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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 52°03′23″N 2°42′58″W / 52.0565°N 2.7160°W / 52.0565; -2.7160

Hereford Cathedral and Wye Bridge
Hereford is located in Herefordshire

 Hereford shown within Herefordshire
Population 50,400 [1]
OS grid reference SO515405
    - London  135.7m 
Parish Hereford
Unitary authority Herefordshire
Ceremonial county Herefordshire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HEREFORD
Postcode district HR1
Dialling code 01432
Police West Mercia
Fire Hereford and Worcester
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament Hereford
List of places: UK • England • Herefordshire

Hereford (pronounced /ˈhɛrɨfɚd/ ( listen)) is a cathedral city, civil parish and county town of Herefordshire, England. It lies on the River Wye, approximately 16 miles (26 km) east of the border with Wales, 21 miles (34 km) southwest of Worcester, and 23 miles (37 km) northwest of Gloucester. With a population of 54,842 people, it is the largest settlement in the county.

The name "Hereford" is said to come from the Anglo Saxon "here", an army or formation of soldiers, and the "ford", a place for crossing a river. If this is the origin it suggests that Hereford was a place where a body of armed men forded or crossed the Wye. The Welsh name for Hereford is Henffordd (or Caerffawydd, meaning "Beach Fortress").

Hereford Cathedral dates from 1079 and contains the Mappa Mundi, a medieval map of the world dating from the 13th century which was restored in the late 20th century. It also contains the world famous Chained Library.

An early town charter from 1189 granted by Richard I of England describes it as "Hereford in Wales".[2] Hereford has been recognised as a city since time immemorial, with the status being reconfirmed as recently as October 2000.[2][3]

It is now known chiefly as a trading centre for a wider agricultural and rural area. Products from Hereford include: cider, beer, leather goods, nickel alloys, poultry, chemicals and cattle, including the famous Hereford breed. The city was the home of the British Special Air Service (SAS) for many years, although the Regiment relocated to nearby Credenhill in the late 1990s.

Hereford railway station opened in 1854 on the Welsh Marches Line.



Hereford Cathedral, from Church Street

Hereford became the seat of Putta, Bishop of Hereford, some time between AD 676 and 688, after which the settlement continued to grow due to its proximity to the border between Mercia and Wales, becoming the Saxon capital of West Mercia by the beginning of the 8th century.[4]

Hostilities between the Anglo-Saxons and the Welsh came to a head with the Battle of Hereford in 760, in which the Britons freed themselves from the influence of the English.[5] Hereford was again targeted by the Welsh during their conflict with the Norman-English King Edward the Confessor in AD1056 when, supported by Viking allies, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, King of Gwynedd and Powys, marched on the town and put it to the torch before returning home in triumph.[6]

The present Hereford Cathedral dates from the 12th century. Former Bishops of Hereford include Saint Thomas de Cantilupe and Lord High Treasurer of England Thomas Charlton.

The city gave its name to two suburbs of Paris, France: Maisons-Alfort (population 54,600) and Alfortville (population 36,232), due to a manor built there by Peter of Aigueblanche, Bishop of Hereford, in the middle of the 13th century.

Hereford, a base for successive holders of the title Earl of Hereford, was once the site of a castle, Hereford Castle, which rivalled that of Windsor in size and scale. This was a base for repelling Welsh attacks and a secure stronghold for English kings such as King Henry IV when on campaign in the Welsh Marches against Owain Glyndŵr. The castle was dismantled in the 1700s and landscaped into Castle Green.

After the Battle of Mortimer's Cross in 1461, during the Wars of the Roses, the defeated Lancastrian leader Owen Tudor (grandfather of the future Henry VII of England) was taken to Hereford by Sir Roger Vaughan and executed in High Town. A plaque now marks the spot of the execution. Vaughan was later himself executed, under a flag of truce, by Owen's son Jasper.

