The city was founded by the Saxons around AD 700, on the banks of the River Wye. A well-preserved section of the original defensive wall still stands, near the 15th-century Wye Bridge. These fortifications were originally constructed to protect this ancient capital of West Mercia from the Welsh.

River Wye
Hereford Cathedral (by Rogan Josh)

The attractive River Wye flows on under the ancient Wye Bridge, past the cathedral grounds and castle ruins. There has been a cathedral in the city since the 7th-c. The current 12th-c. building is dedicated to St Mary and St Ethelbert.

A wealth of half-timbered buildings are preserved in the city, including the outstanding early 15th-c. Old House, now a museum. In the gardens at the rear of the old Coningsby Hospital are the remains of a Dominican monastery, founded in 1614, which incorporates a 12th-c. dining-hall built for the Knights of St John. The adjacent St John Coningsby Museum, also incorporates some 17th century almshouses.

Hereford lies at the centre of a rich agricultural district that is especially noted for the production of cider. The Cider Museum & Distillery, in the town, provides an insight into the history of cider production in the locality.

The Bulmer's Railway Centre at Hereford closed in 1990 and most of the steam locomotives and rolling stock, including the GWR King George V, were move to the Steam Museum at Swindon.

Regular tours of the city are provided by the Hereford Guild of Guides. These guides are a group of Volunteers accredited by the Mayor of Hereford, who take a guided tour of the City of Hereford each day from 1st April to 31st October, starting at Hereford Cathedral. For more details visit the Hereford Guided Walks Website

Places of interest to visit in Hereford

Hereford Cathedral

Hereford Cathedral

A cathedral has been present in Hereford since the city was founded. Most of the present building dates from the 12th century, the central tower and choir stalls were constructed 200 years later. The cathedral contains some of the finest examples of Normal architecture up to the present day, including the 13th century Shrine of St Thomas of Hereford. The cathedral is dedicated to St Mary and St Ethelbert, a king of East Anglia who was murdered near Hereford in AD 794. His tomb became a famous shrine in the middle ages.

The cathedral precincts house the famous Mappa Mundi, a world map drawn on vellum around AD 1300, which shows the world as flat, with Jerusalem at the centre. It also has King Stephen's 800-year-old chair and a large chained library containing over 1,500 ancient books.

Opening times: open daily 7.30 till Evensong, Admission Free - donations invited
Location: City Centre, HRl 2NG
Image Credit: Rogan Josh

Cider Museum & King Offa Distillery

Traces the history of cider production through the ages. Exhibits include old cider making equipment, a coopers workshop and a vat house with historic presses and bottling machinery. Cider making festivals take place at selected weekends during the year.

Opening times: all year, Apr~Oct 10am - 5pm, Nov~Mar 11am - 3pm, Tue - Sat. Admission Charge
Location: 21 Ryelands Street, Hereford, HR4 OLW - 01432 354207 Website
Facilities: parking, café.

St John Coningsby Museum

Founded by Sir Thomas Coningsby of Hampton Court.

Opening times: The museum is open by pre-booked request. Admission Charge
Location: Widemarsh Street, Hereford, HR4 9HN - Tel: 01432 272837

Old House

A fine Jacobean building, dating from around 1621, that was once part of a row of similar houses. Its rooms are furnished in 17th century period style.

Opening times: all year, 10-5. Apr-Sep, Tue-Sat 10-5, Sun + BH Mon 10-4. Admission Free
Location: High Town, Hereford, HRl 2AA - Tel: 01432 260694 Website
Facilities: shop.

Map of Hereford

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