Gloucestershire Heritage Hub

Gloucestershire Archives

Open Garden event

The Kingsholm “Open Gardens” event on Saturday 25 June, organised by the Kingsholm &Wotton Neighbourhood Partnership, was a perfect opportunity to show off the Heritage Hub garden.  Thankfully, despite a couple of heavy downpours, the weather was fine, and we were delighted to welcome over 30 people to the garden. 


Photos by Phil King

Diana White, who designed the garden while a student at the Cotswold School of Gardening, joined us for the day, and brought along her original designs.  

We offered refreshments in the Dunrossil Centre, along with a digital display of some royal themed documents in our collections. 

Here are some lovely comments from visitors on the day:  

'Stunning impact as you walk into it. Always very well kept.'

'Very welcoming and charming.  Wonderful impressions.'

'Enjoyable and entertaining.'

'A nice relaxing space, not just to spend time but to meet people too.'

'Informative, well designed,  re-telling Gloucestershire story in pictures and plants.  Raised beds are the future of the Hub: going out from this community to the wider community!  Lovely, well done x'


This got our new monthly Saturday programme off to a flying start. Read about July’s “Make & Mend” themed event that took place on Saturday 2 July here.   

If you’ve missed out so far, be sure to catch “Flora & Fauna” on 6 August.  HIighlights include talks on Kip prints by Anthea Jones and Wheeler’s nursery in Alvin Street by Jan Broadway, and honey tasting courtesy of the Heritage Hub bees! 

More details on the Flora and Fauna events page and Heritage Hub website  

Kate Maisey, Archive Development Manager

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. 

This Document of the Month  article was written by John Putley and appeared in the May 2022 issue.  

Gloucestershire Archives D45/F15

This page from the household accounts of the Whitmore Family of Lower Slaughter records restocking fish (eels, tench and carp) into the Manor House ponds for 1762 to 1764.  Since medieval times, the keeping and eating of freshwater fish was the realm of the aristocracy or the monasteries as they were luxury items requiring land and ample water – although most villages had a pond, these were for watering stock animals. 

Fish played an important role in the diet of the upper classes because church rules frequently forbade meat consumption (not only in lent, but also on Fridays, Saturdays, and the vigils of many religious festivals).  This didn’t affect the lower classes (who rarely ate meat or fish as these foods were too expensive) but in aristocratic households, plentiful amounts of fish were deemed a necessity on non-meat days.  The bulk of these were marine species, but freshwater fish made up about one-third of the total. 

Although fish consumption dwindled after the renaissance, private fishponds remained a mark of social status and helped reinforce class differences well into the 20th century.  The fish in these accounts were probably intended both for sport and the plate, as by this date, the pastime of angling was very popular in the upper classes.

Gloucestershire Archives accessions

This blog was posted by Rhianna Watson and gives details of accessions made in April - June 2022. 

It is time for our second quarterly blog looking at accessions we have recently received at Gloucestershire Archives. These can be from any place, person or organisation in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire.


This quarter we have added 94 new accessions onto our online catalogue. This includes material relating to both Gloucestershire County Council and South Gloucestershire Councils response to Covid-19, hundreds of Magistrate Court registers, material from the former Chair of Stroud Local History Society Philip Walmsley and much more! 

Find a full list of accessions for this quarter in the downloadable PDF on the blog page Gloucestershire Archives accessions, April-June 2022 | Gloucestershire Archives (

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.

For accessions made in the previous quarter visit Gloucestershire Archives accessions, January-March 2022 | Gloucestershire Archives (

Make and Mend

The “Make & Mend” themed event took place on Saturday 2 July and was the first of the Heritage Hub themed events taking place the first Saturday of each month. The next Saturday event is Flora and Fauna on Saturday 6 August.

David and Will Hart, Freemen of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, gave a fascinating talk on the Hart Silversmiths. David and Will brought along examples of their work and explained the processes involved when making silverware. Alongside the talk there was a display of documents from the archives.


The day included a pop up repair shop, local artists demonstrating their work and archives staff getting crafty. 


The Women's Institute had a stall showing their history and Gloucestershire Family History Centre was open and included a book stall.

A good day was had by all.

To find out more about the Saturday events visit Saturday events 2022 - Heritage Hub


Heritage Hub defibrillator

We read in the news this week that all schools will be supplied with potentially life-saving defibrillators.  

Did you know that we already have one at the Heritage Hub?  It is based in the goldfish bowl between reception and the research room.  


Although we hope never to need to use it, it is good to know it is there if required.   


Local History

Gloucestershire Local History Association

Summer Events 2022

Celebrating a return to normal gatherings, GLHA arranged two successful events in May and June.

The Local History Day was held at the University of Gloucestershire which provided excellent accommodation for the speakers, history displays and over 90 participants from across the County. The theme of the Day was The History of Education in Gloucestershire and talks by four speakers included a variety of topics from Education in the Middle Ages to Stroud Technical School for Girls. Fifteen local history groups and organisations brought displays, information stands and bookstalls. A buffet lunch was enjoyed by all.

