In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Gloucester like this:
Gloucester, parl. and mun. bor., city, market and co. town, and river-port, E. Gloucestershire, on E. bank of river Severn, 114 miles NW. of London, 1666 ac., pop. 36,521; 3 Banks, 6 newspapers. Market-day, Saturday. The antiquity of Gloucester is amply proved both by recorded history and by the discovered relics of its ancient inhabitants -- British, Roman, and Saxon. Its ecclesiastical associations are of the greatest interest. In 679 a monastery was founded, and is still represented by the magnificent cathedral which adorns the city. ...
The see of Gloucester was formed in 1541; before that date the whole of the co. belonged to Worcester diocese. Several parliaments were anciently held in the city. During its occupation by the Parliamentarians in 1643 it was besieged by Charles I. Apart from the cathedral the chief architectural features of the city are the Shire Hall, the Town Hall or Tolsey, the county gaol, corn market, infirmary, and hospital; a new episcopal palace was built in 1861. There are 3 endowed schools. Gloucester carries on an important foreign trade, especially with the Baltic ports. Through the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal the city has communication with the Bristol Channel. (For shipping statistics, see Appendix.) The mfrs. comprise match works, foundries, chemical works, cordage works, railway plant works, soaperies, breweries, &c. Gloucester was the birthplace of Taylor, the Water Poet (1580-1654), Whitfield, the founder of the Calvinistic Methodists (1714-1770), and Raikes, the founder of Sunday schools in England (1735-1811). The bor. returns 1 member to Parl. (2 members until 1885).
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Gloucester has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Gloucester. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Gloucester and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Gloucester in Gloucestershire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 20th May 2013
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