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Herefordshire

Herfordshire is only English county wholly west of the Severn. It is also possibly England’s most rural county. Indeed it is said that outside Hereford and Leominster the population has not increased since the Middle Ages. The hills are rugged green pasture, with deep river valleys along which the shire’s villages are found. The foothills of Brecknockshire’s Black Mountains begin in western Herefordshire, some standing at 2,000 feet. East of them the land comes in a number of great northwest-southeast folds, including the famous Golden Valley. The very east of the county rises into the whaleback of the Malvem Hills, forming the border with Worcestershire. The major river of Herefordshire is the Wye, which runs from Clifford next to the bounds of Radnorshire down to Hereford then writhes toward Ross-on-Wye before running out of the county. The Wye in its lower Herefordshire reaches is a broad, calm stream passing fields and hamlets. There are still coracle fishermen on the Wye. Herefordshire is famous for its “black and white villages” of pied half-timbered cottages. The City of Hereford, on the Wye, is dominated by its imposing mediæval cathedral, out of proportion to the small city itself; an impressive edifice to the glory of God in the midst of a land shaped by His hand.

County Facts

County Town: Hereford

Main Towns: Bromyard, Goodrich, Kington, Ledbury, Leominster, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Weobley.

Main Rivers: Wye, Frome, Lugg, Teme.

Highlights: Hereford Cathedral; Church of St Mary & St David, Kilpeck; Symonds Yat; Prospect Gardens, Ross-on-Wye; Eastnor Castle.

Highest Point: Black Mountains, 2306 feet.

Area: 833 sq miles

County Flower: Mistletoe