lies in south-western England and borders Wales to the west. In 1974
the south of the county together with part of Somerset formed the
new county of Avon. Avon has since
been broken up into smaller authorities.
include the county seat of Gloucester
and the major port of Bristol.
1938 the Forest
of Dean was designated the first National Forest Park.
stage and film actor Sir Ralph Richardson
was born in Cheltenham in 1902. He acted in many productions at London's
famous Old Vic theatre during the 1930s and '40s and was able to transfer
his success there to the cinema with a film career spanning half a
century from his debut in 1933 to shortly before his death in 1983.
Sir John Gielgud
Hollywood actor Cary
Grant was born as Archibald Alexander Leach in Horfield, now part
of Bristol, in 1904. He arrived in the USA in 1920 and after working
in theatre moved to Hollywood where he made his film debut in 1932.
He appeared in many classic comedies opposite Hollywood's leading
actresses, also working with Sir Alfred Hitchcock in some of his most
successful films. In 1970 he was awarded an honorary Academy Award.
|Areas of Outstanding
Hills form a ridge running from north to south providing spectacular
uninterrupted views west into Wales and east over the Cotswolds. The
relatively small AONB is spread over three counties, with its southern
end lying in Gloucestershire. It includes a mixture landscapes and
it was this variety which was the main reason for its designation
as an AONB in 1959.
Malvern Hills in 1801
stretch over six counties, with the majority of their area lying in
Gloucestershire. They became the country's largest AONB on its creation
in 1966. The area is distinctive due to the underlying limestone rock
which has created a unique landscape and habitat for plants and animals.
The limestone gorges, woodlands and meadows of the Wye
Valley stretch from Hereford in the north to near Chepstow
Castle in the south and were designated an AONB in 1971. The northern
part of the AONB lies in Herefordshire with the southern half split
between Gloucestershire in the east and Wales in the west.
The preacher George Whitefield
was born at the Bell Inn in Gloucester in 1714. While studying at
Oxford he became involved with John Wesley and his brother Charles,
who in 1729 had set up a religious group called the "Oxford Methodists".
This was the beginnings of Methodism
which Whitefield and the Wesley brothers would later found. Originally
a movement within the Church of England, the Methodists were eventually
forced to separate and form their own church.
social reformer Beatrice Webb was born
as Martha Beatrice Potter in Gloucester in 1858. An early member of
Society, in 1892 she married another social reformer, Sidney Webb,
and together they dedicated themselves to promoting Socialist values.
In 1895 they established the world-renowned London
School of Economics and Political Science.
Blackwell, the first woman to qualify as a doctor in the USA,
was born in Bristol in 1821. She emigrated with her family to America
in 1832 but returned to England in 1868.
poet Robert Southey was born in Bristol
in 1774. He succeeded Henry James Pye as poet
in 1813 and when he died in 1843 his friend William Wordsworth succeeded
him. Southey and his colleague Samuel Taylor Coleridge were brothers-in-law
having married sisters.
She has made me in love with a cold climate, and frost and snow, with
a northern moonlight.
writer and poet Laurie
Lee was born as Laurence Edward Alan Lee in Stroud in 1914. He
was best known for Cider with Rosie in which he recounted his
rural childhood in the nearby village of Slad where his family had
moved to when he was three. The book depicted a century-old way of
village life, which he saw vanishing during his lifetime, slowly eroded
by the arrival of the modern world in the form of the car and the
spread of the town.
In 1934 Lee left the village of his youth and set out for London on
foot. After a year in the capital he travelled to Spain, where his
experiences before and during the Civil War would provide the material
for later books.
In the 1960s he returned to live in Slad. He died in the village in
1997 and is buried there.
Lee as a young man
Lee in later life
a morning it is when love
leans through geranium windows
and calls with a cockerel's tongue.
When red-haired girls scamper like roses
over the rain-green grass,
and the sun drips honey.
Days of these Days (1947)