Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire, a west Midland co., situated upon the estuary of the Severn. and bounded N. and NE. by Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Warwickshire; E. by Oxfordshire; S. by Berks, Wilts, and Somerset; and W. by Monmouthshire, Herefordshnire, and the estuary of the Severn; greatest length, SW. to NE., 54 miles; greatest breadth, NW. to SE., 33 miles; area, 783,699 ac.; pop. 572,433. The face of the county shows varied aspects, of which the most distinctive are the Cotswold Hills, in the E.; the valley of the Severn, in the middle; and the Forest of Dean, in the W. Besides the Severn there are numerous important rivers, such as the Avon, Lower Avon, Wye, Thames, and Windrush. The canal system has been largely developed, and several important water-ways of that description pass through the county. Agriculture forms the leading occupation of the rural population; in the hills sheep-farming receives attention; while the rich valley of the Severn has long been famed for the superiority of its products. Its luxuriant pastures especially have originated and supported a great industry in the shape of dairy farms which produce the celebrated Glo'ster cheese. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) In the W. of the county are 2 great coal-fields -- the Forest of Dean on the N., and the Bristol coal-field on the W. Other minerals are gypsum, barytes, quartz, limestone, and freestone. The mfrs. are mostly woollen and cotton stuffs, but at Bristol there are also large hardware mfrs. Gloucestershire comprises 29 hundreds, 387 pars. and parts of 4 others, the greater part of the parl. and mun. bor. of Bristol (4 members), the parl. and mun. bors. of Cheltenham (1 member) and Gloucester (1 member), and the mun. bor. of Tewkesbury. It is mostly in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. For parliamentary purposes it is divided into 5 divisions, viz., Mid or Stroud, Northern or Tewkesbury, Eastern or Cirencester, Forest of Dean, and Southern or Thornbury, 1 member for each division.

(John Bartholomew, Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a west Midland county"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 2nd order divisions")
Administrative units: Gloucestershire AncC
Place: Gloucestershire

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