This illustrated history portrays one of England's finest counties. It provides a nostalgic look at Gloucestershire's past and highlights the special character of some of its most important historic sites. The photographs are taken from the Historic England Archive, a unique collection of over 12 million photographs, drawings, plans and documents covering England's archaeology, architecture, social and local history. Pictures date from the earliest days of photography to the present and cover subjects from Bronze Age burials and medieval churches to cinemas and seaside resorts. The county of Gloucestershire is one of the most varied in the country. Divided by the valley of the River Severn, the ancient Forest of Dean in the west of the county was home to coal mining for many years. To the east, the Cotswold Hills grew wealthy in the Middle Ages through the wool trade and many towns and villages have a rich heritage of historic buildings, from Chipping Camden and the mill town of Stroud to Cirencester, which was founded by the Romans. The two largest settlements are the cathedral city of Gloucester and Georgian Cheltenham, but other historical towns are to be found throughout the county, from Tewkesbury to Berkeley, Thornbury and Chipping Sodbury.