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| Motto: Prorsum semper|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Lord Lieutenant||Janet Trotter|
|High Sheriff||Mrs Helen Lovatt (2020–21)|
|Area||3,150 km2 (1,220 sq mi)|
|• Ranked||16th of 48|
|Population (mid-2019 est.)||916,202|
|• Ranked||23rd of 48|
|Density||291/km2 (750/sq mi)|
|Ethnicity||91.6% White British|
|County council||Gloucestershire County Council|
|Area||2,653 km2 (1,024 sq mi)|
|• Ranked||13th of 26|
|• Ranked||19th of 26|
|Density||239/km2 (620/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 ( // (
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.
The current Gloucestershire County Council area does not have the same geographical boundaries as the historic county. Some northern parts of the county, including Long Marston and Welford-on-Avon, were transferred to Warwickshire in 1931. Following the Local Government Act 1972, some southern parts of the county were transferred to the new county of Avon, which ceased to exist on 1 April 1996. After 1996, the city of Bristol and South Gloucestershire became separate unitary authorities.
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.
Upon the abolition of Avon in 1996, the region north of Bristol became a unitary authority area of South Gloucestershire and is now part of the ceremonial county of Gloucestershire.
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|
The following is a chart of Gloucestershire's gross value added total in thousands of British Pounds Sterling from 1997-2009 based upon the Office for National Statistics figures
|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 for boys and Denmark Road High School and Ribston Hall for girls and The Crypt which is mixed). There are 42 state secondary schools, not including sixth form colleges, and 12 independent schools, including 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.
There are several royal residences in Gloucestershire, including Highgrove House, Gatcombe Park, and (formerly) Nether Lypiatt Manor.
An annual "cheese-rolling" event takes place at Cooper's Hill, near Brockworth and the Cotswold Games occurred within the county.
|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.
Local TV for the county is provided by BBC West and ITV West Country, although in the northern extremes of Gloucestershire, BBC Midlands and ITV Central (West) covers this area.
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.
A fictional Brimpsfield was the village, home of Peter and Abby Grant, in the 1970s BBC TV series Survivors , with a railway connection to London.
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 rarebreed, 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.
Rudder, Samuel. (1779) A New History of Gloucestershire. Reprint: Nonsuch Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-84588-023-4 (Free download of original here: A New History of Gloucestershire )
The Cotswolds are an area in south central and south west 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.
Tewkesbury is a market town and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England. It stands at the confluence of the River Severn and the River Avon, and also minor tributaries the Swilgate and Carrant Brook. It gives its name to the Borough of Tewkesbury, of which the town is the second largest settlement. It lies in the far north of the county, forming part of the border with Worcestershire.
The Cotswold Way is a 102-mile (164 km) long-distance footpath, running along the Cotswold Edge escarpment of the Cotswold Hills in England. It was officially inaugurated as a National Trail on 24 May 2007 and several new rights of way have been created.
BBC Radio Gloucestershire is the BBC Local Radio service for the English county of Gloucestershire, which started on 3 October 1988. It broadcasts from its studios at Portland Court in London Road, Gloucester on DAB, 95 FM (Stroud), 95.8 FM (Cirencester), 104.7 FM, 1413 MW in the Cotswolds & Forest of Dean.
East Gloucestershire, formally the Eastern division of Gloucestershire and often referred to as Gloucestershire Eastern, was a parliamentary constituency in Gloucestershire, represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) using the bloc vote system.
The region now known as Gloucestershire was originally inhabited by Brythonic peoples in the Iron Age and Roman periods. After the Romans left Britain in the early 5th century, the Brythons re-established control but the territorial divisions for the post-Roman period are uncertain. The city of Caerloyw was one centre and Cirencester may have continued as a tribal centre as well. The only reliably attested kingdom is the minor south-east Wales kingdom of Ergyng, which may have included a portion of the area. In the final quarter of the 6th century, the Saxons of Wessex began to establish control over the area.
Tewkesbury is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since its 1997 recreation by Laurence Robertson, a Conservative.
The Diocese of Gloucester is a Church of England diocese based in Gloucester, covering the non-metropolitan county of Gloucestershire. The cathedral is Gloucester Cathedral and the bishop is the Bishop of Gloucester. It is part of the Province of Canterbury.
Cirencester and Tewkesbury was a parliamentary constituency in Gloucestershire which returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was created for the 1918 general election and abolished for the 1997 general election when it was partly replaced by the new constituencies of Cotswold and Tewkesbury.
Cotswolds was a European Parliament constituency covering the counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire in England.
Scouting in South West England is about Scouting in the official region of South West England. It is largely represented by the Scout Association of the United Kingdom and some Groups of traditional Scouting including the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association.
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 Victoria County History is an encyclopaedic history of the county of Gloucestershire in England. It forms part of the overall Victoria County History of England founded in 1899 in honour of Queen Victoria. With twelve volumes published in the series A History of the County of Gloucestershire, the Gloucestershire Victoria County History is about halfway through its history of all the parishes in the county. Ten volumes have been published to date, and a further four volumes are in preparation.
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.
The county of Gloucestershire is divided into seven districts. The districts of Gloucestershire are Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Cotswold, Stroud, Forest of Dean, South Gloucestershire.