Historic Gloucestershire is often regarded as the
epitome of the English countryside. Covering 3150
square kilometers, the county includes the greater part
of the Cotswold Hills, a significant stretch of the broad
Severn Valley and the Forest of Dean. Its towns and
villages were by and large not heavily industrialized in
the modern sense – although the Forest of Dean was
notable for its coal mines until quite recent times – but
the county has played a key role through the centuries
in the growing of wool and the manufacture of cloth.
Money from these sources helped to fund the building
of many attractive and now mellow country houses and
some of the most spectacular churches in England.
Towering above them all, of course, being the great
cathedral at Gloucester and the abbey at Tewkesbury.
From the late eighteenth century Gloucestershire
developed its own rival to Bath with the growth of
Cheltenham Spa, its terraces and houses being some of
the best examples of Regency architecture anywhere in
Britain. Today Cheltenham is also renowned both for its
racecourse and the brooding presence of GCHQ.
But Gloucestershire was and remains a predominantly
pastoral scene. Celebrated in music by Vaughan Williams,
Holst and Howells, who were all born here, and in words
by Laurie Lee, Winifred Foley and Edward Thomas, the
county has one of the strongest traditions of living
landscape, its hills and valleys, woods and rivers, market
towns and gentle villages, being what so many think of as
the true soul of England.
The fascinating aerial photographs in this book by
internationally-renowned photographer Jason Hawkes
are selected to provide the reader with an overview of
a variety of landscapes and settlements,with historic sites
included. There can be no better way of appreciating the
many glories of Gloucestershire than to view the county
Jason Hawkes is one of the country’s
best-known photographers specialising in
aerial photography. From his base near
London he travels worldwide to produce
images for books, advertising and design.
Since 1991 he has provided photographs
for major international companies including
Nike, HSBC, Ford, Rolex, Toyota and
BP. The images in this book and the sister
publications in the series were specially
commissioned by Halsgrove.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 002 2, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages. Published June 2010.