Painswick Local History Society won the prize for the best display. Click here to see the display in full.  


The Day also included the announcement of the 2021 Bryan Jerrard Award, the winner of which was Nigel Spry, (pictured right) for his article, ‘In Memoriam: Gloucester’s Nineteenth Century Cholera Epidemics’, published in Glevensis 53.

The Summer Afternoon Meeting was hosted by Cheltenham Local History Society at St Andrew’s United Reformed Church in Montpellier. The afternoon included a choice of three different walks or two talks. The theme of the afternoon was Cheltenham’s Trade and Industry and included an extensive display on local shops and businesses. Over 80 members of local history groups attended and enjoyed the opportunity to meet others from different groups while taking part in the activities and the delicious afternoon tea at the end of the day.


One of the walks looked at two hundred years of trading history around Suffolk Parade and Suffolk Road. Other options included The Wilsons of Cheltenham and the famous landmarks around Montpellier.

The talks covered the history of shops and the story of Whitbread’s brewery in Cheltenham.


Cheltenham Local History Society

‘A Human Dynamo’ honoured

On 30 May Alfred James Miles of Cheltenham (1853-1932) coach builder, County and Borough Counsellor, non-conformist preacher and the antiquarian who compiled ten monumental scrapbooks, that now reside in safe keeping at the Archives, was honoured with a blue plaque on his former home at St Anne’s House, St. Anne’s Road, Cheltenham.


Cheltenham Local History Society volunteers have recently completed a four-year project that has consisted of listing the material - text, images and ephemera – in the 9,000 pages in the scrapbooks. Miles himself funded and witnessed the unveiling of blue plaques for Alfred Tennyson and William C Macready, and we in our turned felt that the ‘human dynamo’ also deserved a blue plaque to commemorate his achievement in compiling such an important source for local historians that covers the history of our town from prehistoric times to the early 1930s. The unveiling was also one of several events that pay tribute to our Society in our 40th year.

Sally Self  June 2022

For more information about Cheltenham Local History Society visit 


Cheltenham Volunteers 2014-2022

Cheltenham Local History Society cataloguing volunteers was set up in 2014 following an invitation by the Archives to attend two training sessions to introduce us to the process of turning initial light weight cataloguing, by the Archive staff, into fully catalogued deposits.

Eight of us attended and those numbers have remained steady at between eight and ten for eight years. Around the same time Gloucestershire County History Trust took steps to complete the VCH Leadon Valley volume and to extend their support to a VCH volume on Cheltenham (Vol. 15). The cataloguing supported this move by embarking on cataloguing several large solicitors’ deposits. Other projects involved deposits related to Dowty, and maps and 20th century deposits from Cheltenham Borough Council, local Societies deposits. Other smaller deposits with particular relevance to Cheltenham and its environs, such as the Skillicorne (Cheltenham) and Prinn, Hunt and Russell (Charlton Kings)  deposits have been tackled.

While Covid led to several ‘lock outs’ we have always returned, with similar numbers, as soon as restrictions were lifted. We have catalogued around 700+ boxes, numerous files, maps and folders, with the number of boxes increasing monthly. We are currently working on the D2202/acc 5213 which consists of around 80 boxes of a further deposit by Cheltenham solicitors’ Winterbotham and Bell, later Winterbotham and Gurney with Jessops. This task will be finish in the next month or so, and Kate Maisey is currently searching for our next task, which is planned to support early work on the parish of Charlton Kings or gaps in research for Cheltenham and Leckhampton.

Other members are currently working on cataloguing and repackaging Cheltenham photographs from the 20th/21st century and researching Leckhampton records to support Louise Ryland-Epton.

We have become a very social group who enjoy working at the Archives with the support given to us by the Archives’ staff.

Sally Self


VCH researchers with Cheltenham volunteers

11 July 2022

Do you know about Woodchester Mansion?


Woodchester Mansion is a house like no other, and offers lots of interest for everyone who enjoys historical buildings. It is an incomplete Gothic Revival house hidden in a secluded Cotswold valley, a few miles S of Stroud. It will never be finished. You can walk through the shell of the building and see the bare bones of the construction, a quite different and unique experience to viewing a finished property with fine furniture and paintings.

The quality of the craftsmanship in the local limestone is outstanding. Visitors can admire the splendid gargoyles and the roof bosses in the chapel, inspired by the plants in the surrounding valley. Children can spot the many carved animals.


The Mansion was built for the wealthy Catholic convert William Leigh (1802-73), and we are very lucky in having a collection of family letters and photographs. These are in Gloucestershire Archives for safekeeping, and form the basis of the many displays in the Mansion (catalogue number D12584). One of these  answers the million dollar question – why was the Mansion never finished?


