AskDefine | Define Hereford

Dictionary Definition

Hereford n : hardy English breed of dairy cattle raised extensively in United States [syn: whiteface]

User Contributed Dictionary



Proper noun

  1. A city in Herefordshire, England
  2. A breed of cattle used for high-quality beef, see Hereford (cattle)


the city

Extensive Definition

Hereford (pronunciation; ) is a city, civil parish and county town of Herefordshire, in the West Midlands region of England. It lies on the River Wye, approximately east of the border with Wales, southwest of Worcester, and northwest of Gloucester. With a population of 50,400 people, it is the largest settlement in the county.
The name "Hereford" is said to come from the Anglo Saxon "here", an army or formation of soldiers, and the "ford", a place for crosing through a river. If this is the origin it suggests that Hereford was a place where a body of armed men forded or crossed the Wye. The Welsh name for Hereford is Henffordd (or Henfordd).
Hereford Cathedral dates from 1079 and contains the Mappa Mundi, a medieval map of the world dating from the 13th century which was restored in the late 20th century. It also contains the world famous Chained Library.
An early town charter from 1189 granted by King Richard describes it as 'Hereford in Wales'. Hereford has been recognised as a city since time immemorial, with the status being reconfirmed as recently as October 2000.


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 become part of the county of Hereford and Worcester, and Hereford became a district of the new county. Hereford had formed a historic borough and was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835.
On 1 April 1998, the County of 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 in England which have city status.


Major employers include:


A major regeneration project is planned in Hereford city centre, known as the Edgar Street Grid. This covers an area of around 100 acres just north of the old city walls. Work is expected to start in 2010, and should take around 15 years to complete.


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. They were again promoted, this time automatically, during the 2007-08 season.
Hereford also has successful rugby and cricket teams.
Hereford has a thriving nine pin skittle league, formed on 24 October 1902 and today consisting of five divisions.
The Hereford Rowing Club uses the River Wye; it is a popular club with a strong junior group. The stretch of river is also used by universities and for other water sports.


Herefordshire is home to many colleges including five colleges in the city: These three colleges are collectively known as the "Folly Lane colleges" and in late 2005 secured £28.4 million from the Learning and 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, though it was not until late November that the first phase began. A £2 million music and teaching block was opened at the Sixth Form College in April 2006.
Because of Hereford's proximity to the universities of Worcester and Gloucestershire and the city's/county's relatively small population, there are no plans to create a University of Hereford or Herefordshire.
Other colleges are;
It is also home to many schools including:
  • Kingstone High School and Specialist Lanuage Colledge A popular South Hereforshire Rural School situated in the Golden Valley. Most students arrive by Council Funded bus services, for those students who do not live in the area they have to fund transport them selfs per day or bye a termly bus pass.
  • Hereford Cathedral School - A co-educational independent school member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The earliest existing records date from 1384 though it is likely that a school was associated with the cathedral from its foundation in the late 7th century. HCS, together with HCJS (see below) educates the choristers for Hereford Cathedral Choir.
  • 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 for pupils aged between 11 and 16 aims to use the new facility to provide the best high school education for its pupils in the topic of Sports & Fitness.
  • Wyebridge Sports College for pupils aged between 11 and 16 was formed in 2006, it was formerly known as Haywood High School. It has been, like Whitecross High School, re-classified as a 'Sports College'. On September 1, 2009, it will cease to exist and all pupils will be transferred to the rolls of the newly created Hereford Academy, which will be located on the Wyebridge site and sponsored by the Diocese of Hereford.

Society and culture

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 city's main theatre and cultural venue is the Courtyard Centre for the Arts which was opened in 1998, replacing the New Hereford Theatre.
The original lineup of The Pretenders, with the exception of lead singer Chrissie Hynde, were from Hereford, as were the rock band Mott the Hoople. Actor and director Frank Oz was born in Hereford, and lived there for the first five years of his life.
The troops of the fictional commando squad Rainbow were based at RAF Hereford, as detailed in the novel Rainbow Six.
The Local radio station is Wyvern FM which broadcasts on 97.6FM.
Hereford is briefly mentioned in Ronin (film) as a ploy by Sam (Robert De Niro) to expose Spence (Sean Bean) as a liar.

Twin towns

Hereford is twinned with:


External links

Hereford in Czech: Hereford
Hereford in Welsh: Henffordd
Hereford in German: Hereford
Hereford in French: Hereford (Angleterre)
Hereford in Italian: Hereford
Hereford in Dutch: Hereford (Engeland)
Hereford in Norwegian: Hereford (England)
Hereford in Polish: Hereford (Anglia)
Hereford in Portuguese: Hereford (cidade)
Hereford in Romanian: Hereford
Hereford in Simple English: Hereford
Hereford in Finnish: Hereford
Hereford in Swedish: Hereford, Storbritannien
Hereford in Volapük: Hereford
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