In the 12th century a workshop of Herefordshire masons was employed on churches great and small throughout the county. Their fans can still enjoy their extraordinary style 800 years later at Kilpeck and Shobdon. They must have been versatile as this ivory book cover, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum is believed to be by one of the band. Philip Weaver.
St Michael's Church, Eaton Bishop in Herefordshire has the most beautiful 14th century stained glass to be seen anywhere; and this Virgin and Child is the best in the church. The figures gaze with love at each other, she with a loving smile while Jesus reaches to caress his mother's chin. He holds a goldfinch, symbolising his Passion; she bears a flowering rod, indicating his human genealogy. The smiling figure in mediaeval art is one of the great advances in civilization. [Philip Weaver]
Dan was Dr George Sinclair's bulldog. Sinclair, the organist at Hereford Cathedral, was a friend of Elgar's and dedicatee of variation XI of his Enigma Variations. Elgar reproduces Dan's bark in this piece. This carving of Dan stands, still barking, on the bank of the Wye in Hereford where he swam and scrambled back up the bank. Ruff! Philip Weaver
The Eignbrook Congregational Church, Hereford, was called "piquant" when it was built in 1873. Brooks (in Pevsner) calls it roguish and perverse. It is by local architect G.C.Haddon who had his Hereford office in Bridge Street. He built and restored countless schools and churches across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
Bishop Booth's porch of 1518 at Hereford Cathedral contains rows of sculpted figures, often amusing and risqué. This innocent mermaid throws her hands up in horror at the sight above her. Bagpipe players were often figures of bawdy in the middle ages. One can almost hear the raspberry he's blowing..
The head office of the Hereford Cattle Society in the centre of the old Saxon part of Hereford is on the corner of East and Offa streets, It holds the breed book of the white faced Hereford cattle, the most important cattle breed in the world.
Franklin House at the junction of Blue Coat Street and Commercial Street in Hereford is a fine example of restrained British modernism. It was built in 1965 by Cecil Corey and Harry Bettington for Franklin Barnes, a garden supplies firm. The sculpture in the corner niche is a stylised flower. It is neglected and needs smartening up and loving. Buildings of this charm were no longer being built by 1970.
At the top of dirty Union Street near frightful Bath Street in Hereford is the Old Dispensary by Lewis Powell and Thomas Davis 1880-1 in a sort of faux renaissance style. It's built in the beautiful, dark but very crumbly Beerstone from Beer in Devon. It's been badly treated by a series of ghastly drinking clubs and looks seedy. The exciting Beerstone façade should be cleaned and stabilized, and the perspex signage removed.
Numbers 4-9 Union Street, Hereford form a lovely red brick terrace with stucco trim, dated 1860. Alan Brooks (Pevsner) thinks they're by James Williams a Hereford architect/builder of the mid 19th century. The round door frames and little niches are wholly delightful. Unusually they have been nicely renovated recently.
Sir Henry (1612-62) and Lady Alice Lingen, both from old Herefordshire families lived at Stoke Edith. He was flamboyantly Royalist in the Civil Wars, making one of the last stands for the King at Goodrich Castle. Defeated, he marched out, colours flying, to the song 'Sir Harry's Fancy'. This dark but moving portrait hangs in Hereford's Old House in the High Town.