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Herefordshire's Past

These pages provide an introduction to the prehistory, history and archaeology of Herefordshire. These sections were written by Miranda Greene and Toria Forsyth-Moser (Education Officers for Herefordshire Council 2003-04), with contributions from guest authors with expertise in specific areas (and are identified as such). These pages were written as part of a collaboration with local education programs at the time and unfortunately can no longer be updated as further knowledge emerges. They are simply kept up as an archives, but also to provide a basic introduction to Herefordshire's history and should be used only as such.

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.