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Gloucester City

See also Gloucester Docks and Waterways Museum

Gloucester city riverside courtesy Gloucester Tourism Gloucester is on the banks of the River Severn and the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. The River Severn is famous for its tidal wave, the Severn Bore, which can reach two metres in height as it makes its way along the river. The river estuary has the second highest tide anywhere in the world and the Bore can be viewed in Gloucester.

Gloucester canal courtesy Canal Museum The canal once delivered goods to the Gloucester docks and is now used by boaters. Visitors can walk for 16 miles along the canal and stop to take in views of the city. The Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum is located at the docks. It tells story of the lives, travel and service of the Gloucestershire Regiment and Gloucestershire Huzzars over past 300 years.

Gloucester cathedral by Barbara Ballard In Roman days Gloucester was called ĎGlevumí. In Saxon and Norman times (577-1155) the town came back to life under Queen Aethelflaeda, and the current street plan dates from then. Edward the Confessor held a Christmas court in the city as did William the Conqueror. The religious community that was founded in 678 became, in 1017 a Benedictine monastery.

Gloucester cathedral cloisters by Barbara Ballard In the time of the Plantagenetís (1155-1485) the city was granted a royal charter by Henry II. The abbey church, which was begun in 1089, continued to be built and rebuilt over the ensuing centuries. King Henry IIIís coronation was held in the cathedral in 1216. King Edward II is buried here. Thereís a tower to climb, a treasury to see, and the ďwhispering galleryĒ to try out. Architectural highlights include the Norman nave, the east window of medieval glass, and the fan-vaulted cloisters. The cathedral was where some scenes from a Harry Potter movie were filmed.

Gloucester Folk Museum by Barbara Ballard In the Tudor period (1485-1603) the cathedralís Anglican bishop John Hooper was burned to death by the Catholic Queen Mary. This took place in St Maryís Square by the cathedral. There is a monument to the bishop. Elizabeth I gave Gloucester full status as a port in 1580 thus leading to the establishment of the docks. The Gloucester Folk Museum, in an historic building, tells the social history, crafts, and trades of Gloucester from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

Gloucester Folk Museum roof  by Barbara Ballard Under the Stuarts (1603-1700) the city fell to a siege in the English civil war. More can be discovered about this part of the cityís history by visiting the folk museum. Georgian Gloucester (1714-1837) saw the cityís pin manufacturing flourish as well as its bell foundry. In 1736 the pioneer of the Sunday School movement, Robert Raikes, was born here. His house is in Southgate Street. He is buried in the church of Saint Mary de Crypt. Gloucester was also the birthplace in 1750 of John Smith who composed the music used for the United States national anthem. More information can be found at the folk museum.

Visit the City Museum and the ruins of Llanthony Secunda priory (1137) to discover more about the city. Medieval Blackfriars Priory has an outstanding timbered roof. The original cloister, dating from 1239, includes the scriptorium, believed to be Englandís oldest surviving library building.

Kimberley Warehouse courtesy Gloucester city council During Victorian times (1837-1901) the city docks and warehouses came into their own when wheat, oats, and barley were shipped in from the Black Sea. Beatrix Potter visited the city in 1897 and did sketches for her story, The Tailor of Gloucester. See the shop at 45 Westgate St.

Gloucester Dock Museum courtesy Gloucester Tourism Gloucester became industrialized (1901 to the present) and produced aircraft, cotton, matches, motorcycles, railway rolling stock, and agricultural equipment. A building dating to Edwardian times, Bakerís Jewellers, is on Southgate St.

House of the Tailor by Barbara Ballard Donít forget to take in the House of the Tailor, the setting for Beatrix Potterís book. See the 1650 fireplace in the Old Bell Inn on Southgate St.

Visitor Information

Gloucester is on several major highway routes (A38, A417, A40) and just off the 11/11A exchange of the M5.

Gloucester Visitor Information Centre
28 Southgate Street
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL1 2DP
Tel. 0 1452 396 572

Gloucester Attractions

For full details visit the Attractions section of our website.

Blackfriars Priory
Tel. 0 1452 396 572

Gloucester Cathedral
Tel. 0 1452 528 095 or 01452 874960

Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery
Brunswick Road
Tel. 0 1452 396 131

Gloucester Docks
The Docks
Tel. 0 1452 311 190

Gloucester Folk Museum
99 - 103 Westgate Street
Tel. 0 1452 396 868
Gloucester House of the Tailor
9 College Court
Tel. 0 1452 422 856
Gloucester Transport Museum
Longsmith Street, Gloucester
Tel. 01452 396467

House of the Tailor
9 College Court, Gloucester; next to Cathedral precincts
Tel. 0 1452 422 856
National Waterway Museum
Llanthony Warehouse, Gloucester Docks
Tel. 0 1452 318 200

Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
Gloucester Docks
Tel. 0 1452 522 682

Photo credits:
Cathedral exterior and cloisters, Folk Museum exterior and roof, and House of the Tailor by Barbara Ballard
Gloucester riverside and Docks Museum courtesy Gloucester tourism
Canal courtesy Gloucester Canal Museum
Warehouse courtesy Gloucester City council

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