Gloucestershire: Local History Resources

Gloucestershire, in the region of South West England, may be only 95 miles away from London, but it boasts picturesque towns and villages in outstanding rural settings.

Gloucestershire is famous for the ancient Forest of Dean which was once a medieval hunting ground, single and double Gloucester cheeses, pig breed Gloucestershire Old Spots, being home to both Cheltenham Ladies’ College and GCHQ, and the setting for Beatrix Potter’s story ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’. 

Page Contents:

How Big Is Gloucestershire?

Gloucestershire is a large ceremonial county with an area of 1,216 square miles (3,150 square kilometres). It is divided into different areas and local authorities, as follows:

  • Gloucestershire County Council
  • South Gloucestershire Council
  • Cotswold District Council
  • Cheltenham Borough Council
  • Forest of Dean District Council
  • Stroud District Council
  • Borough of Tewkesbury

Because the local authority services of South Gloucestershire are run independently of Gloucestershire County Council, some people mistakenly assume South Gloucestershire is a separate county to Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire is landlocked and surrounded by the following county borders:

Cities, Towns & Villages Of Gloucestershire

Gloucester is the only city in Gloucestershire, although the county also contains the following 30 towns (24 of which are market towns):

  • Berkeley
  • Bradley Stoke
  • Cheltenham
  • Chipping Campden
  • Chipping Sodbury
  • Cinderford
  • Cirencester
  • Coleford
  • Dursley
  • Fairford
  • Filton
  • Gloucester
  • Kingswood
  • Lechlade
  • Lydney
  • Minchinhampton
  • Mitcheldean
  • Moreton-in-Marsh
  • Newent
  • Northleach
  • Patchway
  • Stonehouse
  • Stow-on-the-Wold
  • Stroud
  • Tetbury
  • Tewkesbury
  • Thornbury
  • Winchcombe
  • Wotton-under-Edge
  • Yate

In addition, the predominantly rural county is home to numerous villages and hamlets.

Gloucestershire History Facebook Groups

  • Chalford Parish Local History Group
  • Gotherington & Area Local History
  • Painswick Local History Society
  • Stroud Local History Society

Gloucestershire Local History Resources

In addition to the extensive UK resources for local history and family history researchers, the following organisations, societies and places exist to focus on Gloucestershire’s past people and places:

  • Acton Court
  • Almondsbury Local History Society 
  • Alveston Local History Society 
  • Avon Local History Archaeology (ALHA)
  • Berkeley Castle
  • Bisley Local History Society
  • Blackfriars
  • Blockley Heritage Society
  • Bourton on the Water Local History Society
  • Bristol Aero Collection Trust 
  • Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society
  • Brockweir & Hewelsfield Local History Society
  • Chipping Campden History Society
  • Chalford Parish Local History Group
  • Charlton Kings Local History Society
  • Chavenage House
  • Chedworth Roman Villa
  • Chedworth Society
  • Cheltenham Local History Society
  • Churchdown Local History Society
  • Cirencester Archaeological and Historical Society
  • Clearwell Caves
  • Coleford Great Western Railway Museum
  • Colesbourne History Group
  • Corinium Museum
  • Cotswold Motoring Museum
  • Cotteswold Naturalists’ Field Club
  • Court Barn
  • Cranham Local History Society
  • Dean Forest Railway
  • Dean Heritage Centre
  • Downend Local History Society
  • Dr. Jenner’s House
  • Dunkirk Mill
  • Dursley & Cam Society
  • Dursley Heritage Centre
  • Dyrham Park
  • English Bicknor History Group
  • Fairford History Society
  • Forest of Dean Buildings Preservation Trust
  • Forest of Dean Family History Trust
  • Forest of Dean Local History Society
  • Frampton Cotterell and District Local History Society 
  • Frenchay Village Museum
  • Friends of Glendower
  • Friends of Gloucestershire Archives
  • Friends of the Gloucester Waterways Museum
  • Friends of Purton
  • Gigg Mill
  • Gloucester Life
  • Gloucester Local History Society
  • Gloucestershire Archaeology
  • Gloucestershire Archives
  • Gloucestershire Building Recording Group
  • Gloucestershire County History Trust
  • Gloucestershire Family History Society
  • Gloucestershire Gardens & Landscape Trust
  • Gloucestershire Local History Association
  • Gloucestershire Police Archives
  • Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology
  • Gloucester Waterways Museum
  • Gotherington and District Local History Society
  • Hailes Abbey
  • Hanham Local History Society
  • Hawkesbury Local History Society
  • Highnam Heritage
  • Historical Association: Gloucestershire Branch
  • History of Tetbury Society
  • Holst Birthplace Museum
  • Hopewell Colliery Museum
  • Jet Age Museum
  • John Moore Museum
  • Keith Harding’s World of Mechanical Music
  • Kingswood Heritage Museum
  • Kingswood History Society
  • Lechlade Historical Society
  • Leckhampton Local History Society
  • Lydney Park
  • Maisemore Local History Society
  • Marshfield and District Local History Society
  • Merchant’s House
  • The Mickleton Society
  • Minchinhampton Local History Group
  • Moreton in Marsh & District Local History Society
  • Museum of Gloucester
  • Museum in the Park
  • Nailsworth Society Local History Research Group
  • Newark Park
  • Newent Local History Society
  • Newnham Historical Research Group
  • Northleach Historical Society
  • North Nibley Historical Group
  • Norton & The Leigh Local History Society
  • Oakridge History Group
  • Olveston and Aust Parish Historical Society 
  • Owlpen Manor
  • Oxenhall Parish History Group
  • Painswick Local History Society
  • Preen Family History Study Group (Beds, glouc, shrop)
  • Prestbury Local History Society
  • Randwick Historical Association
  • The Rissingtons Local History Society
  • Rodmarton Manor
  • Sezincote House
  • Sheepscombe History Society
  • Slimbridge Local History Society
  • Snowshill Manor
  • Sodbury and District Historical Society 
  • Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
  • Somerford Keynes Parish History Group
  • South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group
  • Stanway House
  • St Briavels History Group
  • Stinchcombe History Society
  • St. Mary’s Mill
  • Stoke Gifford 
  • Stonehouse History Group
  • Stow and District Civic Society
  • Stroud Local History Society
  • Stroudwater Navigation Archives Charity
  • Stroudwater Textile Trust
  • Sudeley Castle
  • Swindon Village Society Local History Group
  • Tailor of Gloucester 
  • Tetbury Police Museum
  • Tewkesbury Borough Museum
  • Tewkesbury Heritage Centre
  • Tewkesbury Historical Society
  • Thornbury and District Museum
  • Thornbury Local History and Archaeology Society 
  • Tibberton Local History Group
  • Tidenham Historical Group
  • Tytherington Local History Group 
  • Uley Society
  • Upper Windrush Local History Society
  • Upton St Leonards Local History Group
  • Wellington Aviation Museum
  • The Wilson
  • Winchcombe Folk and Police Museum
  • Winchcombe History Group
  • Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust 
  • Woodchester Historical Society
  • Woodchester Mansion
  • Woolaston Village History Group
  • Wotton-under-Edge Heritage Centre
  • Wotton under Edge Historical Society  
  • Yate and District Archaeology Group (YADAG)
  • Yate Heritage Centre
  • Yate and Sodbury U3A         

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Thanks to David Mark for use of the image of Gloucestershire fields displayed at the top of this page.