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Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county
Origin Historic
Region: South West England

- Total

- Admin. council

- Admin. area
Ranked 16th

3,150 km²

Ranked 17th

2,653 km²
Admin HQ: Gloucestermarker
ISO 3166-2: GB-GLS
ONS code: 23

- Total ( )

- Density

- Admin. council

- Admin. pop.

/ km²


Ethnicity: 97.3% White

Gloucestershire County Council
Members of Parliament
  1. Gloucestermarker
  2. Tewkesburymarker
  3. Cheltenhammarker
  4. Cotswoldmarker
  5. Stroudmarker
  6. Forest of Deanmarker
  7. South Gloucestershire (Unitary)
Gloucestershire ( ) is a county in South West Englandmarker. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hillsmarker, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Deanmarker.

The county town is the city of Gloucestermarker, and other principal towns include Cheltenhammarker, Stroudmarker, Cirencestermarker, and Tewkesburymarker.

When considered as a ceremonial county, Gloucestershire borders the preserved county of Gwent in Walesmarker (now Monmouthshire), and in England the ceremonial counties of Herefordshiremarker, Worcestershire, Warwickshiremarker, Oxfordshire, Wiltshiremarker, Somersetmarker and Bristolmarker. As an administrative county, it excludes the area covered by the South Gloucestershire unitary authority.

According to a 2002 campaign by the charity Plantlife, the county flower of Gloucestershire is the Wild Daffodil.


Gloucestershire is a historic county mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in the 10th century, though the areas of Winchcombemarker and the Forest of Deanmarker were not added until the late 11th century. Gloucestershire originally included the "small town" of Bristol.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 part of the administrative County of Avon in 1974.

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 had 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 has been estimated at over 2 billion pounds.

The county is recovering 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 Agriculture Industry Services
1995 5,771 196 1,877 3,698
2000 8,163 148 2,677 5,338
2003 10,617 166 2,933 7,517


Secondary Schools

See List of schools in Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire has mainly comprehensive schools with seven selective schools; two are in Stroud (Stroud High School and Marling School), one in Cheltenham and four in Gloucester. There are 41 state secondary schools, not including sixth form colleges, and 12 independent schools, including the renowned Cheltenham Ladies' Collegemarker. 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

Gloucestershire has one university, the University of Gloucestershiremarker and four higher and further education colleges, Gloucestershire Collegemarker, Cirencester Collegemarker, Stroud Collegemarker and The Royal Forest of Dean College. Each has campuses at multiple locations throughout the county.

Towns and villages

Antiquities and other places of interest

The cathedral of Gloucestermarker, the magnificent abbey churchmarker of Tewkesburymarker, and the church of Cirencestermarker with its great Perpendicular porch, are described under their separate headings. Of the abbey of Hailes near Winchcombemarker, founded by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, in 1246, little more than the foundations are left, but these have been excavated with great care, and interesting fragments have been brought to light.

Most of the old market towns have fine parish churches. At Deerhurstmarker near Tewkesbury, and Bishop's Cleevemarker near Cheltenhammarker, there are churches of special interest on account of the pre-Norman work they retain. The Perpendicular church at Lechlademarker is unusually perfect; and that at Fairfordmarker was built (c. 1500), according to tradition, to contain the remarkable series of stained-glass windows which are said to have been brought from the Netherlandsmarker. These are, however, adjudged to be of English workmanship, and are one of the finest series in the country.

Calcotmarker Barn is an interesting relic of the abbey of Kingswoodmarker. Thornbury Castlemarker is a fine Tudor ruin, 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 fine 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 Abbeymarker. 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. At Owlpenmarker is one of the most picturesque Tudor manor houses set in a densely-wooded valley.

There are several royal residences in Gloucestershire, including Highgrove Housemarker, Gatcombe Parkmarker, and (formerly) Nether Lypiatt Manormarker.

An annual "cheese-rollingmarker" event takes place at Cooper's Hill, near Brockworthmarker and the Cotswold Games occurred within the county.

Gloucestershire in popular culture

Notable People From Gloucestershire


Gloucestershire's daily newspapers The Gloucester Citizen and The Gloucestershire Echo, along with free weeklies The Forester, The Gloucester News and The Cheltenham News are all published by Northcliffe Media.

The Stroud News & Journal is a weekly paid-for newspaper based in Stroud. It is published every Wednesday in a tabloid format by Newsquest

See also


  1. BBC News,, 5 May 2004, retrieved 8 April 2006.
  2. BBC - News Flood crisis grows as rivers rise
  3. Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  4. includes hunting and forestry
  5. includes energy and construction
  6. includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  7. British History Online
  8. [1]
  9. Gloucestershire Media Group's portfolio - Northcliffe Media subsidiary which publishes local papers in Gloucestershire

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