Ross-on-Wye is an attractive little market town in Herefordshire, overlooking the Wye Valley. Dating back to Roman and Tudor times it retains much of it historic charm, standing high above the river plane, on a red-sandstone ridge.

Ross-on-Wye Market House
Ross-on-Wye Market House © Travel About Britain

The town is a delightful place with narrow, winding streets of local stone and black and white timber. The old sandstone Market House of 1670 stands at the top of the town, above an arcaded market place, surrounded by fine Georgian storefronts. The Market Hall features an unusual Charles II medallion set into the gable. An outdoor market is still held here twice-weekly, beneath its ancient columns.

Ross-on-Wye Almshouses

Ross-on-Wye Almshouses © TAB

The sandstone almshouses (circa 1575) in Church Street, with roof a gables and diamond-leaded dormer windows, were built by a member of the Rudhall family. To the northwest, Wye Street curves steeply down the cliff to the 'Hope and Anchor Inn' alongside the river bank. The Blake Memorial Gardens, located part-way down the hill, were laid down by Thomas Blake M. P. (open to the public). The 16th-c Wilton Bridge, which crosses the Wye to the west of the town, was reinforced during World War I and has since been considerably widened.

Wye Valley

Wye Valley View Point © TAB

Much of the town's current charm is due to the benefaction of John Kyrle, the "Man of Ross". He restored the church spire and and gave the town its first water supply. He also created a fine walled public garden (The Prospect), providing magnificent views over a wide sweep of the river, with the Welsh mountains behind. The "John Kvrle Walk" (named in his honour), is a pleasant three mile circular amble, which includes fine views of the countryside. Kyrle resided in Ross until his death in 1724. He lived at No. 34 on the High Street, overlooking the market place.

St Mary's Parish Church

St Mary's Parish Church © TAB

The church is rich in monuments, particularly those of the Rudhall family. Set in the sanctuary north wall is a monument to the "Man of Ross". The churchyard also contains a rare plague cross. Several hundred victims from the plague, which afflicted the town in 1637, are believed to be buried in a pit to the west of the cross.

The tranquil Wye Valley, below the town, is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with lush pastures and dense woodlands. Making Ross an ideal touring centre for the valley and surrounding area.

Just to the south of the town is Chase Wood Hill, with an Iron Age fort at its crest. Just to the east of this is Penyard Woods, near the site of the Roman settlement of Ariconium.

Five miles to the north of Ross is Brockhampton-by-Ross. It has an unusual concrete and stone church built by William Lethaby in 1901-2, a disciple of William Morris.

Map of Ross-on-Wye

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