Gloucestershire Heritage Hub

Gloucestershire Archives


Secrets Revealed - online talk

The popular “Secrets Revealed” online lunchtime talks by John Putley are continuing through 2023. The next talk 'Opening the door on house history' is on Wednesday 25 January, read all about it here.


Saturday events

Our Heritage Hub on site monthly Saturday events are also going from strength to strength.  December’s event “Anything that moves” was on the theme of transport and attracted over 80 people! 


Picture showing a model railway set up in the searchroom.

In January our theme was 'New Year, new hobby' with talks by Averil Kear, local author and researcher and Ben Nicholls of Experienced members of Gloucestershire Family History Society also ran a live ‘question and answer’ session.

Upcoming themes to look forward to in the next few months are house history (February), literary archives (March); schooldays (April) and heritage careers (June.) 

You can check out and book for these and other events via the Heritage Hub website  


A Schools Newsletter for you!

If you are a teacher, know a teacher or are otherwise involved with schools, we have a new schools’ newsletter starting which might interest you!


Starting this January, the Gloucestershire Archives, in partnership with Gloucester Views (Historic England) will be sending out a half-termly e-newsletter to Gloucestershire schools. Packed with relevant information, this will be a great way to find out about everything education going on. From learning offers from Gloucester heritage sites to upcoming schools’ training and projects, there’s plenty to discover.

To sign up, please email

 You can find out more about what Gloucestershire Archives does by reading the information leaflet below.


Download the Gloucestershire Archive leaflet here

Thank you to our volunteers.

Gloucestershire Archives works with 100+ volunteers who do a vast variety of tasks including catalogue enhancement, transcribing wills and inventories, describing photographs, cleaning documents, helping visitors to Gloucestershire Family History Centre with family history related enquiries, and looking after Gloucester Rugby, Fielding and Platt and Dowty heritage. Staff also volunteer, tending the community garden and looking after our bee colonies.

From April 2022 until end of December 2022, volunteers gave a staggering 6,500 hours which is an average of 64 hours per volunteer over the 6 months.

The monetary value of those volunteer hours is a very impressive £141,336 which equates to £1,400 per volunteer.

Volunteers enable the archives to do so much more than it otherwise could and we greatly value their contribution.

To say a big thank you, we held a tea party here at the Heritage Hub on December 13th, attended by volunteers and staff. It was lovely to see so many people and to be able to spend time chatting to everyone.


As part of the afternoon we also showed a double bill of short films, commissioned by Gloucestershire Archives, about Gloucester’s Kindertransport hostel (if you haven’t seen the films they are available to watch on our YouTube channel – 'The Boys at No 18' and 'Why Archives? The Kindertransport in Gloucester')


If you would like to volunteer with Gloucestershire Archives please email

To find out more visit the volunteering page on the Heritage Hub website  Volunteering - Heritage hub

Website re-vamp

The Gloucestershire Archive website has been re-vamped 

You might have noticed recently that the Gloucestershire Archives website is looking a bit different-hopefully in a good way! We’ve re-vamped the site, improving navigation and refreshing content.  To make sure that you’re seeing the new site rather than the old one (which may still be cached, or found by webcrawlers), type the web address into your browser and then bookmark for future reference Gloucestershire Archives

You can read more about the new site in a recent blog New Gloucestershire Archives Website! | Gloucestershire Archives (



Visit the website here

Gloucestershire Archives accessions

Accessions can be from any place, person or organisation in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire.

During the second half of 2022 Gloucestershire Archives added 226 new accessions onto our online catalogue.

This includes oral reminiscence recordings with members of different communities in Gloucester; documents concerning the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the Proclamation of King Charles III; research papers of local historians; Gloucester Rugby Football Club matchday programmes; cinema and theatre programmes; short films and other material concerning the Kindertransport hostel in Gloucester; records of the Ducarel family of Newland House; and Witts family papers, including correspondence and papers relating to the army and estate and finance, 20th century.

Find a full list of accessions for July-December in the downloadable PDF below.

accessions-report-january-2023.pdf (

Some items within these collections may be closed in accordance with the Data Protection Act and/or if they contain sensitive information. However you can find details of all the accessions, and further information if they have been catalogued, by visiting our website Online Catalogue – Gloucestershire Archives.


To read this and previous blog posts visit -

Gloucestershire Archives accessions, July-December 2022 | Gloucestershire Archives (


Cotswold Life

Each month the team at Gloucestershire Archives delve into our diverse collections and put together a piece that appears in Cotswold Life magazine. Articles often include - Photograph of the Month, Spotlight on Maps, Documents of the Month and Gloucestershire Character. 

In this newsletter we're including two articles written by John Putley which featured in the October 2022 issue.

Gloucestershire Character

P13/IN/4/6- Vol.2

This is John Evans, taken from one of the photograph albums compiled by Rev Edward Blackwell, vicar of Amberley.  These photographs often have brief biographical details, but this one – which was taken around 1865 - has none, which is a great shame because it surely begs a tale!  The most obvious aspect is that John has lost his right leg and has a classic ‘peg-leg’ prosthetic.  The 1851 census has a John Evans living at Nailsworth Hill in Amberley who is listed as an agricultural labourer.  Farming was (and still is) a risk-laden occupation so it seems likely that John lost his leg after some agricultural accident.  For the photograph, it looks like the wooden leg has been deliberately exposed as a trouser leg can be seen behind it.  Another mystery here is what is John making?  We thought it might be thatching crooks (wooden pegs used to fix thatch directly onto the roof timbers), or tines for wooden hay rakes or tent pegs but they look too fragile for these and are more like kebab skewers!  If any readers can suggest what these mystery objects are please let the Editor know! 

Document of the Month


This is a contract made on 23rd January 1656 when Sheriff of Gloucestershire Richard Whitmore of Lower Slaughter engaged Valentine Strong of Taynton to rebuild his ruinous medieval manor house at Lower Slaughter.  Originally a convent it was seized by the Crown during the Reformation and came into the Whitmore family in 1611.  The contract was “for the sum of £200 in lawful English money” and Strong was to ‘provide make reddy and sett up all the walls windows chimney tuns and stone worke’.  He was also to ‘find and bring to the place of building of the said house all sutch wall stones and morter as shall be necessary for the building of the house’ as well as ‘wheelbarrowes hods, handbarrowes, buckets and towles’(this word is either trowels or tools!).  Strong was a noted mason, having rebuilt Fairford Park House and helped at Lodge Park at Sherborne House near Burford.  His sons became masons also and helped Sir Christopher Wren build St Paul’s Cathedral.  Whitmore’s Lower Slaughter manor house remained in the family for over 350 years and is now a luxurious hotel, although greatly altered from Strong’s mid-17th century rebuilding.

If you are interested in the county’s buildings Gloucestershire Archives has two events coming up -

Our monthly Secrets Revealed online talk by John Putley, 'Opening the door on house history' on Wednesday 25 January, 1 - 2pm.  Free of charge. 

For more information visit Secrets Revealed online talk: opening the door on house history


Gloucestershire Heritage Hub's next Saturday event ‘If walls Could Talk' on Saturday 4th February from 1- 4pmFor more information visit If walls could talk - Heritage hub


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