Gloucestershire's Unknown History

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According to the most recent statistics, Gloucestershire is a growing countryside in England wherein friendly people and destinations make it stand out.

This place has a lot to offer from the products, services, people, and destinations that surely help it to succeed in different aspects effectively.

According to the most recent statistics, it has a total population of 861,000, making it one of the biggest countrysides in England.

Also, Gloucestershire is known for the Forest of Dean, Offa's Dyke, and the Cotswolds, which are regarded as the tourists' top picks.

To visit this lovely place, travellers must drive approximately 3 hours from London. If not, they can rent a vehicle with its driver, who is registered and licensed to operate within the vicinity of Gloucestershire.

Within the travel time, travellers can get to taste the local delicacies as the pride of Gloucestershire, which are the lamb roasts, Gloucestershire varieties of cheese, and squab pie.

Staverton Airport will accommodate their plane ride going to Gloucestershire safely and effectively if the travellers are from other countries.

Moreover, the county town of Gloucestershire is Gloucester with nearby counties: Worcestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Herefordshire, and Warwickshire.

However, this information is only considered shallow compared to the unknown history behind the growing and beautiful Gloucestershire.

Given this, below are the things to know regarding the history of Gloucestershire for a better understanding of its background to progress forward effectively.


Gloucestershire: A Quick Guide

First things first, Gloucestershire is well known for its abundant Cotswolds that inhabit most of its boundaries.

These Cotswolds are famous for their honey-stone villages and towns that are set within the rolling hills.

Next to that, Gloucestershire is known for Bourton-on-the-water, which is regarded as the Venice of Cotswolds for its almost perfect resemblance of Venice - an England county.

This is the place wherein bridges are abundant and serve as the way to cross other centre villages.

Lastly, they have the Stow on the Wold as the most popular market town and the nearby Slaughters.

Moving on, here is the unknown history that everyone must know about Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire and the History Behind

Originally, Gloucestershire was inhabited by the people of Brython- the ancestors of British Celtic and Welsh people during the periods of Iron and Roman.

However, the Romans left Britain during the 5th century, and the Brythons have controlled the land despite uncertain territorial divisions.

Gloucester was first named Caerloyw and still retained for the modern Welsh as the county's centre; Cirencester may have been the centre tribe.

Previously, Gloucestershire only had one attested kingdom, which is the Ergyng located in south-east Wales.

This kingdom had a portion of the whole Gloucestershire area, mainly the Forest of Dean.

Moreover, during the late 6th century, the Saxons of Wessex had begun controlling the area.

However, the Severn Valley English conquest in 577 won Deorham and Ceawlin, and later on Bath, Gloucester, and Cirencester.

The Hwiccas controlled and occupied the West Saxon tribe district with these conquests despite being a territory dependent on Mercia until the 7th century.

Fortunately, it wasn't brought to the West Saxon tribe until the 9th century, wherein Danes have not made any transparent settlements in the district.

Above all these, Gloucestershire is believed to have become a shire during the 10th century, as mentioned in 1016 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

In the late 11th century, there were readjustments of territory done wherein Winchcombeshire became a district of Gloucestershire.

It was a county before and known as the forest district between Severn and Wye that made it qualified to be included in Gloucestershire.

Up to this day, Gloucestershire's division has been unsettled.

Domesday Survey claims that it has 390, yet for the 1274's Hundred Rolls, it has 310.

These claims are more than far from the present day's 280.

Gloucestershire had a turbulent history

On May 4, 1471, which is one of the worst and decisive battles included in the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Tewkesbury came to happen.

It was later followed by the English Civil War on the nearby northern Stow-on-the-Wold on March 21, 1646.

These wars made historical ways for Gloucestershire to achieve its current status.

Both contributed to the people's thinking or society and the developments of historical places that share pieces of yesterday to Gloucestershire's history.

Many historical sites in Gloucestershire were infrastructures inspired by the Romans, such as the Chedworth Roman Villa, which is currently under the supervision of the National Trust.

