History of Hereford


From the very beginnings of Hereford's existence, its birth has been associated with clashes and discord within the area. Reaching far back into the depths of time the ancient Anglo-Saxon community were the initial population within the city, who steadfastly created and defended their homes on the Herefordshire lands.

In the earliest days from the dawn of the city, many battles and disagreements occurred and the population within Hereford found itself at a regular need to secure their hard earned community against raiders from Wales and from fearsome Viking invasion in 913-915AD. By the middle ages, the Normans made a tumultuous entry to the lands and again local residents were forced to defend their goods and chattels.

Not to remain dormant, a war was initiated from nearby neighbours when invading armies from Scotland attempted to gain control of the city, now proudly able to defend itself via their excellent defensive capabilities. Hereford displays the City Coat of Arms, an ancient design, which has a section that portrays helmet bars in an upright position and is only shared with neighbours from the City of London.

From the very earliest times of Hereford life, it soon became apparent of the need to create formal governing and overseeing bodies, hence the City Council placed agreements in place within the reign of Richard I in the year of 1189. The city was one of the very first to initiate the office of Mayor in England from the year 1382 and install this successfully within their community. It has led to the 639th individual to be bestowed with the formal title many hundreds of years later in 2007, a true testament to the continuing success of this formal office. Before the introduction of the Mayor role, the principle bailiffs in the city were responsible for carrying out similar duties.

A famously known Cathedral City, Hereford first found prominence associated with their Cathedral's that were originally built using wooden materials and in later years replaced with more hard-wearing stone work. Later stone constructed buildings were attacked by nearby residents from Wales and the invasions were responsible in obliterating the earliest known stone structure of 1012AD a few years later, in 1055.

The glorious Cathedral is tasked with providing a secure environment for the Mappa Mundi maps that provide an exceptional historical record and is also St Thomas Cantilupe's shrine. Furthermore, it also houses the world's biggest chained library, preventing borrowers in removing books from the facility. St Peter's church also has an historical presence, which travels back before 1085AD and nearby All Saints was constructed in the early 13th century; local medical needs were served from 1614 when Coningsby Hospital was constructed.

Parts of the ancient castle walls can still be seen in Hereford, which gives a fascinating glimpse into the amazing history of the city within the Castle Green area. This is a lovely setting adjacent to the river banks and river bridge that effortlessly adds into making Hereford a truly wondrous place to live or visit.