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Learn more about Hereford

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Population: 50,154
Ordnance Survey
OS grid reference:SO515405
District: Herefordshire
Region: West Midlands
Constituent country:England
Sovereign state:United Kingdom
Ceremonial county: Herefordshire
Historic county: Herefordshire
Police force: West Mercia
Fire and rescue: {{{Fire}}}
Ambulance:West Midlands
Post office and telephone
Post town: HEREFORD
Postal district: HR1
Dialling code: 01432
UK Parliament: Hereford
European Parliament: West Midlands
Image:Flag of England.svg
Image:Hereford Cathedral.jpg
Hereford Cathedral

Hereford (pronounced ['he-re-ford] or ['herɪfəd]) Welsh: Henffordd (pronounced ['hεnfɔrð] "Henforth") is a city in the west of England, close to the border with Wales and on the River Wye. It is the county town of Herefordshire. In 2001 Hereford had a population of 50,154.

The name "Hereford" comes from the Anglo Saxon "here" referring to army or formation of soldiers, and the "ford" coming from an earlier Roman term, also used in Saxon periods, referring to an area of river that soldiers could cross in close formation. Essentially Hereford started out as a place where a body of armed men could cross the Wye.

Hereford has a cathedral dating from 1079 which contains the Mappa Mundi, a medieval map of the world dating from the 13th century which was restored in the late 20th. It also contains the world famous Chained Library.

An early town charter from 1189 granted by King Richard describes it as 'Hereford in Wales'. [1] This charter also gave Hereford city status, the earliest example of city status being granted, since all earlier cities had been so since time immemorial. See City status in the United Kingdom

It is now known chiefly as a trading centre for a wider agricultural and rural area. Products from Hereford include: (Bulmer's) cider, beer, leather goods, nickel alloys, poultry from Sun Valley, chemicals and cattle, including the famous Hereford breed. Hereford is one of only five Historic cities of Britain.[citation needed] (see also London and Chester). The city was the home of the British Special Air Service (SAS) for many years, although the Regiment relocated to nearby Credenhill in the late 1990s.

The current member of the House of Commons for Hereford constituency is Paul Keetch. On January 28, 2005, Hereford was granted Fairtrade City status.


[edit] History

Hereford was founded in around 700 AD and became the Saxon capital of West Mercia. The present cathedral dates from the 12th century. Former Bishops of Hereford include Saint Thomas de Cantilupe and Lord High Treasurer of England Thomas Charlton.

During the civil war the city changed hands several times. On September 30 1642, Parliamentarians led by Sir Robert Harley and Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford occupied the city without opposition. In December, they withdrew to Gloucester because of the presence in the area of a Royalist army under Lord Herbert. The city was again occupied briefly from April 23 to May 18 1643 by Parliamentarians commanded by Sir William Waller but it was in 1645 that the city saw most action. On July 31 a Scottish army of 14000 under Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven besieged the city but met stiff resistance from its garrison and inhabitants. They withdrew on September 1 when they received news that a force led by King Charles was approaching. The city was finally taken for Parliament on December 18 by Colonel Birch and Colonel Morgan.

Nell Gwynne, the mistress of King Charles II, is said to have been born in Hereford in 1650 (although other towns and cities, notably Oxford claim her as their own), and a street 'Gwynn Street' is named after her.

Hereford is also home to the oldest inhabited building in Britain, the Bishops Palace, built in 1204 and continually used to the present day.

There have been plans for many years for a north-south bypass, and currently the plan is for a nine-mile dual carriageway, however HM Government refuses to grant permisson or supply funds.

[edit] Local government

The main local government body covering Hereford is Herefordshire Council. Hereford has a "City Council" but this is actually a parish council with city status, and has only limited powers.

Historically Hereford has been the county town of Herefordshire. In 1974 Herefordshire was merged with Worcestershire to became part of the county of Hereford and Worcester, and Hereford became a district of the new county.

On April 1, 1998, Hereford and Worcester was abolished, and Herefordshire and Worcestershire were re-established as separate counties, although with slightly altered borders.

However, the new Herefordshire was a unitary authority without any districts, and so Hereford lost its district status (although, confusingly, the authority's full legal name is the County of Herefordshire District Council). Charter Trustees were appointed to preserve mayoral traditions until a civil parish council could be set up in 2000. Hereford is one of only seven civil parishes which has city status.

[edit] Employment

Major employers include:

[edit] Sport

Hereford is home of Hereford United Football Club, best known for beating Newcastle in the FA Cup in 1972. They had a spell in the Football League from 1972 to 1997 reaching the second tier of English football in 1976, and were relegated to non-League status in 1997 before returning to beat Halifax Town A.F.C. 3-2 in the Nationwide Conference play-off final in 2005-06 to book a return to the Football League.

Hereford also has successful rugby and cricket teams, but these are less famous.

[edit] Education

Herefordshire is home to many colleges including five colleges in the city:

These three colleges are collectively known as the "Folly Lane colleges" and recently secured £30 million from the Learning Skills Council to fund a new Learning Village, which would secure Further Education for the long term in a county that has no university. Herefordshire Council announced preliminary work would begin in early 2006, however, as of June, no planning work has been submitted (though the Sixth Form College recently opened a £2 million music and teaching block).

Other colleges are;

It is also home to many schools including:

  • Hereford Cathedral Junior School - A co-educational independent school. Hereford Cathedral Junior School is, with Hereford Cathedral School, part of the ancient Hereford Cathedral Foundation dating back to 676. The Junior School was founded as an independent school in 1898.
  • Whitecross High School & Sports College - A specialist sports college, which moved to a brand new PFI building in June 2006. The college aims to use the new facility to provide the best high school education for its pupils in the topic of Sports & Fitness.

[edit] Miscellaneous

The city of Hereford gave its name to two suburbs of Paris, France: Maisons-Alfort (54,600 inhabitants) and Alfortville (36,232 inhabitants), due to a manor built there by Peter of Aigueblanche, Bishop of Hereford, in the middle of the 13th century.

The annual Three Choirs Festival, originating in the Eighteenth Century and one of the oldest music festivals in Europe, is held in Hereford every third year, the other venues being Gloucester and Worcester.

The classic rock band Mott The Hoople hail from Hereford. The original lineup of The Pretenders, with the exception of lead singer Chrissie Hynde, were also from Hereford.

Frank Oz, of Muppet and Yoda fame, also hails from Hereford.

High Town lies 182ft above sea level.

[edit] External links

Places with City status in England
Image:Flag of England.svg
Bath | Birmingham | Bradford | Brighton & Hove | Bristol | Cambridge | Canterbury | Carlisle | Chester | Chichester | Coventry | Derby | Durham | Ely | Exeter | Gloucester | Hereford | Kingston upon Hull | Lancaster | Leeds | Leicester | Lichfield | Lincoln | Liverpool | London (City of London and Westminster) | Manchester | Newcastle upon Tyne | Norwich | Nottingham | Oxford | Peterborough | Plymouth | Portsmouth | Preston | Ripon | Saint Albans | Salford | Salisbury | Sheffield | Southampton | Stoke-on-Trent | Sunderland | Truro | Wakefield | Wells | Winchester | Wolverhampton | Worcester | York

de:Hereford fr:Hereford (Angleterre) it:Hereford no:Hereford (England) pl:Hereford (Anglia) fi:Hereford sv:Hereford, Storbritannien tr:Hereford


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