GLOUCESTERSHIRE has been exceedingly well served by its early historians. The 860 pages by the landowner and lawyer Sir Robert Atkyns, The Ancient and Present State of Glostershire (1712), are stunningly interlaced with seventy-three plates prepared by Johannes Kip between 1700 and 1710. They are almost all of country houses, and where they can be checked with existing buildings or other sources Kip's bird's-eye views prove to be extremely accurate. Samuel Lysons, A Collection of Gloucestershire Antiquities (1803), has even more plates of almost equal interest. Samuel Rudder, A New History of Gloucestershire (1779), has a number of country house plates engraved by Bonner, while Thomas Rudge, The History of the County of Gloucester (1803), 2 volumes, an update of Atkyns, completes this quartet of outstanding county histories.
For the landscape and its historical development, see H. P. R. Finberg, The Making of the English Landscape: Gloucestershire (1975), B. S. Smith and E. Ralph, A History of Bristol and Gloucestershire (3rd ed. 1996), and C. and A. M. Hadfield (eds.), The Cotswolds: A New Study (1973). For the leading families, see J. Johnson, The Gloucestershire Gentry (1989) and the more specialist N. Saul, Knights and Esquires: The Gloucestershire Gentry in the Fourteenth Century (1981).
The Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society have been published since 1876, but medieval houses have not been well served in this county in comparison with medieval churches. J. and H. S. Storer and J. N. Brewer, Delineations of Gloucestershire, Being Views of the Principal Seats of Nobility and Gentry (1825–7), is self-explanatory. The late twentieth-century version is in three volumes by Nicholas Kingsley, The Country Houses of Gloucestershire (1989–2001).