Hereford Visitor information
Hereford is a county town which for a long time was a border garrison town held against the Welsh, resulting in military importance due to it’s strategic position beside the River Wye. These days, the town is a compact collection of narrow streets, with the cathedral among the main attractions.
A great place for a weekend break, the town is home the The Old House, which is an historic black and white house in the centre of the town, now home to a museum about life in the Jacobean era of the 1600s when it was built. The Hereford Museum and Art Gallery is housed in a Victorian Gothic building and opened in 1874, presents artefacts, fine art and decorative art associated with the area.
Hereford railway station has services which regularly connect to Worcester, Birmingham, London, Manchester and Cardiff. The nearest airports to the town are Gloucester, Bristol, Birmingham and Cardiff.
The Saxons settled in the area in the 7th century, and in 676AD it was made the seat of a bishop. In 760AD a battle was fought between the English and the Welsh at Hereford, during which the town was probably protected by a ditch and an earth rampart with a wooden palisade on top. Over the years during these conflicts, the town has benefitted from its close proximity to the border of Wales, as well as the fact that St Ethelbert was buried there. In those days, many travelled long distances to pay a visit to the shrine of the saint, which meant they brought income to the town.
In Medieval time, Hereford’s main industry was making wool. The wool was woven then cleaned and thickened by being pounded in a mixture of clay and water. The wool was pounded by wooden hammers worked by watermills.
The first census in Hereford took place in 1801, and the population was 6828, which at the time was a fair size for a market town. During this century there were many improvements made in the town, including gas street lighting, the introduction of a fire brigade in 1849, and a waterworks was built. Furthermore, a network of sewers was built, and from 1899 the town had an electricity supply.