Hereford Cathedral, Herefordshire
Standing proud on the banks of the River Wye, Hereford Cathedral perhaps looks it best in the early spring light, with Weeping Willow and Daffodils gracing the gardens that surround the Cathedral. It is a magical Cathedral, not the largest of British Cathedrals, however its layout and architecture lends much added character.
Of course like most Cathedrals early life was of a more humble Church. Dating back to the 670’s and possibly earlier the Church was dedicated to two Saints. Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Ethelbert the King. Ethelbert was beheaded in 792 on the whim of Offa, King of Mercia. There is a tomb to Ethelbert in the Cathedral.
It has to be said that after that Hereford Cathedral had both a violent part to play in history and was also subject to a great deal of rebuilding, extending and alteration. Being so close to the Welsh Border and Welsh Marches it did get caught up in the cross border conflicts and was burnt down by Welsh and Irish Forces. Reconstruction started in 1079, with major adaption in 1409 and at frequent intervals over the centuries that followed.
The Lady Chapel
Today the Cathedral is always busy with visitors. Despite these numbers, many would find todays very real tranquillity within these high walls, a dramatic contrast to its turbulent history.
Herford Cathedral is also the home of the famous and unique Mappa Mundi. Dating to the 1300’s this early map is a representation of the world as imagined. Information gleaned from ecclesiastic travellers and others. Surprisingly places that supposedly were not know of at that time are represented on the map and even more surprising in reasonably accurate locations. A definite Bucket List addition.
As I cannot show you any images of this treasure you may find this link useful:-
(C) David Oakes 2017