailes Abbey. At Great Badminton is the mansion and vast domain of the Beauforts (formerly of the Botelers and others), on the south-eastern boundary of the county. Berkeley Castle at over 800 years old and the ruins of Witcombe Roman Villa at Great Witcombe are also notable heritage features.
|Accessible open space|
|Museum (free/not free)|
Places of interest in Gloucestershire include:
Areas of countryside in Gloucestershire include:
Scenic Railway Line:
Gloucestershire's only daily newspaper is the Western Daily Press, while The Citizen, which covers Gloucester, Stroud and the Forest of Dean, and the Gloucestershire Echo, which covers Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and the Cotswolds, were published daily but since October 2017 have been weekly publications. All three, along with free weeklies The Forester, Stroud Life, The Gloucester News and The Cheltenham and Tewkesbury News, are published by Local World. The Stroud News & Journal is a weekly paid-for newspaper based in Stroud. It is published in a tabloid format by Newsquest. Newsquest also produces the weekly Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard newspaper, which covers the southern and eastern parts of the county as well as the weekly Gloucestershire Gazette which covers the south of the county and much of South Gloucestershire.
Gloucester News Centre is an independent news website with news and information for Gloucestershire.
Radio stations in Gloucestershire include BBC Radio Gloucestershire and Heart Gloucestershire, Sunshine Radio and The Breeze (Cheltenham & North Gloucestershire). There are also several community radio stations including Gloucester FM, Radio Winchcombe, Forest of Dean Radio, and North Cotswold Community Radio.
There are two well-known accounts of childhood in rural Gloucestershire in the early 20th century, Laurie Lee's Cider With Rosie and Winifred Foley's A Child in the Forest. Part of Mrs. Craik's novel John Halifax, Gentleman is set in Enderley, a thinly disguised Amberley, where she lived at the time of writing. Most of the book is set in Nortonbury, easily recognisable as Tewkesbury.
The county has also been the setting for a number of high-profile movies and TV series, including Die Another Day, the Harry Potter films and the BBC TV series Butterflies. The film Hot Fuzz was set in Gloucestershire where Simon Pegg, who co-wrote and starred in the film, grew up.
"A Girl's Best Friend", the pilot for the proposed Doctor Who spin-off K-9 and Company, was filmed in Gloucestershire. The setting is the fictional town of Moreton Harwood. The fictional town of Leadworth in Doctor Who is in Gloucestershire. It is the home of companions Amy Pond, Rory Williams and River Song in their childhoods and young adulthoods.
The famous Gloucestershire Old Spots pig is named for Gloucestershire and is historically associated with the county. Sheep roam widely in the Forest of Dean. The Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley also have wild boar.
Gloucester cattle, a rare breed, can still be found in and around Gloucestershire. They can be recognised by the white stripe that runs down the centre of their backs to the tip of their tails. The cattle are famous for producing milk for both Single Gloucester and Double Gloucester cheeses.
Cheltenham () is a regency spa town and borough on the edge of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, England. Cheltenham has been a health and holiday spa town resort since the discovery of mineral springs in 1716 and has a number of internationally renowned and historic schools.
The town hosts several festivals of culture, often featuring nationally and internationally famous contributors and attendees, including the Cheltenham Literature Festival, the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, the Cheltenham Science Festival, the Cheltenham Music Festival, the Cheltenham Cricket Festival, and the Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival. In steeplechase horse racing, the Gold Cup is the main event of the Cheltenham Festival, held every March.Cirencester
Cirencester ( (listen), occasionally (listen); see below for more variations) is a market town in east Gloucestershire, England, 80 miles (130 km) west northwest of London. Cirencester lies on the River Churn, a tributary of the River Thames, and is the largest town in the Cotswold District. It is the home of the Royal Agricultural University, the oldest agricultural college in the English-speaking world, founded in 1840. The town's Corinium Museum is well known for its extensive Roman collection. The Roman name for the town was Corinium, which is thought to have been associated with the ancient British tribe of the Dobunni, having the same root word as the River Churn. The earliest known reference to the town was by Ptolemy in AD 150.
