Whispers of the past
Over the years, the Gloucestershire Heritage Hub has been home to a range of different peoples and organisations.
We all have our unique stories to tell. If it could speak, this site could recount a fascinating tale. Memories that date back to Roman times and before. Fortunately, we can talk on its behalf and pass on some of the story, thanks to physical and recorded evidence.
The site’s known history begins with Roman finds, uncovered during an archaeological dig. These include roof tiles, so we know there were some substantial buildings in the neighbourhood. Other evidence suggests the area was once the edge of a civilian settlement that sprang up near Gloucester’s Roman fort. Known as a vici, it probably included houses, inns, shops, brothels, cemeteries and other facilities, even a rubbish dump, the boundary ditch.
Rolling forward some 1700 years the site was used for industrial, horticultural, and then education purposes. And in the mid-1970s it became home to the county’s archives. So, over time it has welcomed the footsteps of residents, business owners, employees, visitors, and learners. Some have lived or worked side by side; others will have formed friendships. Many will have gathered memories they shared with others.
The story continues and we’re all part of the next chapter. What will you remember about your time here?
Business is blooming
Documents kept by Gloucestershire Archives tell us there was an iron works and a successful nursery here in the 1800s. The nursery supplied fruit trees to Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s home on the Isle of Wight. Look out for an image of one of its marketing posters. It’s on the boundary wall between the garden area and main Hub entrance.
A place for learning and enjoyment
The red brick building that houses the Gloucestershire Heritage Hub was built as Kingsholm Council School in 1924. If you’re sharp-eyed, you’ll be able to spot clues. This area was one of the playgrounds. The building closed as Kingsholm Boys Secondary School in 1973. And the Gloucestershire Record Office, later to become Gloucestershire Archives, moved in three years later. It has been here ever since, extending and adapting the building and site to keep them fit for purpose.
The shelter in the community area of the garden was built in 2019, during works to transform the site into Gloucestershire Heritage Hub. It’s made from recycled iron pillars and tiles, taken from the 1920s school building.