My word, you are still here even after reading Part One and Part Two; then let us continue our brief scamper through Hereford City. We had just left Elgar musing at the cathedral and were feeding the ducks at what is left of the castle moat.
Our bimble takes us to an area known as the Castle Green. Hereford Castle was one of the earliest castles to be built in England. It was commissioned by Ralph, Earl of Hereford, and was finished by 1052. In 1055 the Welsh trashed it. It had been rebuilt by 1067 under William FitzOsbern the Earl at the time. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle notes that it was harassed by the gloriously named Eadric the Wild, an English “insurgent” against the Norman conquest and what self-respecting native wouldn’t be wild about such an occupation? It was generally battered about over the years as the English fought the Welsh led by Owain Glyndwr, and the English fought the English during the Civil War. It seems to have fallen into ruin by 1650. In 1746 the ruins were dismantled and the site became the Castle Green, with the remains of the moat becoming a duck pond.
These photographs were taken at the end of November 2013, so the trees are bedecked in their autumnal colours. The latest addition to the trees that line Castle Green is an oak sapling planted in March 2013. This sapling was grown from an acorn collected from the Trafalgar Oak Plantation in the Forest of Dean. This was planted shortly after Admiral Nelson’s death at the battle of Trafalgar. Nelson had urged the planting of more oaks as they were used to build warships.
In the centre of the Castle Green there is a monument to Nelson. It was erected in 1809 and should have had a statue of the great man himself on the top. However, due to a lack of money there is an urn instead. So Hereford was unable to compete with Trafalgar Square in London. We can never know if the greatest naval commander that ever lived would have been happy with an urn, but that is what he has.
Alongside the Castle Green runs the River Wye. This can be crossed by the Victoria Footbridge built in 1898 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. It is a good place to watch the trout, pike, ducks and occasionally swans. During severe floods the bridge sometimes is impassable.
There is a lot more to Hereford than is covered here. There are some very interesting buildings, a great deal of history and some very pleasant riverside walks. I hope that you have enjoyed this short trip through a small part of our Herefordian heritage.