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Hereford Listen/ˈhɛrɨfərd/ is a cathedral city, civil parish and county town of Herefordshire, England. It lies on the River Wye, approximately 16 miles east of the border with Wales, 24 miles southwest of Worcester, and 23 miles northwest of Gloucester. With a population of 58,900 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.
Administrative CountyHerefordshire
Traditional CountyHerefordshire
OS GridSO5140
OS Settlement ClassificationCity
RegionWest Midlands
Police AuthorityWest Mercia
Fire and Rescue AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Fire and Rescue AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Ambulance AuthorityWest Midlands
Dialling code01432

Other names by which Hereford has been known in the past

Hareford ~ Hariford ~ Herrifford ~ Herriford ~ The Vineyard ~ Vineyard ~ Vineyard The

Hereford in John Bartholomew's "Gazetteer of the British Isles" (1887)

Hereford, parl. and mun. bor., city, and co. town of Herefordshire, on N. bank of river Wye, 144 miles NW. of London by rail, 4969 ac., pop. 19,821; 4 Banks, 4 newspapers. Market-days, Wednesday and Saturday. During the Heptarchy Hereford was the capital of Mercia. Much of its early history is connected with its position as a border garrison town, which was frequently subjected to the attacks of the ancient and turbulent inhabitants of Wales. The see of Hereford was erected in the 7th century, and in 1189 the town received its first charter from Richard I. Hereford Cathedral, a very beautiful building, with a tower 160 ft. high, was built about 1115, on the site of an older edifice; it was restored from designs by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1863. The city was about the last place that surrendered to the Parliamentarians. It was the birthplace of David Garrick (1716-1769) and of Nell Gwynne. The mfrs, are gloves, leather, nails, hats, &c. Important cattle and cheese fairs are held. The bor. returns 1 member to Parliament (2 members until 1885).

Hereford in "A Topographical Dictionary of England" edited by Samuel Lewis (1848)

HEREFORD, an ancient city, having separate jurisdiction, and the head of a union, locally in the hundred of Grimsworth, county of Hereford, of which it is the chief town, 135 miles (W. N. W.) from London; containing, exclusively of the townships of Lower Bullingham and Grafton, in the parish of St. Martin, hundred of Webtree, 10,921 inhabitants. This place probably derived its name of Her-ford, or Here-ford, which is pure Saxon, importing "a military ford," from its having been, previously to the erection of the bridge, a pass over the river Wye. It is said to have become the head of a see before the invasion of Britain by the Saxons; but in 655, Oswy, King of Mercia, made it part of the diocese of Lichfield, which then included the whole Mercian kingdom. At a synod held here by Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 673, the division of the diocese of Lichfield was decreed. Wilford, bishop of that see, refused assent to the decree, and was subsequently deprived of part of his diocese for contumacy; but with the consent of Sexulph, his successor, Hereford was disunited from Lichfield, and restored to its original independence as a distinct diocese, and Putta, who previously held the see of Rochester, was made bishop in 680. It was the capital of the kingdom of Mercia, and possessed a large church in the reign of Offa, who, it is stated, founded the cathedral in expiation of the murder of Ethelbert, King of the East Angles, whose body was removed hither from its original place of sepulture, in 782. In the reign of Athelstan the city occupied an area 1800 yards in circuit, and, with the exception of an extent of 550 yards guarded by the river, which formed a natural barrier, was surrounded with walls sixteen feet in height, having six gates, and fifteen embattled towers thirty-four feet high: to these fortifications, which were nearly perfect in Leland's time, a castle was added by Edward the Elder. About 1055, a battle was fought two miles from this place, between Ralph, Earl of Hereford, and Grufydd, Prince of Wales, the former of whom was defeated; and the Welsh, having taken the city, massacred the inhabitants, and reduced it to a heap of ruins. Harold, afterwards king, marched against the Welsh, whom he attacked and defeated with great slaughter: he then repaired the fortifications and enlarged the castle, to secure the city against future inroads of the invaders.


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