This infrastructure is regarded as one of the largest of England's preserved Roman Villas.

There is also Cirencester, the second largest town of Britain under the Roman Era, and a Roman amphitheatre with numerous plays and presentations.

Impressive cathedrals are also easy to find in Gloucestershire that was developed during ancient times.

Both Gloucester and Tewkesbury served as home for refugees and soldiers during war times.

These cathedrals became shelters for people amidst the war, and their needs were catered as much as possible with the help of the priests and other cathedral workers.

Other than that, Winchcombe has the ruins of Hailes Abbey. A Cistercian abbey was founded way back in the 1300s.

Sudeley Castle

Gloucestershire: A county in England with castles linked to several royal figures

One of those is the Sudeley Castle near by Winchcombe, which was the home of Queen Katherine Parr.

She was the last wife of King Henry VIII and continued the ruling until her death.

Another inhabitant of this castle is King Charles I, who used it as a home during the Civil War.

On the other hand, Berkeley Castle is a tragic one.

This medieval castle is where Edward II spared his last breath following his murder in 1327.

It may have the beauty and antique figures that today's generation appreciates a lot, yet it has a tragic death left behind.

Not just castles, there are also historical spa towns that contributed to the overall status of Gloucestershire today.

In Cheltenham, tourists both local and overseas can experience this spa town built centuries ago.

It has the Georgian and Regency-inspired buildings, squares, and terraces that indeed resemble the unique history of Gloucestershire.

These infrastructures only mirror how rich and worthy Gloucestershire is, especially its history.


Gloucestershire's economy had been growing through the years.

With its abundant resources, both local and imports, this region have a lot to offer both products and services to its residents.

But before that, the history of Gloucestershire's economy is also fascinating.

Given that Gloucestershire has three natural divisions, its physical characteristics made way to develop unique industries.

First, they have the forest district not until Sussex mines' development in the 16th century.

This was their chief producer of iron for the kingdom and the area.

Gloucestershire produced armouries, utensils, and other iron materials throughout the centuries with the number of iron resources.

Not just that, during the Roman times, there have been mines that founded timber sources within Gloucestershire.

This timber industry made way to the production of ship trades and other tanneries.

Next, they also have the hill district focused on producing agricultural products and the woollen trade.

This trade became abundant throughout the time that made foreign commerce possible up to this day.

Silk weaving also became a part of Gloucestershire's economic growth since the 17th century.

This trade became abundant in the Stroud valley, producing a hundred silk products such as clothes.

Lastly, they have a massive supply of clay and other building stone materials.

These raw materials made it possible for the people of Gloucestershire to manufacture products such as pots, tiles, and bricks.

Since then, also, minor industries came to the surface that proudly represents the abundant resources of Gloucestershire when it comes to flax-growing and manufacturing of buttons, sailcloth, rope, lace, stockings, pins, and so many more.


Gloucestershire indeed is a beautiful region with lots to offer.

But behind those offers, this region had a lot of breakthroughs that make up its many histories.

After all, history makes up a thing, event, place, and even people. That's why Gloucestershire also has its own.

Another thing, the history of Gloucestershire had been visible throughout the time through the traditions, products, places, and even statements about its background.

Its richness in various aspects was still seen even by the modern generation making it still possible for the people to reminisce how Gloucestershire was developed.

With all the events in this region, there is only one thing sure about it: Gloucestershire had an incredible journey towards its current situation.

Gloucestershire is a growing region, and it has a lot of potentials in the future.

A place like this deserves all the abundance. It receives both resources and the people.

About the author

Laura Morris

Laura Morris is an experienced clinical practitioner and CQC Registered Manager with over twenty years experience, over ten of which have been as an Independent Nurse Prescriber.

She has held a number of senior leadership roles in the substance use and mental health sector in the NHS, the prison service and in leading social enterprises in the field.

Last Updated: October 31, 2023