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Hereford Cathedral

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Hereford Cathedral
the Cathedral Church of St. Mary the Virgin and St. Ethelbert the King


Structure in General

existing [completed]




  • The cathedral is dedicated to St. Ethelbert, a king of East Anglia who was murdered in 794 AD.
  • The earliest parts of the present building date from the early 12th century, the interior exhibiting architecture in the Norman style along with Gothic vaulting.
  • The cathedral is famous for its chained library which is the largest surviving example in Europe. Of the 1,444 volumes and 229 manuscripts which fill the library, the 8th century Hereford Gospels is its most famous.
  • The central tower dates from the 1320s whilst the west tower collapsed in 1786 destroying part of the nave. A new west front by the architect James Wyatt was pulled down circa 1900 and the present façade was completed in 1908.
  • The cathedral formerly had a spire, which rose 28m (92ft) from the roof of the tower resulting in a total height of 70.1m (230ft). Made of timber and cased in lead, the spire was taken down so as to relieve the arches beneath.
  • A working theological library has existed at the cathedral since the 12th century.
  • Most famous of the cathedral's artefacts is the Mappa Mundi, a late 13th century circular map of the then 'known world', with Jerusalem at its centre. It is the most elaborate, complete and largest pre-15th century world map in existence and is now housed in an exhibition centre built in 1996.

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More Information


5 College Cloisters, Cathedral Close
United Kingdom

Technical Data

165.00 ft
165.00 ft
357.61 ft
173.88 ft

Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • City landmark
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