Gloucestershire Archives also house a collection of the architects’ drawings for the Mansion, which tell us about the development of the building (catalogue number D1011/P15/2 and D1011/P16). They range from rough sketches to completed presentations for the client, and some can be seen in the house.


Over the last two years nearly £1m worth of work has been done on restoration of the Mansion roof, but the bill for the remaining work, including the focus of the building, the wonderful Neo-gothic chapel, approaches £5m.

The Mansion (The Woodchester Mansion Trust) is situated in the beautiful Woodchester Park (National Trust) with its eighteenth century landscape and chain of lakes. Visitors can enjoy a walk in the park as part of their visit to this unique house.

Mansion open:  Fri/Sat/Sun 11am – 5pm (last admission to house 4pm) until Sunday 30th October. Adult admission £8.50, under 16s free.

Café at Mansion (snacks, real coffee, light lunches, tea and cake) on open days 11am – 4pm.


For more information visit – please view for directions, we are not easy to find!

The Woodchester Mansion Trust   

Registered Charity No 900315


Art and Design

The stories they tell us

Buying antiques to furnish one’s home is a relatively cheap way of setting up home, and is a much greener and sustainable way of buying items which have already had a life, and which can be “recycled” or repurposed many times over. There is a resurgence of interest, today, in anything old for one’s home, whether shabby chic, mid-century modern, upcycled, or vintage.

My dining table, for example, is a late Georgian, round, tilt-top pedestal supper table, dating from about 1820. It is matched with 4 hand-made ladder back dining chairs with rush seats. All of this furniture is in dark, highly French polished English oak, with the patina of around a couple of centuries’ daily use. I like to imagine the meals eaten at the table, the characters who would have used it, sometimes by candlelight, the letters written, and the afternoon teas enjoyed around it. These are country, vernacular pieces of furniture, which would have been hand-made and sold locally, probably from workshops rather than shops, and quite often handed down from one generation to the next.

My small dining table will have been used by people who will have witnessed the dawn of the Regency era, the Crimean War, the reign of Queen Victoria, the First World War, the Art Deco period and roaring 20’s, World War Two, and so many other national and international events in their lifetimes. I like to think of the stories such humble pieces of furniture could tell if only they could speak! I find that art and antiques not only give me a sense of the past, but put me in touch with history and heritage in a very tangible way.

If you’re interested in the history of the home, a good place to visit is the former Geffrye Museum, now the Museum of the Home, in London. Or, closer to home, the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings in Bromsgrove. Or, if you like reading, consider Bill Bryson’s “At Home – A Short History of Private Life”. And for decorative, domestic arts, nothing can surpass the V&A. Consider, also, the popular TV series, “A House Through Time”, presented by historian David Olusoga.


Design is all around us, even if we don’t consider it to be so. Think about advertising hoardings – they define an age and can date a moment in time; for example, the colourful, very stylised images used on the Tube, in London, in the inter-war years (now highly collectable) or the red and white “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters always associated with WW2. Visual art and design actually define an age in a way that very few other things do – save for the built environment and, to some extent, fashion. Museums are excellent sources rich with ideas and possibilities to inspire us.

Art and design endure in a way that very little else does. It is always worth fixing old items; just think of the popularity of BBC1’s “The Repair Shop” which is not only about the old items, but about the human stories associated with them, often reflecting the lives and experiences of generations. Art and design is always about the task, and the need, of reflecting human experience – whether in the shape of a well-crafted antique table or a colourful Art Deco poster on the underground; it is, above all, about expression. As William Morris said, that doyenne of the Arts & Crafts Movement, “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” That is, I think, as true today as when he first coined the phrase well over a century ago.

Sally Middleton

Book Review - National Treasures: Saving the Nation’s Art in World War II

By Caroline Shenton

Have you ever wondered what happened to the art collections at the National Gallery, the V&A, and the National Portrait Gallery – even the Crown Jewels – during World War II? This book by Caroline Shenton tells all. Published in 2021, it tells the story of the evacuation from London of our historic and cultural treasures, held in trust for the nation, on the outbreak of war. It covers art galleries, museum artefacts and archives. It is meticulously researched and well written. Caroline Shenton, although now a full-time writer, was formerly an archivist at the National Archives, in Kew, and at the UK Parliamentary Archives.

The book is narrated chronologically, starting with preparations at the outbreak of war, by the then Ministry of Works, and ending when hostilities cease. There is also a useful epilogue. The index is easy to use, and the book is well structured. It includes several photographs of the period. It is full of interesting facts and figures, and several heroes emerge.

One of the things I enjoyed most about the book is the portrayal of several eminent figures in the art world at the time, including Kenneth Clark (then the Director of the National Gallery), who went on to publish the seminal art history book Civilisation (made into a ground-breaking BBC2 documentary of the same title, in 1969, and recently re-made for television). The book explores related themes such as propaganda, maintaining morale during the blitz, and the emergence of what has become popularly known as “The Monuments Men”; art, archives and museum experts who were tasked, in the aftermath of WWII, with looking at the restitution of art works, across formerly occupied Europe, that were seized by the Nazis.

