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Hereford – the city on the River Wye

If you are using Internet Explorer, and can see a yellow bar at the top of this page with a message starting "To help protect your security," then right-click your mouse in this yellow bar, select 'Allow Blocked Content' and then OK any further warnings.Hereford, being a cathedral town, is the only city on the River Wye.

Some points of interest are described on this web page. However there is much more to be seen here. You can find out more through the links on the right.

View Hereford points of interest in a larger map

The Source of the River Wye



Crucial Information:

The City of Hereford is the ‘County Town’ of Herefordshire

The name Hereford is derived from ‘Here Ford’.

Population 55 700


Hereford is 16 miles from the Welsh border. Historically this border has shifted back and forth – in 1189 King Richard referred to ‘Hereford in Wales’. In fact Hereford has a Welsh name – Henfford meaning ‘Old Road’ – probably referring to a nearby Roman Road.

Putta became Bishop of Hereford some time between AD 676 and 688.

In the Dark Ages several battles between Anglo Saxons and the Welsh took place in and around Hereford. Then during the Civil War Hereford changed hands between the Royalists and Roundheads several times.

Hereford Castle was similar in size to Windsor Castle. In the 18th century it was dismantled and the area landscaped – into what is now Castle Green.

Hereford is home to the oldest inhabited building in Britain. The Bishop’s Palace was built in 1204 and has been in continuous use since.

Dating back at least to 1719, the Three Choirs Festival is one of the World’s oldest musical festivals. The annual festival takes place at Hereford every three years – alternating between Worcester and Gloucester.



Hereford Cathedral

The Bishopric at Hereford dates back to the sixth century. Any cathedral existing then was refounded in the seventh century. This structure was plundered and burnt by the Welsh and Irish in 1056.

Construction of the current cathedral commenced in 1079. It was dedicated to St Mary the Virgin and St Ethelbert The King (who was beheaded by Offa).

Construction in 1079 marked the start of a rebuilding process that spanned 440 years.

On Easter Monday 1786 Hereford Cathedral’s West Tower collapsed. This was rebuilt under James Wyatt between 1788 and 1797.

Restoration work that took place in the nineteenth century cost £45 000. The equivalent of £3 514 000 today.


The Hereford Mappa Mundi

The largest medieval map known to exist is held at Hereford Cathedral - The Hereford Mappa Mundi. It measures 1.58m by 1.33m.

Dating from about 1300 (the best guesses places it at 1290) the Mappa Mundi is a map of the world as it was then understood.

In the 1980s a financial crisis at Hereford Cathedral gave rise to the possibility that the Hereford Mappa Mundi would be sold.

Donations from the National Heritage Fund, Paul Getty and the general public saved it from being lost to Hereford. A new library building was opened on May 3 1996. This housed the Hereford Mappa Mundi and the other contents of the world famous chained library the cathedral owns.

Also in the chained library is a 1217 Magna Carta - one of the four known to exist. This is sometimes put on display alongside the Hereford Mappa Mundi.


Broomy Hill Waterworks

Broomy Hill Waterworks opened in 1856 and supplied water to Hereford, up until 1974. The 1895 engine was able to pump a million gallons of water a day.

The water for Hereford is managed by Welsh Water, because the supply of water originates in Wales.

In 1974 the waterworks was converted into The Waterworks Museum – Hereford. Amongst its exhibits is the oldest triple expansion steam engine in the UK.


Hereford Cider Museum

Established as a charity in 1973 and opened its doors in 1981, Hereford Cider Museum is housed in a former cider factory. It was the brainchild of a former chairman of Bulmers, and has close connections with Bulmers Cider Makers.

The museum has a collection of 26 000 items, dating back to 1760. It covers the subject of cider and perry world wide, from humble beginnings to mass production today.

The King Offa Distilliary is a working exhibit that distils cider to make cider brandy (the UK equivalent of the French Calvados). In 1984 when HM Customs and Exise granted a license to distil cider, this was the first such license for over 200 years.


Scott Trout Memorial

By the Wye is a memorial, named to Scott Trout but dedicated to all who have lost their lives in the River Wye.

It is a sobering reminder that rivers can be dangerous places and that lives have been lost through drowning.


Bridges over the River Wye

Six bridges cross the River Wye at Hereford.

Moving downstream, the fist is an elegant ex-railway bridge. Originally it connected Hereford with the Mid Wales Railway System. Now it can be crossed by pedestrians and cyclists, a part of the Great Western Way cycle route.

Continuing downstream, the next bridge is the most modern – it carries the A49 over the Wye.

Just south of this is the old road bridge. It was built in 1490, and widened in 1826. It succeeds an older wooden bridge which was built in 1120. It has several differing arches.

Following these bridges are a suspension bridge, a concrete bridge connecting to a sewage works and, still in operation, a plate girder railway bridge.


A Year on the Wye DVD

A Year on the Wye DVD cover


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Entering the city of Hereford © Star Video 2011


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content of external web sites.

Hereford city centreHereford city centre
Hereford city centre © Star Video 2011

Hereford and the CathedralHereford and the Cathedral
Hereford and the Cathedral © Star Video 2011


Hereford CathedralHereford Cathedral
Hereford Cathedral © Star Video 2011


Hereford Waterworks Museum from across the River WyeHereford Waterworks Museum from across the River Wye
Waterworks Museum from across the Wye © Star Video 2011


Cider Apple Crusher in HerefordCider Apple Crusher in Hereford
Cider Apple Crusher © Star Video 2011
Scott Trout Memorial by the River WyeScott Trout Memorial by the River Wye
Scott Trout Memorial © Star Video 2011
Old bridge, HerefordOld bridge, Hereford
Old bridge, Hereford © Star Video 2011
Old railway bridge over the River Wye, HerefordOld railway bridge over the River Wye, Hereford
Ex railway bridge © Star Video 2011
© 2011 Star Video