Gloucestershire

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Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.

The county town is the city of Gloucester, and other principal towns include Cheltenham, Stroud, Cirencester, and Tewkesbury.

When considered as a ceremonial county, Gloucestershire borders the preserved county of Gwent in Wales, and in England the ceremonial counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Bristol. As an administrative county, it excludes the area covered by the South Gloucestershire unitary authority.

According to a 2002 campaign by the charity Plantlife, the county flower of Gloucestershire is the Wild Daffodil.

Gloucestershire is a historic county mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in the 10th century, though the areas of Winchcombe and the Forest of Dean were not added until the late 11th century. The area of South Gloucestershire was made part of the administrative County of Avon in 1974. Upon the abolition of Avon in 1996, it became a unitary authority, and is now part of the ceremonial county of Gloucestershire.

The official former postal county abbreviation was "Glos.", rather than the frequently used but erroneous "Gloucs." or "Glouc.".

Wording courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/

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