There are interesting and insightful anecdotes shared throughout the book. One of the most intriguing concerns the 4 extant copies of Magna Carta. In the early years of the war, before the USA entered the war as our allies, but were supporting Britain with aid and armaments, an interesting suggestion was put to Winston Churchill. As a means of thanking the American nation, the UK government considered presenting Roosevelt with a copy of the iconic, and priceless, Magna Carta (the one from Lincoln Cathedral, but on loan to the USA for an exhibition, at the outbreak of war), as a permanent gift (pp.209-210). But this gift to the American nation – due to be announced on BBC radio on 15th June 1941 – never came to pass. I’ll let you read the book to find out why!

I thoroughly enjoyed the book; I thought I already knew quite a bit about this period and what it meant for our national treasures, but this book sheds so much more light on a fascinating episode of WWII. I wasn’t so interested in the lengthy discussions of logistical issues involved in safely transporting huge art works across the UK, to safe havens, but very amused by the in-fighting, professional one-upmanship and quarrels between those who played a major part in this little known story. Highly recommended.

Sally Middleton

Family History

Saturday events in the Heritage Hub

We in Gloucestershire Family History Society were delighted to contribute to the first two Saturday events in the Heritage Hub and are eagerly anticipating the sessions arranged for the coming months. 

Few things can beat the excitement of meeting new people, listening to their family history stories and maybe helping them to push forward with their research.  It is a privilege to chip away at seemingly unsurmountable ‘brick walls’ and few things beat the excitement of nailing that elusive ancestor or unravelling that tangled web of family relationships or secrets.

One of the best things about the Saturday events is that they allow a completely different group of people to visit the Hub and discover more about Gloucestershire’s history.  We’re very aware that some folk just don’t have time during the working week, so we’re pleased to offer them this opportunity.  The Centre’s resources aren’t restricted to Gloucestershire but cover the UK and the wider world so it doesn’t matter if your roots don’t lie in Gloucestershire - come along and we’ll see what we can find.

Another benefit of the Saturday opening is that it is easier for other family members to get involved.  Researching family history is often a multi-generational activity, so an interest in the past is sparked by a casual question from a child, grandchild or even great-grandchild about old family photos or an item which has come down the generations.  It is good to involve them in all the thrills of discovering more about their past and great to have someone to brainstorm with when/if it all gets a bit tricky. 

The same applies if you’re interested in the people who lived in your house or area, rather than your own family.  You might have some old photos or deeds which inspire you to find out more about them and their lives.  Drop into the Centre and we’ll see what we can help you find.


If you’re interested in all things history and heritage you might consider coming to one of our free online evening talks.  We welcome non-GFHS members and details are available on our website:  We have a fascinating programme lined up for the rest of 2022 and you won’t need to leave the comfort of your own sofa!

For Saturday Event dates visit the Heritage Hub website.

Please note the Family History Centre is open from 10am on Saturday Event days.

Friends of Gloucestershire Archives

Buying documents.

One of Friends’ main tasks is to buy documents for Gloucestershire Archives when they come on the open market.  Perhaps surprisingly, there are other people and organisations who want to acquire Gloucestershire’s historical documents, and the Friends often encounter stiff opposition when bidding at auction.

In March the Friends were successful in purchasing over 80 19th Century documents relating to the Davy family of Tracy Park in South Gloucestershire – a significant addition to the Archives’ existing records of this important family.

 General Sir William Davy bought Tracy Park in 1820

The Friends have also recently bought Land Tax records for Tocklington (1798) and Littleton (1797), and have acquired two large boxes of assorted property and legal documents relating to various parts of the county.

In June last year the Friends were awarded a £1,000 grant by Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, which is being used towards a Gloucester project encouraging minority groups to value the archives they produce.  In June this year Ecclesiastical Insurance invited the chair of the Friends, Clive Andrews, to join them, and many other beneficiaries including the Prince of Wales, at a splendid service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate them giving over £100 million to charities.

The work of the Friends is important.  If you are not a Friend but would like to join, and support Gloucestershire Archives, a membership form can be found on the Friend’s website:


If you are already a Friend you might like to put Sunday 25 September in your diary, the date of this year’s always popular mystery tour.  More details soon.


Flora and Fauna

Saturday 6 August, 1 - 4pm. Free of charge. Free parking

Gloucestershire Heritage Hub, Alvin Street, GL1 3DW

A buzzy event featuring the Heritage Hub beekeepers, Glos Wildlife & Orchard Trusts, garden related talks, and archive treasures on display  

  • Meet the Heritage Hub beekeepers, learn about the processes involved and sample our honey!
  • Talks by Anthea Jones on Johannes Kip, 18th century engraver of prints commissioned by Sir Robert Atkyns for ‘The Ancient and Present State of Glostershire’ and Jan Broadway on The Wheelers of Gloucester – a family of Georgian nurserymen
  • Come and learn about Gloucestershire Orchard and Wildlife Trusts
  • Exhibition of garden related records held at Gloucestershire Archives
  • ‘Tracing your roots’ help available from Gloucestershire Family History Society
  • A selection of bee related merchandise and free refreshments

We have two scheduled talks and the rest of the afternoon is drop-in - stay as long or as little as you like!