Cirencester is twinned with Itzehoe, Germany.Cotswolds
The Cotswolds ( KOTS-wohldz, -wəldz) is an area in south central England comprising the Cotswold Hills, a range of rolling hills that rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment, known as the Cotswold Edge, above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale. The area is defined by the bedrock of Jurassic limestone that creates a type of grassland habitat rare in the UK and that is quarried for the golden-coloured Cotswold stone. It contains unique features derived from the use of this mineral; the predominantly rural landscape contains stone-built villages, historical towns and stately homes and gardens.
Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966, the Cotswolds covers 787 square miles (2,040 km2) and is the second largest protected landscape in England (second to the Lake District) and the largest AONB. Its boundaries are roughly 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (140 km) long, stretching south-west from just south of Stratford-upon-Avon to just south of Bath. It lies across the boundaries of several English counties; mainly Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, and parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The highest point of the region is Cleeve Hill at 1,083 ft (330 m), just east of Cheltenham.
The hills give their name to the Cotswold local-government district, formed on 1 April 1974, which administers over half of the area. Most of the District is in the county of Gloucestershire; some 80% of it is within the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The main town is Cirencester and the Cotswold District Council offices are located in that community. The population of the 450-square-mile (1,200 km2) District was about 83,000 in 2011. The much larger area referred to as the Cotswolds encompasses nearly 800 square miles (2,100 km2), over five counties: Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire. The population of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was 139,000 in 2016.County Championship (rugby union)
The County Championship is an annual rugby union competition in England between teams representing English counties. After restructuring in 2007 the top tier of the Championship has been known as the Bill Beaumont Cup, after the trophy awarded to the competition winners was named in honour of Bill Beaumont, a former England and British & Irish Lions captain. Teams also compete for the County Championship Plate and County Championship Shield.
The English County Championship has a long history, being first officially recognised by the Rugby Football Union in 1889. The 2018 Championship was the 118th competition. The most successful county, Lancashire, has won the competition 25 times, followed by Gloucestershire (17) and Yorkshire (15). Lancashire (34) & Gloucestershire (33) have made the most appearances in contested finals.
On four occasions the tournament final has been tied at full-time and a second leg rematch has been played. Two of these rematches were also tied and on these occasions (1907 and 1967) the finalists were declared joint winners. In 1991 the final match between Cornwall and Yorkshire was tied at full-time and extra time was played, with Cornwall winning 29–20.
In 2001 the Championship did not take place due to the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth outbreak; instead Yorkshire and Cornwall were invited to play at Twickenham.
The 2015 final was contested by Lancashire and Cornwall, with the teams meeting in the final for the third consecutive year. Cornwall won the championship with an 18-13 victory, their fourth title overall and their first since 1999. Cornwall retained their title in 2016, this time beating Cheshire, 35–13. In 2017 Cornwall and Lancashire met in the final for the fourth time in five seasons. Lancashire won 19-8 and prevented Cornwall from completing a hat-trick of county titles.Easter Park Farm Quarry
Easter Park Farm Quarry (grid reference SO810009) is a 0.15-hectare (0.37-acre) geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1986. The site is listed in the ‘Stroud District’ Local Plan, adopted November 2005, Appendix 6 (online for download) as an SSSI and a Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS).Forest Green Rovers F.C.
Forest Green Rovers Football Club is a professional football club based in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, England. The team compete in League Two and have played their home games at the New Lawn since 2006, when they moved from their original home at The Lawn Ground.
Formed in October 1889, the club became founder members of the Mid Gloucestershire League five years later. Competing in various local league competitions for much of the 20th century, they won a multitude of league titles: the Dursley & District League (1902–03), the Stroud & District League (1911–12 and 1920–21), the Stroud Premier League (1934–35, 1935–36 and 1936–37), the North Gloucestershire League (1920–21 and 1921–22), and the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League (1937–38, 1949–50 and 1950–51). They became founder members of the Gloucestershire County League in 1968, before they were moved up to the Premier Division of the Hellenic League seven years later.