During the civil war the city changed hands several times. On 30 September 1642 Parliamentarians led by Sir Robert Harley and Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford occupied the city without opposition. In December they withdrew to Gloucester because of the presence in the area of a Royalist army under Lord Herbert. The city was again occupied briefly from 23 April to 18 May 1643 by Parliamentarians commanded by Sir William Waller but it was in 1645 that the city saw most action. On 31 July 1645 a Scottish army of 14,000 under Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven besieged the city but met stiff resistance from its garrison and inhabitants. They withdrew on 1 September when they received news that a force led by King Charles was approaching. The city was finally taken for Parliament on 18 December 1645 by Colonel Birch and Colonel Morgan. King Charles showed his gratitude to the city of Hereford on 16 September 1645 by augmenting the city's coat of arms with the three lions of Richard I of England, ten Scottish Saltires signifying the ten defeated Scottish regiments, a very rare lion crest on top of the coat of arms signifying "defender of the faith" and the even rarer gold-barred peer's helm, found only on the arms of one other municipal authority: those of the City of London.

Nell Gwynne, actress and mistress of King Charles II, is said to have been born in Hereford in 1650 (although other towns and cities, notably Oxford, also claim her as their own); Gwynn Street is named after her. Another famous actor born in Hereford is David Garrick (1717-1779).

Hereford is also home to the oldest inhabited building in Britain,[citation needed] the Bishop's Palace, built in 1204 and continually used to the present day.

There have been plans for many years for a north–south bypass and currently the plan is for a nine-mile (14 km) dual carriageway; however, HM Government as yet has refused to grant permission or supply funds.

In 2005 Hereford was granted Fairtrade City status.[7]


The main local government body covering Hereford is Herefordshire Council. Hereford has a "City Council" but this is actually a parish council with city status, and has only limited powers.

Historically Hereford has been the county town of Herefordshire. In 1974 Herefordshire was merged with Worcestershire to become part of the county of Hereford and Worcester, and Hereford became a district of the new county. Hereford had formed a historic borough and was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835.[8] On 1 April 1998 the County of Hereford and Worcester was abolished, and Herefordshire and Worcestershire were re-established as separate counties, although with slightly altered borders.

However the new Herefordshire was a unitary authority without any districts, and so Hereford lost its district status (although, confusingly, the authority's full legal name is the County of Herefordshire District Council). Charter Trustees were appointed to preserve mayoral traditions until a civil parish council could be set up, which happened in in 2000. Hereford is one of only seven civil parishes in England which have city status.

The current member of the House of Commons for Hereford constituency is Paul Keetch.


High Town, Hereford - Pedestrianised shopping area

Major employers include:

  • Bulmers - Cider and alcoholic beverages producer[9]
  • Special Metals Wiggin Ltd - Manufacturers of nickel alloys[10]
  • Cargill Meats Europe - Manufacturers and suppliers of food products for retailers and foodservice operators[11]
  • Painter Brothers - Manufacturers of galvanized steel towers including The Skylon[12]

Other major companies based in Hereford include:

  • Spinning Dog Brewery - Brewers of traditional beers in Hereford City
  • Wye Valley Brewery - Producers of such beers as Butty Bach and Hereford Pale Ale (HPA) and other real ales.
  • Weston's Cider - Award-winning cider and perry producer based just outside Hereford
  • M and M Direct - Major sportswear and fashion retailer based just north of Hereford
  • Taylor Lane Timber Frame - leading name in the UK timber frame industry for over 25 years
  • Dunkerton's Cider - Located north of Hereford with a good range of ciders.


A major regeneration project is planned in Hereford city centre, known as the Edgar Street Grid. This covers an area of around 100 acres (0.40 km2) just north of the old city walls. Work is expected to start in 2010, and should take around 15 years to complete. The regeneration includes the rebuilding of the canal basin at the end of the disused Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal.

A proposed bypass has been drawn to circulate the city, which suffers from rush hour traffic, with potential routes either to the east or west of the city. Both routes would connect with the Rotherwas Access Road which was recently completed, connecting the Rotherwas Industrial Estate to the A49.

