Main Births etc
Flag of Gloucestershire Coat of arms of Gloucestershire County Council
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: "PRORSUM SEMPER" ("Ever forward")
Gloucestershire within England
Gloucestershire shown within England
Coordinates: 51°50′N 2°10′W / 51.833, -2.167Coordinates: 51°50′N 2°10′W / 51.833, -2.167
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region South West
Established Ancient
Ceremonial county
Lord Lieutenant Janet Trotter
High Sheriff Hugh Tollemache
Area 3,150 km2 (1,200 sq mi)
 – Ranked 16th of 48
Population (2006 est.) 861,700
 – Ranked 25th of 48
Density 274 /km2 (710 /sq mi)
Ethnicity 97.3% White
Non-metropolitan county
County council Gloucestershire County Council
Executive Conservative
Admin HQ Gloucester
Area 2,653 km2 (1,000 sq mi)
 – Ranked 13th of 27
Population 578,700
 – Ranked 21st of 27
Density 218 /km2 (560 /sq mi)
ISO 3166-2 GB-GLS
ONS code 23
GSS code E10000013
Unitary authorities
Councils South Gloucestershire Council
Gloucestershire Ceremonial Numbered.png
Districts of Gloucestershire
Unitary County council area
  1. City of Gloucester
  2. Tewkesbury
  3. Cheltenham
  4. Cotswold
  5. Stroud
  6. Forest of Dean
  7. South Gloucestershire
Members of Parliament List of MPs
Police Gloucestershire Constabulary
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
– Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)

Gloucestershire ( /ˈɡlɒstəʃə/ GLOSS-tə-shə; abbreviated 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, Cirencester, Stroud, and Tewkesbury.

When considered as a ceremonial county, Gloucestershire borders the preserved county of Gwent in Wales (now Monmouthshire) to the west, and in England the ceremonial counties of Herefordshire to the north west, Worcestershire to the north, Warwickshire to the north east, Oxfordshire to the east, Wiltshire to the south and Bristol and Somerset to the south west. Ceremonially, it includes the area covered by the South Gloucestershire unitary authority.


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 peace time domestic operation in its history to rescue over 120 residents from flood affected areas. The damage was estimated at over £2 billion.[1]

The county recovered rapidly from the disaster, investing in attracting tourists to visit the many sites and diverse range of shops in the area.


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[2] Agriculture[3] Industry[4] Services[5]
1995 5,771 196 1,877 3,698
2000 8,163 148 2,677 5,338
2003 10,617 166 2,933 7,517

The following is a chart of Gloucestershire's gross value added total in British Pounds Sterling from 1997-2009 based upon the Office for National Statistics figures [6]

Year GVA (mill. £)
1997 7,167
1998 7,630
1999 8,034
2000 8,414
2001 8,947
2002 9,504
2003 10,117
2004 10,525
2005 10,680
2006 11,073
2007 11,563
2008 11,666
2009 11,452

The 2009 estimation of £11,452 million GVA can be compared to the South West regional average of £7927 million.


Secondary schools[]

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 Wycliffe College. 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.

Higher and further education[]

A campus of the University of Gloucestershire

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 two locations in Gloucestershire; an associate faculty (Hartpury College) specialising in animal behaviour and welfare, agricultural and sports related courses in Hartpury, Gloucestershire and a regional centre at the Gloucester Docks, Alexandra Warehouse, specialising in Adult and Mental Health Nursing.

Towns and cities[]

Gloucestershire has one city and 32 towns:



The towns in Gloucestershire are:

Towns in South Gloucestershire (historically part of Gloucestershire) are:

Town in Monmouthshire with suburbs in Gloucestershire:


There are a variety of religious buildings across the county, notably the cathedral of Gloucester, the abbey church of Tewkesbury, 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.

Parish Church of St. Mary, Fairford

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.

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.

