England-Herefordshire Flag

Hereford >  Google™ Map Nov 2014  City of Hereford Coat of Arms

here-ford Old English a river crossing suitable for the passage of an army. Population - 53,500.

England-Herefordshire Flag UK > England > Herefordshire

Nov 2014

City of Hereford Coat of Arms

The town, like the bull, is best described as 'sturdy' and the broad market square doesn't flinch at invasions by mini fun fairs and farmer's stalls.

It certainly managed to take on all comers on this particularly busy day making an eye-level snap practically impossible. Somebody else helpfully set their alarm for 6 AM for a better picture of the place.

Now, the only prior knowledge of Hereford was never to catch a stranger's eye in a pub. They're all deep-cover SAS and will snap your neck in a jot.

  The Kings Fee (Commercial Road) wetherspoon

The Spoons have a tradition of naming their pubs based on the history of the town or the old building they invariably inhabit. The inevitable offering in a town of this size is called the Kings Fee.

'Fee' as in the property within the city walls belonging to some old king or other with that old king or other being none other than King Offa of Offa's Dyke fame.

There are no awards for their nearly-out-of-date ale but the Director of Contrived Waterhole Naming gets a rare (4/5) for sourcing some little-known, Saxon history.

The cathedral organist's dog Dan is commemorated in wood near a bench here after he plopped in the river to retrieve a stick. Sir Edward Elgar's 11th variation in G minor Allegro di molto was allegedly inspired by this 'event'.

Hereford - River Wye and Cathedral

Now, you kind of get the inspiration for Gustav Holst's The Planets, a classical characterisation of distant and imagined worlds.

A foot has even been tapped along to 'American Pie', McLean's mournful essay on the decline of idyllic America. But this one, inspired? Really? The dog didn't even drown!

If you can draw yourself away from the riverside panorama, it's a short hop over the bridge to Hereford Cathedral and the Mappa Mundi.

This early 14th-century map of the world wasn't the first but it's one of the best preserved. Like a medieval Where's Wally™, new details reveal with every dart of the eye.

Jerusalem is at the centre and it's all a bit 'here be dragons' around the edge but Norway exists with a little fella[1] in a helmet out skiing.

Mappa Mundi - Gansmir
Hereford Cathedral

The cathedral's internals are equally impressive and the oldest columns date back to the Normans. Knight of the Garter Sir Richard Pembridge's tomb catches the eye but don't be fooled by his slightness, he'd have sliced your neck in a jot.

[1] Some credit due, Gansmir is a little bit of a legend up there.

Now, spending a little bit of time around the River Wye, there was some considering of investing in the local rubber company. Simply everywhere along its length floods and sales of wellies and waders must be through the roof?

Another, what had now become an obsessive observation here. See the heightened wall atop the original to protect Wye View Villas?

Hereford - Wye View Villas

This was put in place as recently as 2013 after what can only be presumed to have been a particularly damp spell. It's doubtful that Dan the dog would have made it out with his stick that afternoon.

  River Wye

There's some fine strollin' to be done along the banks of this well-known river. Just check last night's rainfall, you don't want to end up stranded on top of Wye View Villas' wall.

Where's Where