1:30-2:15pm - talk by Jan Broadway on the Wheelers of Gloucester – a family of Georgian nurserymen

3-3:45pm - talk by Anthea Jones on Johannes Kip, 18th century engraver of prints commissioned by Sir Robert Atkyns for ‘The Ancient and Present State of Glostershire’

To see all the Saturday events visit Saturday events 2022 - Heritage Hub

Gloucestershire Archives: Secrets Revealed

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Wednesday 24 August, 1 - 2pm.  Free of charge

Gloucestershire is a rural county with lots of agriculture, country estates, woodland and many other green spaces.  This presentation will look at the historical records concerning all kinds of ‘growing’ – including farming, orchards and gardening.  It’s obviously impossible to cover everything so we’ll be looking at an eclectic ‘selection box’ of items so there will be something for everyone – whether you are interested in the large county estates of the landed gentry, farm accounts, local nurseries, backyard allotments, woodlands, types of apples, flower paintings, orchard pigs, ‘Dig for Victory’ or agricultural machinery. 


 Haymaking (GPS-69-24)                                                      Jefferies seed catalogue- Cotswold pixie sprout  (d6464-5-4)


Secrets Revealed are live Zoom seminars that bring together a community of people with a shared interest in history, heritage, culture and their importance in today’s world.

For more information and to book, visit Gloucestershire Archives Events

You should receive your Zoom link as an automated message when you book on to this event (remember to press the "Book now" button once you've entered your details). If you don't, please check your junk folder. If it's not in there, please contact and we will send you a link.


Voices Gloucester at the Heritage Hub

Our Living History, told by you 

A selection of free events taking place during Gloucester History Festival at the Heritage Hub. Free parking on site.

To book or find out more, visit and see our full programme of year round events.


Who are you?

Saturday 3rd September

A DNA and Family History focus session

11am -    Talk by Phil McCormick: A family business - 167 years of Nicks & Company

1- 4pm - Talk by Amelia Bennett, leading genealogist and historian on using DNA analysis to unlock your family secrets.

Want to do you family history but not sure how to start? Come and chat with experienced volunteers of Gloucestershire Family History Society. Learn how to make permanent memories of friends, family and colleagues through oral history and about archive resources.

The Gloucestershire Family History Centre is open from 10am.


Hands on History - preserving family photographs

Thursday 8th September, 10.30am- 3.30pm

Discover top tips for handling photographs and preventing damage in this practical workshop with heritage professionals


Innovations in Gloucester 

Friday 9th September, 10.00am - 4pm,

A day of  talks, come for the day and bring a picnic to enjoy in the Hub’s community garden, or just pick one or two.

10.00 am     Fielding and Platt:  Engineering the world John Bancroft

 Hydraulic Rivetter on R.M.S. Oceanic c.1898 (F&P)

11.20 am     Dowty innovators: the people of the Dowty group Ally McConnell

 Sir George Dowty with a Dowty undercarriage for the Avro Lancaster

13.30 pm     Gloucester Corporation: innovation in the city in the mid-20th century Karen Davidson

 A poster for Sir Alan Cobham's Youth of Britain flights (Gloucester Corporation) 

14.50 pm    An improving picture: 200 years of mental health provision in Gloucestershire Jemma Fowkes

   Barnwood House


Voices Gloucester Green Day

Sunday 18th September, 1pm - 4pm.

Bring a picnic to the wonderful community garden and learn through films and talks, how Gloucester folk engaged with the environment in the past.

Look to the past for a more sustainable future - learn how to make a wax food wrap or how to darn a sock!


Gloucestershire Heritage Hub, Clarence Row, Alvin Street, Gloucester, GL1 3DW

See for full details of all events

Voices Gloucester

Our Living History, told by you 

 A selection of our events taking place during Gloucester History Festival, 3 - 18th September at various venues in Gloucester.


To book or find out more, visit and see our full programme of year round events.


People are cities and cities are people

3 - 18th September, weekends 11am - 6pm, Wednesday - Friday 11am - 3pm

162-166 Barton St, Gloucester GL1 4EU

Georgia Williams & Rider Shafique have worked with the local community to create this unique exhibition which animates over 50 years of Gloucester Carnival photographs with stories and memories. Also showing will be images and films from the latest in the Gloucester First series by Rider Shafique and Tarsier Films; The first interracial marriage.