Many of the schools in Hereford have been rebuilt and improved, so exam results have improved even in the disadvantaged areas of the city. The Herefordshire College of Technology has also been rebuilt to a 21st century standard.

Hereford is due to receive half of the 20,600 new homes expected to be built in the county by 2026 as part of the Regional Spatial Strategy.


Hereford is home of Hereford United Football Club, best known for beating Newcastle in the FA Cup in January 1972, when they were still a non-league side and Newcastle were in the top division of English football. They had a spell in the Football League from 1972 to 1997 reaching the second tier of English football in 1976, and were relegated to non-League status in 1997 before returning to beat Halifax Town A.F.C. 3–2 in the Nationwide Conference play-off final in 2005-06 to book a return to the Football League. They were again promoted, this time automatically, during the 2007-08 season, projecting them to this level of football for the first time since the late 1970s.

Hereford has a thriving nine pin skittle league, formed on 24 October 1902, and today consisting of five divisions.

The Hereford Rowing Club uses the River Wye; it is a popular club with a strong junior group. The stretch of river is also used by universities and for other water sports. The Wye is the third largest river in Britain.


Herefordshire is home to many colleges including five colleges in the city:

These three colleges are collectively known as the "Folly Lane colleges" and in late 2005 secured £28.4 million from the Learning and Skills Council to fund a new Learning Village, which would secure Further Education for the long term in a county that has no university. Herefordshire Council announced preliminary work would begin in early 2006,[13] though it was not until late November that the first phase began.[14] A £2 million music and teaching block was opened at the Sixth Form College in April 2006.

Herefordshire is one of only three English counties not to have a university.

Other colleges are;

  • The Royal National College for the Blind - one of the top colleges in Europe for blind and visually impaired students, and one of only two in Britain.
  • Holme Lacy College - an agricultural centre and was part of the Pershore Group, but now belongs to Herefordshire College of Technology.[15]
  • National School of Blacksmithing-The oldest established Blacksmithing college in the UK, also the largest facility for training smiths in Europe.

It is also home to many schools including:

  • The Steiner Academy Hereford- Which is the first Rudolf Steiner school in England to become an Academy. It is a fast developing and ever changing school, as unique as they come.[16][17]
  • Aylestone School- A co-educational comprehensive school for pupils aged between 11 and 16, created in 1976 by merging two former grammar schools, the Hereford High School for Boys and the Hereford High School for Girls. Specializes in Business and Enterprise.[18]
  • The Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School - A co-educational voluntary aided comprehensive school for pupils aged between 11 and 16, formed in 1973 from two former church secondary schools, the Bluecoat foundation, dating back to 1710 and the Bishop’s School, a secondary modern school founded in 1958. A Technology College with a second specialism in Languages.
  • The Hereford Academy for pupils aged between 11 and 16 was formed in 2006, it was formerly known as Haywood High School.[19] It has been, like Whitecross High School, re-classified as a 'Sports College'. On September 1, 2009, it will cease to exist and all pupils will be transferred to the rolls of the newly created Hereford Academy,[20] which will be located on the Wyebridge site and sponsored by the Diocese of Hereford.
  • Hereford Cathedral School - A co-educational independent school and sixth form, and a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The earliest existing records date from 1384 though it is likely that a school was associated with the cathedral from its foundation in the late 7th century. HCS, together with HCJS (see below) educates the choristers for Hereford Cathedral Choir.
  • Hereford Cathedral Junior School - A co-educational independent school. Hereford Cathedral Junior School is, with Hereford Cathedral School, part of the ancient Hereford Cathedral Foundation dating back to 676. The Junior School was founded as an independent school in 1898.
  • St. Marys RC high school - is a Roman Catholic Comprehensive School for boys and girls aged 11–16. The school primarily serves the Catholic Communities of Herefordshire and is situated in a very attractive rural location close to the River Lugg, a few miles to the east of the City of Hereford in the village of Lugwardine.[21]
  • Whitecross High School & Sports College - A specialist Sports College, which moved to a brand new PFI building in June 2006. The college for pupils aged between 11 and 16 aims to use the new facility to provide the best high school education for its pupils in the topic of Sports & Fitness.[22]

Society and culture

The annual Three Choirs Festival, originating in the eighteenth century and one of the oldest music festivals in Europe, is held in Hereford every third year, the other venues being Gloucester and Worcester. The city's main theatre and cultural venue is the Courtyard Centre for the Arts which was opened in 1998, replacing the New Hereford Theatre. There is also a single screen Odeon cinema in Commercial Road, although the nearest multiplex facility is some distance away in Worcester.

