A Spring Visit to Herefordshire
17 Mar 2020
This is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the treasures of Hereford Cathedral, plus visiting The Painted Room in Ledbury and St Catherine’s Church in Hoarwithy.
The upstairs room of a timber-framed house in Church Street, Ledbury, contains a remarkable and rare example of Elizabethan wall painting. Discovered thirty years ago during restoration, the floral design is based on an Elizabethan knot garden and incorporates biblical texts. See also the Ledbury Market House (1617-1668), a two storey timbered house raised on sixteen pillars, also in Church Street.
A highlight of any visit to Hereford Cathedral is the Mappa Mundi and Chained Library interpretive exhibition. The Mappa Mundi (1300), is the largest surviving parchment map. Described as the most important and celebrated medieval map in any form, it provides a unique window into how medieval scholars interpreted the world. The Chained Library (1611) offers a later view of scholarly thinking. In addition you can explore the building, see St Thomas Cantilupe’s shrine, and the beautiful Limoges enamel reliquary, designed to hold a relic of St Thomas Becket. You can also explore the gardens.
Pevsner described St Catherine’s Church (1878) as ‘the most impressive Victorian church in the county’. Simon Jenkins called it ‘an astonishing creation’. Far from Victorian Gothic, the design is eclectic, incorporating a range of styles, notably Italian Romanesque and Byzantine. Built in sandstone, it features a campanile, loggia and colonnades. The sumptuous interior includes a white marble altar, enriched with lapis lazuli, a chancel dome mosaic of Christ in majesty and a Burne Jones window.