Unreflective Reflections

Monday 5th September, 4pm - 6pm

The Friendship Cafe, Gloucester GL4 6PR

A project created by the local Muslim community to shed some light into their history in Gloucester

‘Through the Lens’ photography exhibition, and ‘Gloucester’s Glory’ film, tell the untold stories of the early community who settled here, and provide an inspiration for continuing their legacy, as well as to provide a resource for capturing future stories.


Gloucestershire Observed

Wednesday 7th September, 7.30pm,

Gala Club, Fairmile Gardens, Gloucester GL2 9EB

Popular local historian Tony Conder casts his eye over National and local events, local life and human nature in the county as seen in Journals and Diaries over the last 500 years.


The Lost Library of Llanthony: Rediscovering Llanthony Secunda’s medieval manuscripts

Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September, 11.00am - 3.00pm

Llanthony Secunda Priory, Priory Junction, Gloucester GL2 5FA


In the medieval period, the scholars of Llanthony Secunda were responsible for the creation of a very special library that is still considered one of the richest and best-documented medieval English book collections in the country. This remarkable library is no longer in Gloucester but is scattered across the world, and this new documentary film traces the stories the books tell, how they were created and how they survived almost certain destruction.

Come along to Llanthony Secunda Priory this Heritage Open Day weekend to find out more about how you can view the film, and to explore how medieval manuscripts were created. 


Proud Voices

4pm, Saturday 10th September,

St Mary De Crypt, Southgate St, Gloucester GL1 2DR

Join the cast and crew in this special screening of a new visual documentary by Anna Mouzouri, exploring the LGBT nightlife and community in Gloucestershire, spanning the years 1980 - 1990


The Boys at number 18

Monday 12th September, 6pm

Sherborne Cinema, Sherborne Street, Kingsholm, Gloucester GL1 3BY


‘Get them out!’ in the early years of World War Two, there was an extraordinary effort to rescue Jewish children from Nazi Germany, ten of whom ended up in Gloucester, at a hostel in Alexandra Road, Kingsholm. Commissioned by Gloucestershire Archives, this short film tells the story of these boys through interviews with their descendants.

Accompanying exhibition by History students from the University of Gloucester.

Gloucestershire Heritage Hub, from 2nd - 18th September, 10am - 4pm Monday - Friday


From Department Store to City Campus: the story of the Debenham’s building  - A Gloucester University Exhibition

5th - 16th September, 9 - 5pm,

The Music Works, The Hub, 2nd Floor, King’s House, 27 St Aldate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1RP


Tracing the evolution of the building from Bon Marche department store, through to the takeover by Debenhams in the 1970s, and recent acquisition by the University of Gloucestershire as the planned new City Campus.


Slavery & Abolitionism in Gloucestershire - A Gloucester University Exhibition

2nd - 18th September, 10 - 4pm, Monday-Friday only

Shire Hall, Westgate Street, GL1 2TG

Projects by History students focus on two local legacies of the transatlantic slave trade: the life of a Cheltenham resident who was the largest slave-owner in Barbados, and a prominent local activist who campaigned for the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire and beyond


Discover Gloucester’s famous Rainbow Streets

Tuesday 6th September, 3.30 pm. Meet outside no 20.

St Mark Street, GL1 2QQ


Join with internationally acclaimed colour visionary and Gloucester’s very own ‘Queen of Colour’ Tash Frootko as she takes you on a lively and informative tour of the famous Rainbow Streets



THREADS  - A language beyond words - stitching and stories

Voices Gloucester

Exhibitions  2nd - 18th September

Westgate St, Gloucester

Celebrating collaborative stitching projects across the county, and the proud history of textile in Westgate street, Threads looks to celebrate the past and look to the future with this dynamic full programme of exhibitions and events.


Working with our heritage partners Gloucester Cathedral, The Cathedral Quarter and The Folk as well as shops and business up and down the street, it seems fitting that this street once known for its bustling trade in tailors, is now showcasing community stitching projects. There will also be the opportunity to find out more about the stories and hidden treasures uncovered by the Cathedral Quarter regeneration 

Pick up a map at the Cathedral, the Cathedral Quarter Shop, or any of the cafes and explore!


Tewkesbury Stitch Story

10am-5pm Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm on Saturday and 12noon-2.30pm on Sunday

The Lady Chapel, Gloucester Cathedral, 12 College Green, Gloucester GL1 2LX

Please check the Cathedral’s ‘What’s On’ calendar for the most up to date information on opening hours before you visit.