Forest Green won the Hellenic League in the 1981–82 season and lifted the FA Vase after beating Rainworth Miners Welfare in the final at Wembley. They spent the next 13 years in the Midland Division of the Southern League, and briefly competed under the name Stroud F.C. Reverting to the name Forest Green Rovers, the club won successive Southern League Southern Division and Premier Division titles in 1996–97 and 1997–98, winning promotion into the Conference. Reaching the 1999 FA Trophy Final, which they lost, they became the first club to reach the finals of both the FA Vase and FA Trophy. They also reached the 2001 FA Trophy Final, which again they lost. Twice reprieved from relegation from the Conference National due to the demotion of other clubs, the club was transformed following investment from green energy industrialist Dale Vince in 2010.
Under Dale Vince's chairmanship Forest Green became the world's first vegan football club in 2015, and the New Lawn was installed with numerous eco-friendly innovations. Investment in the playing squad saw the club compete for promotion into the English Football League, which they achieved with victory in the 2017 National League play-offs, having been beaten in the semi-finals in 2015 and in the 2016 final.Gloucester
Gloucester ( (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. Historically it was prominent in the aerospace industry.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.Gloucestershire Constabulary
Gloucestershire Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for policing the non-metropolitan county of Gloucestershire in England (South Gloucestershire is covered by Avon and Somerset Constabulary).Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
Gloucestershire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Gloucestershire. Founded in 1870, Gloucestershire have always been first-class and have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. The club played its first senior match in 1870 and W. G. Grace was their captain. The club plays home games at the Bristol County Ground in the Bishopston area of north Bristol. A number of games are also played at the Cheltenham cricket festival at the College Ground, Cheltenham and matches have also been played at the Gloucester cricket festival at The King's School, Gloucester.
Gloucestershire's most famous players have been W. G. Grace, whose father founded the club, and Wally Hammond, who scored 113 centuries for them. The club has had two notable periods of success: in the 1870s when it was unofficially acclaimed as the Champion County on at least three occasions, and from 1999 to 2006 when it won seven limited overs trophies, a "double double" in 1999 and 2000 (both the Benson and Hedges Cup and the C&G Trophy in both seasons), and the Sunday League in 2000.Gloucestershire Rugby Football Union
The Gloucestershire Rugby Football Union is the union responsible for rugby union in the county of Gloucestershire, England and is one of the constituent bodies of the national Rugby Football Union. Formed in 1878, it has won the county championship on numerous occasions.Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWR, GWSR or Gloucs-Warks Steam Railway) is a volunteer-run heritage railway which runs along the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire border of the Cotswolds, England.
The GWSR initially restored and reopened around 14 miles (23 km) of track, operating between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway. The company had raised £1.38 million to extend northwards to Broadway, and completed the project in 2017–18 (see below).
In the foreseeable future, the GWSR will eventually begin working on plans to extend a further 6 miles (9.7 km) to Honeybourne (where one half of an island platform has since been partly rebuilt for future usage). In mid 2018, the railway was offering a round trip of 28 miles on steam and heritage diesel trains between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway; it was using part of the route of the former Great Western main line from Birmingham to Cheltenham.List of places in Gloucestershire
Map of places in Gloucestershire compiled from this list
See the list of places in England for places in other counties.
This is a list of cities, towns and villages in the county of Gloucestershire, England. For places in the district of South Gloucestershire, see that article. For places in Bristol formerly in Gloucestershire, see Subdivisions of Bristol.River Severn
The River Severn (Welsh: Afon Hafren) is the longest river in Great Britain at a length of 220 miles (354 km), and the second longest in the British Isles after the River Shannon in Ireland. It rises at an altitude of 2,001 feet (610 m) on Plynlimon, close to the Ceredigion/Powys border near Llanidloes, in the Cambrian Mountains of mid Wales. It then flows through Shropshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, with the county towns of Shrewsbury, Worcester and Gloucester on its banks. With an average discharge of 107 m3/s (3,800 cu ft/s) at Apperley, Gloucestershire, the Severn is by far the greatest river in terms of water flow in England and Wales.