Composer Sir Edward Elgar lived at Plas Gwyn in Hereford between 1904 and 1911, writing some of his most famous works during that time. He is commemorated with a statue on the Cathedral Close. One of his Enigma Variations was inspired by a bulldog named Dan falling into the River Wye at Hereford, and the dog is similarly honoured with a wooden statue beside the river.

H.Art, or Herefordshire Art Week, is an annual county-wide exhibition held in September, displaying the work of local artists.

The original lineup of The Pretenders, with the exception of lead singer Chrissie Hynde, were from Hereford, as were the rock band Mott the Hoople.

The troops of the fictional commando squad Rainbow were based at RAF Hereford, as detailed in the novel Rainbow Six.

The local radio stations are Wyvern FM which broadcasts on 97.6FM, Sunshine Radio on 106.2 FM and 954 kHz Am, and BBC Hereford and Worcester which broadcasts on 94.7FM.

Hereford is briefly mentioned, though mispronounced, in Ronin as a ploy by Sam (Robert De Niro) to expose Spence (Sean Bean) as a liar.

Frank Oz, puppeteer for The Muppets was born in Hereford and lived there for the first five years of his life.[23]

Singer Ellie Goulding was born in Hereford.

Twin towns

Hereford is twinned with:


  1. ^ "Area profile: Hereford city" (PDF). Hereford City Council. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  2. ^ a b "The Royal Charters of the City of Hereford". Hereford City Council. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  3. ^ Beckett, J V (2005). City status in the British Isles, 1830–2002, Historical urban studies. Aldershot: Ashgate.
  4. ^ Sims-Williams "Putta (d. c.688)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  5. ^ Annales Cambriae
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Fairtrade status given in county". BBC News. 6 March 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  8. ^ Vision of Britain - Hereford MB
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Special Metals Wiggin Ltd". Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  11. ^ "Cargill Meats Europe". Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  12. ^ "Painter Brothers". Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  13. ^ BBC News (2005-12-12) "£28 m funding for city's colleges". Retrieved on 2007-04-20
  14. ^ Anonymous (2006-11-23) "The sky’s the limit as work starts on learning village", Hereford Times. Retrieved on 2007-04-20
  15. ^ Holme Lacy College
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Aylestone School
  19. ^ The Hereford Academy
  20. ^ Hereford Academy
  21. ^ St. Marys RC high school
  22. ^ Whitecross High School & Sports College
  23. ^

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Hereford (Welsh: Henffordd} [1] is an historic cathedral city in England on the river Wye. The county town of Herefordshire, the city lies very close to the English border with Wales. A small city (population 55,000), Hereford nonetheless offers a great variety of attractions for the traveller.


Get in

Herefordshire is a rural county and this is reflected in its transport links to Hereford. Roads from Gloucester or other places tend to be slow and bus transport from neighbouring counties isn't exceptional. There are two main rail lines, one north-south, from Manchester to Wales and another branch from London, the Cotswolds, via Worcester and finally Hereford. Although fast Intercity trains ply this route, once you are on the single track sector (from Oxford to Hereford) the average speed goes down dramatically, preparing you in effect to life on the slower lane, a feature of this charming county and city. There is a more frequent train service from London(Paddington) to Hereford by taking the express trains heading for Cardiff and changing at Newport onto the line for Hereford. The average journey time from LHR to Hereford by car would be over 2 hours, depending on traffic. Travelling to Hereford from London, by train, would take just over 3 hours.