This astonishing collaborative artwork, led by Community Artist Jo Teague, saw over 8000 local people contribute a hand embroidered panel of the history of Tewkesbury. It will be on display alongside some of the Cathedral's historic collection of textiles with local resonance


Westgate Stories

9am-5pm daily

Where - various - pick up a map from the Cathedral Quarter shop

Gloucestershire textiles artists have brought to life your memories of life on the street with beautiful illustrations


Threads through time

10am - 4pm daily 

The Folk, 99-103 Westgate Street, GL1 2PG

Work for sale from talented Gloucestershire textiles artists 


Talks & workshops

Friday 16th 10.00 am  - 7.00pm, and Saturday 17th September 12.00 -6.00pm

The Folk, 99-103 Westgate Street, GL1 2PG 

There will be a series of additional workshops and talks to accompany the exhibitions including:

- The historic needlework of Cheltenham Female Orphanage - Jo Teague

- Westgate Stories - Marsha O’ Mahony

- 400 Years of Stroudwater Textiles - Language beyond words,collaborative projects panel discussion, hosted by Jo Andrews, Haptic & Hue

See for full details of all events

Threads is supported by [Cultural Quarter]


Gloucester History Festival

Blackfriars Talks 

Friday 16 - Sunday 18 September 2022


The festival theme of families and innovations weaves throughout the programme at the magnificent 12th century Blackfriars Priory. From the archaeological discoveries of Tutankhamen’s tomb to the fortresses of Alfred the Great and Edward III’s longbow archers, and from the dynasties of the Pharaohs and Tudors to the untold stories of families from medieval times to today.

In this year’s programme we premiere a brand new film revealing the Secrets of Westgate Street with new discoveries revealed by City Archaeologist Andrew Armstrong. Top historian and TV broadcaster Michael Wood reveals new details about life in the Dark Ages marking the 40th anniversary of his bestselling book In Search of the Dark Ages.


Michael Wood

We mark the 100th anniversary of the Tutankhamen dig in November 1922 with an exclusive preview of discoveries made in the new BBC series presented by Janina Ramirez.

We also mark 75 years since Indian Partition on 15 August 1947 with a keynote panel featuring Oxford professor Yasmin Khan and Kavita Puri whose award-winning book and Radio 4 series have been adapted into a stage play showing at the Donmar Warehouse in September. We hear exclusive new material from Janina Ramirez’s major new book Femina revealing the true part women played in medieval Europe, and in a new talk written exclusively for the Festival by City Archaeologist Andrew Armstrong reveals the innovations of Alfred the Great and his daughter Aethelflaed, the Warrior Queen, as they built fortifications across England. 


Janina Ramirez                                                                    Kavita Puri (© Jonathan Ring)

We look at Russia’s turbulent history including recent events in Ukraine with former Foreign Secretary David Owen. And with Gloucester centre stage in the story of the English Civil War, we focus on the endgame as the manhunt for Charles I’s murderers is explored by internationally bestselling author of Enigma, Fatherland and Munich, Robert Harris.


 David Owen                                                                        Robert Harris (© Nick Gregan)

For more information visit:

Gloucester History Festival - Winstone Talk

Invasion: Edward III & The Hundred Years’ War

Dan Jones

Saturday 29 October 2022

6.30-7.30pm Cirencester Parish Church, Market Place, Cirencester £10


Dan Jones (© Peter Clark)

Immortalised by Shakespeare’s Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt, the Hundred Years’ War set the course of Anglo-French relations for centuries and had a profound influence on medieval Britain and the English throne. Bestselling historian and broadcaster Dan Jones tells the extraordinary story of the first years of the war from Edward III’s dramatic invasion of Normandy, culminating in the 1346 Battle of Crecy – one of the most significant conflicts in England’s history and the first time longbows were used in a large scale battle – explored in his new book Essex Dogs.


For more information and to book tickets visit

Or call or visit in person Cirencester Visitor Information Centre Tel: 01285 654180

South Gloucestershire

This is Your Heritage Project

Stories from the South Gloucestershire Indian Community

The project aims to explores the stories of Indian heritage, migration and settlement in South Gloucestershire. The Pilot project links museums with their local Indian community to embrace diversity.

Indian contributors at the launch of the project 6 April 2022 at Aerospace Bristol

Hardik Gaurav, Community Film Maker for the project has produced an introduction video here

Filmed interviews with Contributors to this project are being added as they are produced to the project webpage here.

For an example, try the interview of Dr Sandhya Sinha, from Yate, here.


The touring exhibition venues (museums and libraries) are listed on the webpage. The exhibition is currently at Yate Heritage Centre where you can see it from 8th July to 30th August.



South Gloucestershire Heritage Open Days 9th to 12th September 2022


Join us celebrating South Gloucestershire’s rich history of invention, industry and innovation with the theme this year of ‘Astounding Inventions’. Enjoy exhibitions, walks and tours, site exploration and an International Festival.

For our listing, see here.

Jane Marley, Museums and Heritage Officer, South Gloucestershire Council

Winterbourne Medieval Barn

Winterbourne Medieval Barn is an amazing survivor of a large raised-cruck barn built in 1342 by lord of the manor Sir Thomas de Bradeston using green-timber construction methods, the cutting-edge technology of that period. It is now managed by a volunteer-run charitable (WMBT) trust who aim to preserve it and keep it available for community uses.


