Skip to main content area
Main Content Area

Herefordshire's Past

This section provides an introduction to the prehistory, history and archaeology of Herefordshire. It is divided into periods, each containing a general introduction together with information on a variety of topics related to that period. As well as providing information specific to the county, where appropriate Herefordshire's relationship to England and Wales (and sometimes Britain as a whole) is also discussed. A number of essays by guest authors with expertise in specific areas are included; these are indicated in the contents menus with the label "Guest Author Essay".

The archaeological and historical periods covered are:

The Prehistoric Period: Iron Age Herefordshire overview; Bronze Age Herefordshire overview; Neolithic Herefordshire overview; Mesolithic Herefordshire overview; and Palaeolithic Herefordshire overview.

The Romano-British Period: Overview of Roman Herefordshire; the Roman Invasion of Britain; Administration and Towns; Food and Diet; the Roman Army; Timeline; Roman Herefordshire; and Roman Sites.

The Anglo-Saxon Period: General overview; New Beginnings (transition from Roman Britain); Life; Saxon Herefordshire; Hereford's Saxon Origins; Saints; Churches; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; Charters; the Vikings; the End of the Anglo-Saxons; Herefordshire Sites; and a Timeline.

The Medieval Period: Overview of Medieval Herefordshire; The Norman Conquest; Countryside and Landscape; Towns; Villages; The Domesday Survey; Castles (including a gazetteer of the county's many castles); Hereford Cathedral; Churches; Monasteries; the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller; the Barons' War; the Wars of the Roses; and the Black Death.

The Post-Medieval period: Following a general overview, topics covered include Herefordshire Life (Tudor education and apprenticeship, poverty); the English Civil War (background, Herefordshire's involvement, the effects on the county); Architecture (the range of local building types and their construction); Agriculture and Industry (cider and perry, hops, livestock; iron-making, milling, lime-making, tanning, brewing); Transport (railways, canals, turnpike roads, droving, packhorses); Public Health (19th century medical improvements, hospitals, asylums); Institutions (Hereford library, prisons, workhouses, Non-conformist chapels including a gazetteer of the county's chapels); Crime and Punishment (changing attitudes, methods of punishment); and Slavery (connections with Herefordshire).

There is also an article on Herefordshire's Changing Population over time.