"Glorious Gloucester" Top 5 Page for this destination Gloucester by Myfanwe

Gloucester Travel Guide: 106 reviews and 347 photos

The History of Gloucester

Gloucester began as a Roman town. It lies at the first point where the river Severn can be easily crossed so it was a natural place to build a town. About 49 AD the Romans built a fort to guard the river crossing at Kingsholm. In 64 AD they built a new fort on the site of Gloucester town centre. About ten years after that the Roman soldiers moved on but the site of the fort was turned into a town for retired soldiers. They called the New town Glevum. Roman Gloucester was laid out in a grid pattern. In the centre of the town was a forum. This was a market place lined with shops and public buildings.

Since the creation of the town, in the 9th Century the Saxons founded a Monastery there. In 909 AD the remains of St Oswald were brought to Gloucester. In those days people would go on long journeys called pilgrimages to visit the remains of saints. Many people came to Gloucester to visit the remains of St Oswald and they spent money in the town. In 1153 the church which housed St Oswald's shrine was turned into a priory (a small abbey).

In 1327 the body of king Edward II was buried at St Peters Abbey. Afterwards there was a stream of visitors to his tomb, which added to the prosperity of Gloucester.

In 1541 Gloucester was given a bishop and the Abbey Church was made the new cathedral. Henry VIII 1509-47 and his son Edward 1547-53 introduced religious changes to England. However Henry's daughter Mary, tried to undo the changes. She burned many Protestants. One of them was John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester, who was burned for heresy in St Marys Square in 1555.

In 1805 William the Conqueror came to Gloucester and while he was there he ordered that the Domesday Book be written.

Gloucester Docklands

In 1819 a dry dock was built where vessels could be repaired. Another followed it in 1853. In 1827 a ship canal was built from Gloucester to Sharpness. Timber from Scandinavia was brought along this canal. North Warehouse was built in 1827. Biddles warehouse was built in 1830. In 1840 2 more warehouses were built, Vinings and Reynolds. Victoria dock opened in 1849. Three more warehouses, Phillpotts, Herbert and Kimberley were built in 1846. A Custom House was built in 1845 and the Mariners Chapel opened in 1849.

In the late 19th century a new industry began in Gloucester - making railway carriages. There was also flour milling, timber milling, making farm machinery and some shipbuilding.

Gloucester Today

Gloucester is a great place to visit, it has oodles of history, a fantastic Cathedral, great shopping centres and plenty of historic Inns and Cafe's to unwind in. The revitalised Historic docks are home to the magnificent warehouses and are a great place to take a stroll or sit in one of the cafe's and watch the world go by. Here you'll also find the Waterways Museum, the Soldiers of Gloucester Museum and many opportunities to take a boat trip up the river.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great historic buildings around every corner.
  • Cons:It can be a little cold during the winter months...
  • Last visit to Gloucester: Feb 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (21)

Comments (5)

  • King_Golo's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2014 at 2:27 AM

    Hello "Member Rank Neighbour"! Thanks for your interesting tips about Gloucester, a truly magnificent place.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Apr 5, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Hello, Vicki! Gloucester is certainly worth visiting... Thanks for your interesting narration and excellent photographs!~

  • Balam's Profile Photo
    Feb 27, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    You have been busy tip writing, i had better get some done!

  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Nice page Vicki. In this part of the world i have only been to Bristol so far.

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Hi Vicki - Gloucester used to be a regular port of call for us and we've been meaning to go back for ages. Your Tips are just what I needed -are there more to come?


“Yesterday is history, tomorrow's a mystery, today is a gift that's why we call it the present....”

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