Standing at an impressive 50 metres tall, 100 metres in length and dating back almost a millennium to the start of its construction, the monumental Hereford Cathedral is also the home of the one of the most remarkable maps of the world.
Hereford Cathedral has been claimed by many to be the most beautiful cathedral in the country.
Reconstructed in 1079 over the remains of its predecessor that had been plundered and burnt by Irish and Welsh rebels two decades beforehand, the cathedral was re-imagined in early-English Gothic style by Robert of Lorraine, featuring large spires towards the top, and grand arches along the nave (main body).
FALL OF THE WESTERN TOWER AND RESTORATION
On Easter Monday 1786 the west tower collapsed and the reasons for this disaster are still-unclear. The weight of the stone and masonry also destroyed the western wing and part of the nave of the cathedral. James Wyatt, a neo-Gothic architect who had repaired Durham Cathedral years earlier, was called to repair the damage. However, he also made some alterations to the design which proved generally unpopular.
In 1841 restoration work began in earnest, headed by John Mereweather, the Dean of Hereford, and Lewis Nockalls Cottingham, a pioneering British architect. Most of the useless masonry was taken from the towers, and the nave was restructured with grand cloisters running alongside. The cathedral was reopened in 1863 with a memorial service for Cottingham, who died on a voyage to New York during the restoration process. The entirety of the process was estimated to have cost around £45,000 (almost £4,000,000 today).
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
The cathedral tower houses ten bells 43 metres above the ground, the largest of which is the tenor bell that weighs 1.7 tonnes. The oldest bell is the 6th. This remarkable casting dates back to the 13th century and to the original Hereford Cathedral.
Translated from Medieval Latin for “chart of the world”, the Hereford Mappa Mundi is the world’s largest medieval map still in known existence. Dating from 1285AD, it measures 52 inches (1.3 metres) in diameter and is now kept in the new Library Building at the cathedral, where it is available for viewing by the public.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
The Millpond (Lane), Little Tarrington, Hereford
Herefordshire, England, HR1 4JA
+44 (0)1432 890 243
- Address: Cathedral Close, Hereford, England, United Kingdom, HR1 2NG
- GPS: 52.0533866,-2.7150150999999596
- Phone: 0044 (0)1432 374 202
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: HR1 2NG
- Entrance Fees: Free Access (to the Cathedral)
- Disabled Access: Good
- Visibility from Road: Good
- Image Credits: Ruth Harris