Get around

Trains link Hereford with the towns of Ledbury and Leominster and the village of Colwall and other towns outside Herefordshire such as Ludlow and Abergavenny. For the Herefordshire towns of Bromyard, Kington and Ross-on-Wye and smaller villages and places to visit there are buses. Buses to Leominster, Ludlow, Kington, Llandrindod Wells, Hay-on-Wye, Brecon and Monmouth leave from outside the railway station and also stop at the Country Bus Station. . Services to Abergavenny, Merthyr Tydfil, Cardiff, Ross-on-Wye, Ledbury, Bromyard and Worcester and most villages leave from the "Country Bus Station" (behind the cinema on Commercial road - about 3 minutes walk from the station). City services start from the Shire Hall in St. Peter's Square or the "City Bus Station" at the rear of the Tesco supermarket in Bewell Street.

There are also daily National Express coaches to Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Gloucester, Swindon, Heathrow Airport and London (Victoria).

  • Hereford Cathedral [2] - the Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin and St Ethelbert the King, established in 1079
    • the Mappa Mundi - an internationally important medieval map of the world, drawn in the 13th century
    • the chained library
  • the Old House - a well-preserved Elizabethan (?) merchant's (?) house in the centre of town


Hereford has a good choice of shops including chain and independent stores such as:

  • Marks and Spencers
  • Primark
  • Next
  • Dorothy Perkins
  • Monsoon
  • Ann Summers
  • Animal
  • H&M's
  • TK-Maxx
  • Boots
  • tReds - Independent trainer shop

Also be sure to check out the small retro shops in the arcade next to the police station and the sweet shops in the centre of town.


Sociable city with good pubs and usually only a few fights on weekends.

Get out

Hereford forms a great base for access to and accommodation for the annual Literary Festival in nearby Hay-on-Wye.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

