This volume, along with its companion work, "Gloucestershire 1: The Cotswolds" provides a comprehensive guide to the architecture of Gloucestershire. Alan Brooks's extensively revised and expanded editions of David Verey's original volumes bring together research on a county unusually rich in attractive and interesting buildings. This volume covers the Vale and the Forest of Dean. The area covered lies on both sides of the River Severn, rising from the flat alluvial lands on its banks to the lower slopes of the Cotswold Escarpment on the east and the rough wooded hills of the Forest of Dean on the Welsh border, with its distinctive industrial inheritance. Architecture is generally more varied and unpredictable than in the Cotswolds: stone, timber, brick and stucco all have local strongholds. The Vale of Gloucestershire is most famous for its two great churches, Gloucester Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey, both Norman buildings with brilliantly inventive late-mediaeval modifications. Less well known are the intriguingly diverse monastic remains at Gloucester, which also preserves a remarkable industrial enclave around its 19th-century docks. The other major settlement is Cheltenham, the greatest English spa town of Regency days, with its fine parades of houses in stucco and stone. Country houses include Thornbury Castle, greatest of Early Tudor private houses, timber-framed manors such as Preston Court, and the extravagantly Neo-Gothic Toddington; churches range from the enigmatic Anglo-Saxon pair at Deerhurst to Randall Wells's Arts-and-Crafts experiment at Ke A full overview is given in the introduction, which includes specialist chapters on the earlier periods, vernacular architecture, and geology and building materials. Numerous maps, plans and over 120 photographs enhance the text, which also has a glossary and comprehensive indexes. Visitors and residents alike should find their understanding and enjoyment of west Gloucestershire is enhanced by this work.