This summer there are "have-a-go" craft workshops for Fused Glass, Pottery, and Basket-weaving, and craft sessions for families with children under 12 based around A Midsummer Night's Dream.   The Festival Players (touring Shakespeare) will perform A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Medieval Barn on Tuesday 2nd August.


On Saturday 30th July there is a traditional Barn Dance in a real heritage barn. Lots of fun for all ages!  There are monthly talks in the Barn - hear about the export of Ham Green Pottery and Dundry Stone from the local area in medieval times, or learn how you can help hedgehogs in our gardens, or find out about the fascinating local inventor Harry Grindell Matthews - way ahead of his time or a fraud?


The Barn will be open as part of Heritage Open Days in September, and the good weather season rounds off in October with the annual Orchard Harvest Day. More details about all these events can be found on the website.  Advanced booking is advised.

For more information visit


Old Yate Heritage Trail


Yate Town Council has produced a heritage trail for Station Road, Yate. There are framed displays and window displays showing what the road looked like in the past.

Take a walk along the road and learn about the people, places and businesses that made and make the town of Yate.


76 - 68 Station Rd                                                                   94 - 92 Station Rd

Download the map here

See the photos here


David Hardill 

Community Heritage Officer

Yate & District Heritage Centre

Avon Local History & Archaeology


ALHA (Avon Local History & Archaeology) is an umbrella group, aiming to encourage and coordinate activities of the various local history, archaeological and heritage groups that lie within the Avon area. The former County of Avon is the area covered, now the council areas of Bath & North-East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire in the West of England.

Summer walks, Local History Day, Downloads, Publications, Annual lecture, Grants and Loacal History Starter packs are all offered by the group.


Summer walking tour

A monthly newsletter is published full of interesting articles covering recent events, current issues, recent publications, ongoing projects and opportunities and forthcoming activities.


To read the current (and past) newsletters visit Newsletters | Avon Local History & Archaeology (

To find out more about ALHA visit  Avon Local History & Archaeology | A network of local heritage groups (

South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group


The South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group (SGMRG) was set up by local people to understand, record and where appropriate preserve the remains, of what was once an extensive industry, for the present community and future generations. SGMRG is a voluntary organisation that relies on grants and donations from local people. Our membership is made up of archaeologists, surveyors, historians, engineers, cavers and those simply interested in finding more about what lies under their feet. We have regular meetings, walks and talks including the opportunity to get involved in exploration, archaeology and restoration work

The next two talk dates for 2022 are Wednesday 28 October and 7 December, subjects and speakers to be confirmed soon. keep an eye on the events page for more information Diary of Events - SGMRG Website

Meetings and talks are usually held in the Miners Institute (aka Coalpit Heath Village Hall), 214 Badminton Road, Coalpit Heath

If you would like to join us, please visit our Membership page for further information.


If you live in south Gloucestershire you may have seen these mining relics in Yate on the roundabout next to Morrisons and B&Q. There is now an information board nearby about Celestine which was open-cast mined in the area.

Gloucestershire Police Archives

Summer News 2022

Things continue to get busier as life becomes the new normal.

There have been several talks in the Thornbury, Chipping Sodbury area which before the boundary changes of 1974 were policed by Gloucestershire Constabulary. It is good to see that we are attracting higher numbers as the weather improves and we can have the doors and windows open without shivering.

 We have also managed to get out to a school fete.

This flurry of activity has led to more bookings for talks in the Autumn not only in Thornbury but also in Stroud and Newent.

It’s that time of year where the volunteers and I are working hard to prepare for the Force Open Day after a break of 2 years it’s amazing how much needs to be done.

We continue to have several queries each week, another 40 or so this quarter as usual some are very complicated while others are easily dealt with.

We had a request to visit a widow of a police officer who wanted to donate some of her husband’s photographs. After the phone call to arrange the visit there was great excitement in the office as we discovered that the officer’s father had also been a police officer and had been awarded the silver braid.  The Silver braid was initiated by Chief Constable Stanley Clarke who wanted to recognise the bravery of police officers in the course of their duty.  While we had pictures of officers wearing the silver braid we could not find anyone who had seen it and we had no proper photographs of it. 

  We are now the very proud owners of a piece of silver braid.

  Sergeant Fitzroy Taylor wearing his silver braid.

We had a request from an ex officer about his cadet service in 1962 which took a while but we were able to find a programme from an event celebrating cadets that he featured in. It is always great to be able to help and incredibly frustrating when we draw a blank.

We are still collecting photographs sent to us by both serving and retired officers and their families this one was taken at Dursley as part of planting trees for the Platinum Jubilee Queen’s Green Canopy.


We also received photographs when police officers, staff and volunteers helped to load lorries for Ukraine.


If you have any photographs we are always happy to receive Jpegs via and queries can also be sent to the same address.


Open  Monday to Wednesday until 2.30pm.

Sue Webb, Gloucestershire Constabulary Archives

Communications and Engagement Department, Gloucestershire Constabulary

Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life