Hereford, a city and municipal and parliamentary borough, and the county town of Herefordshire, England, on the river Wye, 144 m. W.N.W. of London, on the Worcester-Cardiff line of the Great Western railway and on the west-and-north joint line of that company and the North-Western. It is connected with Ross and Gloucester by a branch of the Great Western, and is the terminus of a line from the west worked by the Midland and Neath & Brecon companies. Pop. (1901) 21,382. It is mainly on the left bank of the river, which here traverses a broad valley, well wooded and pleasant. The cathedral of St Ethelbert exemplifies all styles from Norman to Perpendicular. The see was detached from Lichfield in 676, Putta being its first bishop; and the modern diocese covers most of Herefordshire, a considerable part of Shropshire, and small portions of Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Monmouthshire; extending also a short distance across the Welsh border. The removal of murdered Aethelbert's body from Marden to Hereford led to the foundation of a superior church, reconstructed by Bishop Athelstane, and burnt by the Welsh in 1055. Begun again in 1079 by Bishop Robert Losinga, it was carried on by Bishop Reynelm and completed in 1148 by Bishop R. de Betun. In 1786 the great western tower fell and carried with it the west front and the first bay of the nave, when the church suffered much from unhappy restoration by James Wyatt, but his errors were partly corrected by the further work of Lewis Cottingham and Sir Gilbert Scott in 1841 and 1863 respectively, while the present west front is a reconstruction completed in 1905. The total length of the cathedral outside is 342 ft., inside 327 ft. 5 in., the nave being 158 ft. 6 in., the choir from screen to reredos 75 ft. 6 in. and the lady chapel 93 ft. 5 in. Without, the principal features are the central tower, of Decorated work with ball-flower ornament, formerly surmounted by a timber spire; and the north porch, rich Perpendicular with parvise. The lady chapel has a bold east end with five narrow lancet windows. The bishop's cloisters, of which only two walks remain, are Perpendicular of curious design, with heavy tracery in the bays. A picturesque tower >><< at the south-east corner, in the same style, is called the " Lady Arbour," but the origin of the name is unknown. Of the former fine decagonal Decorated chapter-house, only the doorway and slight traces remain. Within, the nave has Norman arcades, showing the wealth of ornament common to the work of this period in the church. Wyatt shortened it by one bay, and the clerestory is his work. There is a fine late Norman font, springing from a base with the rare design of four lions at the corners. The south transept is also Norman, but largely altered by the introduction of Perpendicular work. The north transept was wholly rebuilt in 1287 to contain the shrine of St Thomas de Cantilupe, bishop of Hereford, of which there remains the magnificent marble pedestal surmounted by an ornate arcade. The fine lantern, with its many shafts and vaulting, was thrown open to the floor of the bell-chamber by Cottingham. The choir screen is a florid design by Sir Gilbert Scott, in light wrought iron, with a wealth of ornament in copper, brass, mosaic and polished stones. The dark choir is Norman in the arcades and the stage above, with Early English clerestory and vaulting. At the east end is a fine Norman arch, blocked until 1841 by a Grecian screen erected in 1717. The choir stalls are largely Decorated. The organ contains original work by the famous builder Renatus Harris, and was the gift of Charles II. to the cathedral. The small north-east and south-east transepts are Decorated but retain traces of the Norman apsidal terminations eastward. The eastern lady chapel, dated about 1220, shows elaborate Early English work. On the south side opens the little Perpendicular chantry of Bishop Audley (1492-1502). In the north choir aisle is the beautiful fan-vaulted chantry of Bishop Stanbury (1470). The crypt is remarkable as being, like the lady chapel, Early English, and is thus the only cathedral crypt in England of a later date than the 11th century. The ancient monastic library remains in the archive room, with its heavy oak cupboards. Deeds, documents and several rare manuscripts and relics are preserved, and several of the precious books are still secured by chains. But the most celebrated relic is in the south choir aisle. This is the Map of the World, dating from about 1314, the work of a Lincolnshire monk, Richard of Haldingham. It represents the world as surrounded by ocean, and embodies many ideas taken from Herodotus, Pliny and other writers, being filled with grotesque figures of men, beasts, birds and fishes, together with representations of famous cities and scenes of scriptural classical story, such as the Labyrinth of Crete, the Egyptian pyramids, Mount Sinai and the journeyings of the Israelites. The map is surmounted by representations of Paradise and the Day of Judgment.

From the south-east transept of the cathedral a cloister leads to the quadrangular college of the Vicars-Choral, a beautiful Perpendicular building. On this side of the cathedral, too, the bishop's palace, originally a Norman hall, overlooks the Wye, and near it lies the castle green, the site of the historic castle, which is utterly effaced. There is here a column (1809) commemorating the victories of Nelson. The church of All Saints is Early English and Decorated, and has a lofty spire. Both this and St Peter's (originally Norman) have good carved stalls, but the fabric of both churches is greatly restored. One only of the six gates and a few fragments of the old walls are still to be seen, but there are ruins of the Black Friars' Monastery in Widemarsh, and a mile out of Hereford on the Brecon Road, the White Cross, erected in 1347 by Bishop Louis Charlton, and restored by Archdeacon Lord Saye and Sele, commemorates the departure of the Black Plague. Of domestic buildings the " Old House " is a good example of the picturesque half-timbered style, dating from 1621, and the Coningsby Hospital (almshouses) date from 1614. The inmates wear a remarkable uniform of red, designed by the founder, Sir T. Coningsby. St Ethelbert's hospital is an Early English foundation. Old-established schools are the Cathedral school (1384) and the Blue Coat school (1710); there is also the County College (r880). The public buildings are the shire hall in St Peter's Street, in the Grecian Doric style, with a statue in front of it of Sir George Cornewall Lewis, who represented the county in parliament from 1847 to 1852, the town hall (1904), the corn-exchange (1858), the free library and museum in Broad Street; the guildhall and mansion house. A musical festival of the choirs of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester cathedrals is held annually in rotation at these cities.

The government is in the hands of a municipal council consisting of a mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. Area, 5031 acres.

