Banner

Back to the English Counties Page
Facts

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Owlbut

Owlbut

Break
FUN FACTS


Gloucestershire is the 15th largest county or metropolitan borough in England.
Gloucestershire has the 22nd highest population in England.
Gloucestershire is in 31st place for density of population.

  1. The Royal Connection
  2. Sudeley Castle, in Gloucestershire, is unique among private castles in England but I'm not going to tell you why yet. It was built in the 15th century and passed through various owners. The future Richard III used the castle as his base during the Battle of Tewksbury in 1471. When Richard became King, the castle became the property of the Crown. Henry VIII visited with Anne Boleyn (wife number 2). After Henry's death in 1547 his son, Edward VI gave the castle to his uncle Thomas Seymour, brother of Jane Seymour (wife number 3). Seymour then married Katherine Parr (who had been Henry VIII's wife number 6).

    In 1548 Catherine gave birth to a daughter but six days later she died and, this is the unique bit, Katherine Parr was buried in the castle chapel. The castle is then the only private castle to have a queen buried in its grounds. Sudeley is also one of the few castles left in England that is still a residence. As a result, the castle is only open to visitors on specific dates, and private family quarters are closed to the public.

  3. Gloucestershire Eats
  4. A squab is a young domesticated pigeon. This would seem to mean that years ago the pie would have contained pigeon but, since 1737 mutton and apples have been used as a substitute. It was a west country dish so we've included it in our fun facts for Gloucestershire, where there is written evidence of it from hundreds of years ago.

    The pie is traditionally made with mutton which, if you don't know, is the meat from a sheep more than two years old. Alternate layers of mutton chops and apple are placed in a dish, one layer of onions added, some water and then covered with a shortcrust pastry lid and cooked for two hours. A survey in 2009 said less than 3% of British teenagers had tried the dish. Charles Dickens had some when in Bideford and wrote that the resulting mixture was detestable. Worth a try then.

  5. Gloucestershire VIPs
  6. Seven random people who were born in Gloucestershire in the last 100 years:-
    Eddie (The Eagle) Edwards (Ski Jumper), William Mosely (Actor), J K Rowling (Author), Nathan Sykes (Singer), Kate Thornton (TV Presenter), Martin Kent (Guitarist - Skunk Anansie) and the late Brian Jones (Guitarist and Founder of The Rolling Stones)

  7. Now That's Weird
  8. The little village of Bourton-on-the-Water will appear later in the Richard remembers part of this page, Within the village there is, although with tourism and Covid I hope it is still there, a Model Village. It is a one ninth scale replica of the real village. It can be found behind the Old New Inn (an oxymoronic pub) and a reason for that is that it was created by a previous landlord. It took local craftsmen five years to build and it officially opened on the day of George VI's coronation in 1937.

    It is well worth a visit and if you go at the start of your time in Bourton then you will actually know where everything is and only have to walk a hundred yards or so. The weird thing is that there is a model of the model village within the model village and within that model is another even smaller model. Did you keep up? It's a little bit like those Russian dolls where there is always a smaller doll inside the bigger ones.

  9. It Happened Here
  10. The Wars of the Roses, fought between the Houses of Lancaster and York was a thorn in the side of the simple history of England. See that, just planted that phrase there for you. Blooming clever. Anyhow between 1455 and 1485 the battles between the two sides happened all over England. However the Battle of Tewkesbury, in 1471, did result in a little bit of calm for almost 12 years. It saw the complete defeat of the forces of the House of Lancaster and victory to the Yorkist cause and the restoration of their King, Edward IV to the throne.

    Each year the battle is re-enacted at the Tewkesbury Medieval Festival, an event which began in 1984. You can read all about the Wars of the Roses in our Times Past section, starting here and continuing, on and off, for the following thirty years until the Tudor dynasty begins.

  11. Richard Remembers
  12. Last year (2019) my son and his wife, Rachel, came over from New Zealand for a month. They had been over a few years before and we had taken Rachel, who had never been to England before, to see Cornwall. I know Cornwall really well having visited many times and was able to show her many beautiful places. Last year we toyed between the Lake District or the Cotswolds and decided on the latter.

    I'd never really spent much time in Gloucestershire so much of it was new to me too. On our second day, in a sudden rain shower, we visited a typical Cotswold village, Bibury. The top two photos are from there. They show, from different angles, the Arlington Row cottages and the first one is possibly the most photographed Cotswold scene. The cottages are a converted wool store, built in 1380, and then used by weavers in the 17th century.

    But if I loved that scene, a few days later I was totally blown away when we visited Bourton-on-the-Water, the bottom two photos. It is a totally stunning little village with a tranquil stream running the length of it. Numerous bridges cross the stream, gift shops line one side and there are other attractions too. If I had to list 5 places in England that you must see, this would be on my list.



  13. Owlbut's Birdwatch
  14. This is a really pretty and colourful liittle bird, isn't it? It's a goldfinch. They can be found all over England and, in total, there are about 1.2 million breeding pairs. That's a lot. They eat seeds and insects and with their long beaks can extract seeds other birds might not be able to reach.

    They grow to about 12cm, have a wingspan of 25cm and weigh between 14 and 19 grams. I don't need to tell you their colouring, you can see it, and it is quite likely you could see one in your garden, especially in the south of England. Some of them will fly off to Spain, France or Belgium for a winter holiday.

We have asked the local Tourist Board(s) for a small contribution (50 pounds) to the cost of running this project and, in anticipation of their agreement, we are providing a link to their site(s) for the next five years. I can assure you we won't see anywhere near everything when we are there, so, if you fancy taking a trip into Gloucestershire check it (them) out for some great information. Apart from anything else it will get you out in the fresh air, walking around and one day you might be over 70 and still enthusiastically mobile.

All figures the latest available as at July 2020