The morning was overcast as we set off on our journey to Hereford. The only hold up was an RTA on a crossroads where road works were being carried out. Hereford is a Cathedral city, and county town of Herefordshire. It lies on the River Wye, and borders Wales with Worcester and Gloucester close by.
The market town has a warm friendly atmosphere and for hundreds of years has been a commercial farming centre. It has a prestigious new shopping centre built on the site of the old livestock market. The livestock market has been moved to a modern home just outside the city.
The Cathedral is stunning and has many unique features with heaps of history. The shrine of St Thomas of Hereford with a stone and marble tomb is one of the best medieval shrines in England. The corona depicting the crown of thorns was exceptional. There are two new stained glass windows which are very intricate and the subject is the writings of Thomas Traheme and his association with Herefordshire. It is the birth place of the world renowned Three Choirs Festival. A new lighting scheme was made ready for the Festival which includes a pair of magnificent pendants that hang in the transepts.
The current Cathedral dates from 1079. Its most famous treasure is Mappa Mundi, a medieval map of the world dating from the 13th century.
The Chained Library contains 225 illuminated manuscripts with the earliest dating from the 8th century, and over 1,200 early printed books. The books are chained to the 17th-century cases where they were housed and read.
Eastnor Castle is now the home of the Hervey-Bathurst family, and is surrounded by a beautiful arboretum and lake. Its decorated interiors containing medieval armour, fine art and tapestries.
We were able to visit the magnificent state rooms including the Great Hall, State Dining Room, Gothic Drawing Room, Octagon Saloon and a number of bedrooms.
In the Red Hall sits a medieval knight’s helmet which visitors are invited to try on!
Each room had well informed guides to answer our questions. It was a pleasant afternoon to take the 45 minute walk around the lake. Holiday events for children were taking place. Most used the café and sat outside to enjoy the fresh air. An ice cream stand was doing a good trade.
We arrived back in Carterton at approx 5.30 after an excellent day out.