The river is usually considered to become the Severn Estuary after the Second Severn Crossing between Severn Beach, South Gloucestershire and Sudbrook, Monmouthshire. The river then discharges into the Bristol Channel which in turn discharges into the Celtic Sea and the wider Atlantic Ocean. The Severn's drainage basin area is 4,409 square miles (11,419 km2), excluding the River Wye and Bristol Avon which flow into the Severn Estuary. The major tributaries to the Severn are the Vyrnwy, Clywedog, Teme, Avon and Stour.Simon Pegg
Simon John Pegg (né Beckingham; born 14 February 1970) is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer.
Pegg came to public prominence in Britain as the co-creator of the Channel 4 sitcom Spaced, directed by Edgar Wright. He went on to co-write and star in the Three Flavours Cornetto film trilogy: Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013). He and Nick Frost wrote and starred in the sci-fi film Paul (2011). Pegg portrays Benji Dunn in the Mission: Impossible film series (2006–present) and played Montgomery Scott in Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and Star Trek Beyond (2016), co-writing the latter.South Gloucestershire
South Gloucestershire is a unitary authority area in South West England. It comprises multiple suburban areas to the north and east of Bristol as well as a large rural hinterland. South Gloucestershire was created in 1996 from the northern section of the county of Avon, which was abolished at that time.
The area includes multiple towns and population centres, with many of these areas continuing to expand in both population and industry. Many of these towns and population areas are listed under two major subheadings below.
South Gloucestershire took its title for historic reasons, but as a unitary authority it is not administered as part of the shire county of Gloucestershire. It is, however, part of the ceremonial county of Gloucestershire, which means it shares its Lord Lieutenant (the Sovereign's representative to the county) with Gloucestershire. Because of its history as part of the county of Avon, South Gloucestershire works closely with the other unitary authorities that took over when that county was abolished, including shared services such as Avon Fire and Rescue Service and the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, together with co-operation in planning strategy for transport, roads and housing.Stroud
Stroud is a market town and civil parish in the centre of Gloucestershire, England. It is the main town in Stroud District.
Situated below the western escarpment of the Cotswold Hills at the meeting point of the Five Valleys, the town is noted for its steep streets, independent spirit and cafe culture. The Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty surrounds the town, and the Cotswold Way path passes by it to the west. It lies 10 miles (16 km) south of the city of Gloucester, 14 miles (23 km) south-southwest of Cheltenham, 13 miles (21 km) west-northwest of Cirencester and 26 miles (42 km) northeast of the city of Bristol. London is 91 miles (146 km) east-southeast of Stroud and the Welsh border at Whitebrook, Monmouthshire, lies 19 miles (31 km) to the west as the crow flies. Although not part of the town's parish, the civil parishes of Rodborough and Cainscross are contiguous with Stroud and are generally considered as suburbs.
Stroud acts as a centre for surrounding villages and small market towns including Amberley, Bisley, Bussage, Chalford, Dursley, Eastcombe, Eastington, King's Stanley, Leonard Stanley, Minchinhampton, Nailsworth, Oakridge, Painswick, Randwick, Selsley, Sheepscombe, Slad, Stonehouse, Thrupp and Woodchester.University of Gloucestershire
The University of Gloucestershire is a public university based in Gloucestershire, England. It is located over three campuses, two in Cheltenham and one in Gloucester, namely Francis Close Hall, The Park, Oxstalls and The Centre for Art and Photography.The university is the recent successor of a large number of merged, name-changed and reformed institutions of further and higher education. Its history spans nearly two centuries. It originates from the merger of two distinct strands of educational provision in Gloucestershire being that provided by Local Government and that founded by the Anglican Church. The university traces its earliest Civic history to the Cheltenham Mechanics' Institute in 1834, and to the Cheltenham Training College in its Church history, established in 1847, by the Reverend Francis Close. Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education was created in 1990 from the two distinct strands. In October 2001, the college was awarded University status.The university provides almost 100 undergraduate courses and around 57 taught post-graduate courses within eight schools.A 10-year Memorandum of Understanding exists between the university, Gloucestershire College and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College to support access to higher education.West Country
The West Country is a loosely defined area of south-western England. The term usually encompasses the historic counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, and often the counties of Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, in the South West region. The region is host to distinctive regional dialects and accents. Some definitions also include Herefordshire.
|Boroughs or districts|
1974–1996 ← Ceremonial counties of England → current