Whilst the city benefits from tourism due to its proximity to the Cotswolds, economically Gloucester is dominated by the service
industries, with a significant financial and business sector and is home to the
bank Cheltenham & Gloucester.
Historically, Gloucester has been heavily involved in the
aerospace industry. Many international companies had problems spelling the name
'Gloucestershire' and so in 1926 the Gloucestershire Aircraft Company at
Brockworth became the Gloster Aircraft Company. Gloucester's aviation history
and its involvement with the jet engine are celebrated by a sculpture in the
Gloucester was first established by the Romans in AD 97 and
the town was given its first charter by King Henry II in 1155.
Gloucester is the 53rd largest settlement in the UK by
population and is also the county town of Gloucestershire. In 2001 the city had
a population of 123,205 although this does not include the built up areas that
extend beyond the city limits and once included the population for the entire
Gloucester Urban Area was 136,203.
Although well inland Gloucester is a port and is linked via
the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal which runs from Gloucester's docks to the
Severn Estuary. This permits larger ships to reach the docks than would otherwise
be able on the tidal reaches of the river itself, which go well north of the
city to Haw Bridge.
Gloucester Cathedral, in the north of the city near the
river, originates in the foundation of an abbey dedicated to Saint Peter in 681.
It houses the burial places of King Edward II of England and Walter de Lacy.
Many of Gloucester’s building and houses date back to both the medieval and
Gloucester is home to the HQ of Cheltenham & Gloucester
at Barnwood. The King's School in Gloucester holds the Gloucester Cricket
Festival. Gloucester holds the Three Choirs Festival every third year, it is
one of the oldest musical festivals in Europe. Gloucester is next due to hold
the festival in 2013, having last held it in 2010. Amongst a number of other
museums in Gloucester, the Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery is the