Places of interest[]

AP Icon.PNG Abbey/Priory/Cathedral
Accessible open space Accessible open space
Themepark uk icon.JPG Amusement/Theme Park
CL icon.PNG Castle
Country Park Country Park
EH icon.png English Heritage
FC icon.png Forestry Commission
Heritage railway Heritage railway
Historic house Historic House
Museum (free)
Museums (free/not free)
National Trust National Trust
Zoo icon.JPG Zoo

Places of interest in Gloucestershire include:

  • Badminton House, residence of the Dukes of Beaufort
  • Berkeley Castle, an example of a feudal stronghold.
  • Beverston Castle
  • Chavenage House Historic house
  • Cheltenham Town Football Club
  • Clearwell Caves
  • Dean Forest Railway Heritage railway
  • Dyrham Park Historic house
  • Edward Jenner's House Historic house
  • Gloucester Cathedral AP Icon.svg
  • Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Heritage railway
  • Hailes Abbey AP Icon.svg
  • Newark Park Historic house
  • Owlpen Manor Historic house
  • Snowshill Manor Historic house
  • Sudeley Castle, burial place of Queen Catherine Parr, 6th wife and consort of King Henry VIII.
  • Stanway House Historic house
  • River Thames Accessible open space
  • Rodmarton Manor Historic house
  • Tewkesbury Abbey AP Icon.svg
  • Tyndale Monument Accessible open space
  • Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, Slimbridge
  • Westbury Court Garden
  • Woodchester Mansion Historic house

Areas of countryside in Gloucestershire include:

  • Forest of Dean Accessible open space
  • Wye Valley Accessible open space

Scenic Railway Line:

  • Gloucester to Newport Line


Gloucestershire's daily newspapers are The Citizen, which covers Gloucester, Stroud and the Forest of Dean, and the Gloucestershire Echo, which covers Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and the Cotswolds. The two daily papers, along with free weeklies The Forester, Stroud Life, The Gloucester News and The Cheltenham and Tewkesbury News, are all published by Northcliffe Media.[7] 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 Glos Standard newspaper, which covers the southern and eastern parts of the county.

Radio stations in Gloucestershire include BBC Radio Gloucestershire and Heart Gloucestershire, 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.

In popular culture[]

The south cloister of Gloucester Cathedral was used for filming scenes in the Harry Potter films.

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.[8] 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, Harry Potter and BBC TV series Butterflies.[9] 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.[10] The setting is the fictional town of Moreton Harwood.[11]

The fictional town of Leadworth in Doctor Who is located in Gloucestershire.[12] It is the home of companions Amy Pond, Rory Williams and River Song in their childhoods and young adulthoods.[13]

In March 2014 a song by "Michael Jackson" called "Days in Gloucestershire" got leaked on the internet. The song is notable for his mispronunciation of the county name as "Glue-kester-shire".


A boar of the local Gloucestershire Old Spot breed.

The famous Gloucestershire Old Spots pig is named for Gloucestershire and is historically associated with the county.[14] Sheep roam widely in the Forest of Dean.[15] The Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley also have wild boar.[16]

Gloucester cattle, a rare[17] breed can still be found in and around Gloucestershire.[18] 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.

See also[]

  • Category:Grade I listed buildings in Gloucestershire
  • Custos Rotulorum of Gloucestershire - Keepers of the Rolls
  • Diocese of Gloucester
  • High Sheriff of Gloucestershire
  • Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire
  • Gloucestershire (UK Parliament constituency) - Historical list of MPs for Gloucestershire constituency
  • Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
  • Gloucestershire Regiment
  • List of people from Gloucestershire
  • Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
  • West Country dialects


  1. ^ "Flood crisis grows as rivers rise". BBC News. 23 July 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  3. ^ includes hunting and forestry
  4. ^ includes energy and construction
  5. ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  6. ^
  7. ^ Gloucestershire Media Group's portfolio – Northcliffe Media subsidiary which publishes local papers in Gloucestershire
  8. ^ "Minchinhampton - Introduction | A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11 (pp. 184-190)". 22 June 2003. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  9. ^ 'Gloucestershire TV and Movie Locations' at Gloucestershire On Screen
  10. ^ "Doctor Who Locations Guide: K9 and Company". Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "K-9 and Company". Doctor Who Reference Guide. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Eleventh HourWp globe tiny.gif". Doctor WhoWp globe tiny.gif. BBC. BBC One. No. 1.
  13. ^ "The Eleventh HourWp globe tiny.gif". Doctor WhoWp globe tiny.gif. BBC. BBC One. No. 1.
    "The Big BangWp globe tiny.gif". Doctor WhoWp globe tiny.gif. BBC. BBC One. No. 13.
    "Let's Kill HitlerWp globe tiny.gif". Doctor WhoWp globe tiny.gif. BBC. BBC One. No. 8.
  14. ^ "Gloucestershire Old Spots". Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Campsites in the Forest of Dean". Camping in the forest. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  16. ^ John Vidal, environment editor. "Hundreds of wild boars face cull in Forest of Dean". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Gloucester". Rare Breeds Survival Trust. 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  18. ^ [1]

Further reading[]

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)

External links[]

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