The strategic positioning, between England and Wales, could be a major reason for Gloucester becoming such a major town in the 10th century, however when Wales was invaded the position of Gloucester was not quite so beneficial. Other reasons could have been religious, as the remains of St Oswald were brought to a Gloucester Church, which later became an Abbey, at a time where many would travel miles on pilgrimages to visit the remains of saints, as Catholicism was the dominant faith at the time. The New Inn was built in 1450 primarily for the use of Pilgrims, which confirms that the Pilgrims helped Gloucester to flourish as a town.
The main industry in Gloucester was initially wool. The raw wool could be obtained from the Cotswolds and then woven, cleaned, thickened and eventually dyed in Gloucester. However, the leather industry and metal industry became more advantageous for Gloucester, helping them to flourish once again, as the wool industry had become more common in Britain, causing Gloucester to enter an economic decline in the 15th Century.
This was not the first or last of Gloucester’s problems, for example, the fire in 1223 destroyed large parts of the town, as many of the houses were made from wood and thatched roofing. These were then banned as a result of the fire and extensive damage. Gloucester also faced problems during the civil war in the 17th century between the King and Parliament, as most of the South West supported the King, whereas Gloucester supported Parliament. The King sent armed forces into Gloucester but the city was held as the King’s men retracted on hearing that Parliament was sending its force to help defend Gloucester.
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