Gloucestershire

An Introduction to Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire is a country in the UK situated due west of London, surrounding the mouth of the River Severn and bordered by Gwent (in Wales) to the west, then moving round clockwise the other contiguous counties are Hereford and Worcester, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Avon to the South west.

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Avon was until 1974 originally part of Gloucestershire and is the area surrounding the port of Bristol


It is mainly a rural county and can be divided into 4 distinct areas, the Severn Vale from Tewksbury in the north at its confluence with the Avon in Tewksbury along the flood plain to the Severn bridge in south west Gloucestershire.

Gloucester is an ancient Roman settlement and later an important city during the wars between the King and Parliament. Located in the centre of the Severn Vale it was at its peak in the 18th Century as an important inland port for trade linked to Sharpness docks via the 16 mile ship canal.

The third area is the Forest of Dean, an ancient forest covering some 27,000 acres of woodland with local people having rights to mine in the forest and tend their livestock. In the 18th and 19th century it was an area for mining.

The fourth area is the Cotswolds, an area of warm stones, picturesque villages and formerly the home of the woollen industry.

It has it’s own family history society with a research centre on the same site as the county record offices

Additional information