England is, of course, home to many interesting counties! Gloucestershire is one which offers a fantastic array of heritage, countryside and more. In fact, it has a strong connection with many different popular stores and characters, and beyond this, it’s also been host to many famous filming locations. Take a look below for 30 amazing and incredible facts about Gloucestershire.
1. Gloucestershire was once famous for its wool, to the extent where sheep wool was once the county’s main export.
2. Gloucester Cathedral may be of particular interest to Harry Potter fans, given the fact that it was used as one of the filming locations for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
3. Believe it or not, the drystone walls surrounding the Cotswolds are said to extend the same length as the Great Wall of China!
4. Damien Hirst, the world famous artist, is the owner of the majestic Toddington Manor.
5. All counties have a motto, and Gloucestershire’s is Prorsum Semper. This means ‘ever forward’.
6. You can still see some of the Roman ruins of Gloucester itself if you look carefully into the viewing area at Eastgate. The remains of a tower and horse bath are still in place.
7. Gloucester has a famous rugby team that goes by the name of ‘The Cherry and Whites’. However, they used to be called the Elver Eaters. Weirdly enough, this was as a result of local people enjoying eating eels!
8. The Tailor of Gloucester is a Beatrix Potter story which is said to be inspired by a local tradesman in the city. The building in question is now a museum and dates all the way back to 1535.
9. Cirencester was once an important refuge site for children who were impacted by World War II. It’s thought that more than 2,000 young people were moved here for their safety.
10. The Crecy Window at Gloucester Cathedral is the biggest stained glass window in the country.
11. The local Cotswolds are famous for their own unique species and breed of sheep! This is known as the Cotswold Lion, and it’s thought that they once provided more than half of the cloth in England.
12. It’s thought that there are now more than 50 different flocks of Cotswold Lion after near extinction in the 1940s.
13. Cheltenham is known as a spa town – which means that it benefits from its own mineral spring.
14. However, this spring was actually discovered by pigeons! People noticed that pigeons were starting to flock near a field that actually held the spring!
15. This is what has led pigeons to appear on Cheltenham’s crest – as the locals are grateful to the birds for their discovery.
16. As mentioned, it’s still perfectly possible to spot Roman ruins in the county – particularly as the region was something of a Roman stronghold.
17. Many famous people were born in the region – from actor Simon Pegg to Rocky Horror Picture Show creator Richard O’Brien.
18. The region was also the birthplace of Dr Edward Jenner. Jenner, born in Berkeley, was famous for developing the smallpox vaccine.
19. The lawnmower, believe it or not, has origins in Gloucestershire. Local inventor Edwin Budding used to display his creations in public here.
20. The Eastgate Indoor Market in Gloucester is truly ancient – it started life here in 1498. It’s also where the first Double Gloucester cheese was first sold – fittingly!
21. There is a medieval library in the county which remains the best-reserved exhibition of its kind from the era. Specifically, it’s the Scriptorium, which you will find in Gloucester itself.
22. Gloucester is also home to the biggest ice cream factory in the UK, too! Specifically, the city plays host to the Wall’s Factory.
23. The county is also famous for having played host to some of the most important artefacts in British history. For example, it’s here where the Domesday Book was first drafted.
24. Gloucester Cathedral has more than a few intriguing royal connections. One is the fact that King Edward II is buried here.
25. This is actually one of very few occasions where a monarch is buried outside of the capital of London.
26. Gloucester Cathedral was also the site of coronation at least once, with King Henry III having ascended to the throne here in 1216.
27. Henry III was also one of the youngest monarchs to ever succeed the throne, at just nine years of age when he attended his Gloucester Cathedral coronation.
28. The county is perhaps larger than you might imagine. It covers a total area of around 1,025 square miles in total.
29. The Cheltenham Festival is one of the most popular events on the British sporting calendar. It’s a huge horse racing affair which invites interest from all over the world.
30. In fact, the Cheltenham Festival is said to bring in around £100 million to the county every year.