Tourist Information in Gloucestershire
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Gloucester Town Information

Use the links on the left to find information and images for the towns and villages throughout Gloucestershire...

St. Michael's Gate, Gloucester - Photo © David Stowell
St. Michael's Gate, Gloucester -
Photo: David Stowell CCL

Gloucester began with Glevum,a Roman fort which guarded the lowest Severn crossing and the legions'routes into Wales;it became one of the four coloniae of Roman Britain. Anglo-Saxon Gleawcester was a royal burgh or fortified town in Alfred the Great's time and had its own mint.

The Norman and Angevin kings often made it their residence and it was here that William the Conqueror decided on the Doomsday survey.

The city has long been an inland port and has its own harbour master. Archaeological excavation has revealed the site of a complete Roman forum,which must have covered about 2 acres.

The site of the basilica or administrative building has been discovered as well as the flanking colonnades on the east and south sides.

Fragments of an equestrian statue of an emperor have been collected and identified and also the bronze tassels of his saddle and the plinth of the statue. The excavation has apparently confirmed the hypothesis that there were two Roman occupations. The principal finds are in the City Museum.

The city's main thoroughfares still follow the Roman roads and meet at the Cross. In Eastgate Street stands the Guildhall. Nearby in Brunswick Street is a memorial to Robert Raikes, who founded the Sunday school movement in St Catherine Street. New Inn in Northgate Street was a timbered 15th Century pilgrims 'hostelry' the interior has been modernized but it preserves its courtyard with surrounding balconies.

Another ancient inn,the Raven Tavern in Hare Lane,has been saved from demolition by private subscription. It was once the home of the Hoares, who sailed in the Mayflower to New England. At the bottom of Westgate Street is an old l6th Century gabled house built by Thomas Payne, a mayor of Gloucester,and nearby are the 15th Century St. Bartholomew's Almshouses.
Also in Westgate Street is a 16th Century timber-framed house reputed to have sheltered Bishop John Hooper before he was burnt at the stake in 1555 in the reign of Mary Tudor.

It now houses one of the best folk museums in the country with comprehensive collections of everything to do with early trades, crafts and industry as well as exhibits of historical interest.

Church of St. Mary de Crypt in Southgate Street - Photo © David Stowell
Church of St. Mary de Crypt in Southgate Street - Photo: David Stowell CCL

The medieval Church of St Mary de Crypt in Southgate Street has been much restored. It has a peal of eight bells cast by Rudhall, the famous Gloucester bell founder. Inside the church is the font where George Whitefield,the preacher, was baptised. He was born in the city and attended the St Mary de Crypt Grammar School next to the church.

Gloucester Cathedral - Photo © Nick Robinson
Gloucester Cathedral - Photo: Nick Robinson CCL

The cathedral is still the chief glory of Gloucester. Its Norman plan and structure were preserved as the body of this magnificent church, to which the work of later periods was added.

It therefore affords an illustration of architectural development which can hardly be bettered any-where in Europe. The Norman pillars of the 174ft-long nave up to the stone screen remain as they were during the first building period of 1080 to 1100. The east window is the largest medieval stained glass window in England.