Hereford (Herefortuna), founded after the crossing of the Severn by the West Saxons early in the 7th century, had a strategic importance due to its proximity to the Welsh March. The foundation of the castle is ascribed to Earl Harold, afterwards Harold II. The castle was successfully besieged by Stephen, and was the prison of Prince Edward during the Barons' Wars. The pacification of Wales deprived Hereford of military significance until it became a Royalist stronghold during the Civil Wars. It surrendered easily to Waller in 1643; but was reoccupied by the king's troops and received Rupert on his march to Wales after Naseby. It was besieged by the Scots during August 1645 and relieved by the king. It fell to the Parliamentarians in this year. In 1086 the town included fees of the bishop, the dean and chapter, and the Knights Hospitallers, but was otherwise royal demesne. Richard I. in 1189 sold their town to the citizens at a fee farm rent, which grant was confirmed by John, Henry III., Edward II., Edward III., Richard II., Henry IV. and Edward IV. Incorporation was granted to the mayor, aldermen and citizens in 1597, and confirmed in 1620 and 1697-1698. Hereford returned two members to parliament from 1295 until 1885, when the Redistribution Act deprived it of one representative. In 1116-1117 a fair beginning on St Ethelberta's day was conferred on the bishop, the antecedent of the modern fair in the beginning of May. A fair beginning on St Denis' day, granted to the citizens in 1226-1227, is represented by that held in October. The fair of Easter Wednesday was granted in 1682. In 1792 the existing fairs of Candlemas week and the beginning of July were held. Market days were, under Henry VIII. and in 1792, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; the Friday market was discontinued before 1835. Hereford was the site of a provincial mint in 1086 and later. A grant of an exclusive merchant gild, in 1215-1216, was several times confirmed. The trade in wool was important in 1202, and eventually responsible for gilds of tailors, drapers, mercers, dyers, fullers, cloth workers, weavers and haberdashers; it brought into the market Welsh friezes and white cloth; but declined in the 16th century, although it existed in 1835. The leather trade was considerable in the 13th century. In 1835 the glove trade had declined. The city anciently had an extensive trade in bread with Wales. It was the birthplace of David Garrick, the actor, in 1716, and probably of Nell Gwyn, mistress of Charles II., to whose memory a tablet was erected in 1883, marking the supposed site of her house.

See R. Johnson, Ancient Customs of Hereford (London, 1882); J. Duncumbe, History of Hereford (Hereford, 1882); Journal of Brit. Arch. Assoc. xxvi.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also hereford



Wikipedia has an article on:



From Old English here (army), Welsh hewr (fort or castle), or Proto-Indo-European + Old English -ford (place suitable for crossing the river)

(see the discussion page regarding this etymology)


Proper noun




  1. A city in Herefordshire, England
  2. A breed of cattle used for high-quality beef, see w:Hereford (cattle)


Simple English


Hereford shown within Herefordshire
Population 50,154
OS grid reference SO515405
 - London 135.7m
Parish Hereford
Unitary authority Herefordshire
Ceremonial county Herefordshire
Region West Midlands
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HEREFORD
Postcode district HR1
Dialling code 01432
Police West Mercia
Fire Hereford and Worcester
Ambulance West Midlands
UK Parliament Hereford
European Parliament West Midlands
List of places: UKEngland • Herefordshire
Coordinates: 52°03′40″N 2°42′29″W / 52.0611°N 2.7081°W / 52.0611; -2.7081

Hereford (pronounced ['hɛɹəfəd] or ['hɛɹɪfəd]) Welsh: Henffordd (pronounced ['hεnfɔrð] "Henforth") is a city and civil parish in the West Midlands of England, close to the border with Wales and on the River Wye. It is the county town of Herefordshire.

The name "Hereford" comes from the Anglo Saxon "here", meaning an army and "ford" which is a place where soldiers could cross.

Hereford has had a cathedral since 1059.

In 1997 Hereford Council lost its status as a city council, and had to appoint Charter Trustees. Its ancient city traditions are recognised and carried on by the parish council, which is lead by the City Mayor.

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