on the banks of the River Wye, Hereford Cathedral is a great example of a medieval
place of worship.
The architecture dates from Norman times to the present
day, including the recently restored Shrine of Saint Thomas of Hereford, Lady
Chapel and the new Library building completed in 1996.
Visitors can climb
the stairs to the cathedral tower, which is open during July and August, for panoramic
views of the surrounding countryside, or enjoy a guided tour of the cathedral
Also on offer are regular concerts and recitals in the spirit of
the Vicars' Choral, a body of clergymen who lived in the cloisters here and would
sing the daily services.
Founded originally to house the shrine of the
murdered Saint Ethelbert, king of East Anglia, the cathedral now contains two
national treasures - the Chained Library and the Mappa Mundi.
surviving medieval map of the world, the Mappa Mundi depicts how 13th Century
scholars viewed the world in spiritual and geographical terms, with Jerusalem
at the centre and historical drawings on each continent.
Drawn on a single
sheet of calf skin, the map features drawings of around 420 towns, 15 Biblical
events, 33 plants and animals and 32 images of people of the world.
will also enjoy the Chained Library, containing over 1,500 ancient books dating
from as far back as the 8th Century.