Friday, 1 July 2011

The Historic Market Town of Ross-on-Wye

Should you be looking for a pictographic location to visit, then Ross-on-Wye could be the answer. This small but unique Herefordshire town, at the end of the M50, is a admired destination with tourists but even manages to convey a leisurely sense, making it the ideal location for a relaxing vacation.

Located on the Welsh borders and known simply as Ross until the official name change in 1931, Ross-on-Wye rises from the banks of the River Wye. This ancient but thriving market town has heaps to offer visitors,not just its history and charming surroundings. The unique shops are an added bonus.

A familiar landmark is St Mary’s Church, which stands at one of the highest points; its tall spire, stretching up over 200 feet, towers over the town and can be seen from miles around. A sad but interesting feature in the churchyard is the Plague Cross. It marks the graves of around 300 local people who are said to have been buried by night and without coffins during the plague in 1637.
St Mary’s Church Ross on Wye
Close to the church is a public garden designed by John Kyrle, called The Prospect. From here, you can take pleasure in magnificent views of the bend in the River Wye known as the ‘horseshoe’. You are additionally able to see the Black Mountains in the distance as well as, to the west, the remains of Wilton Castle. One, among many, magnificent features of The Prospect, is a carved stone gateway known as ‘Kyrle’s Gateway’ which was built in 1700 and joins the garden to the churchyard.

Ross-on-Wye’s Market Hall, built from red sandstone in the mid 1600s, is located at the centre of the town.  Markets have been held in the town since the 12th century, having been granted permission by King Stephen. The Market Hall is now home to a Visitor Centre detailing the story of the town and the surrounding Wye Valley with exhibits and by audio. The exhibits here change quite a bit and there are usually a few hands-on displays – the best part is that there is no entry fee!
Ross-on-Wye’s Market Hall

A building recognized as Tudor House is one of the impressive black and white half-timbered houses in Ross-on-Wye. Another is the Man of Ross House where the town’s benefactor, John Kyrle, once lived. The Rudhall Almshouses, next to the church, are also Tudor-fronted.

A intriguing feature of historic Ross-on-Wye is a round Gothic-style tower set into what looks like ancient town walls in St Mary’s Street. Known locally at the present as the Gazebo Tower, it was actually built – along with the mock town walls – in 1833.
Ross-on-Wye is a welcoming place with much to offer its visitors.
Gazebo Tower Ross on Wye

Ross on Wye Walks
Ross on Wye

Ross on Wye

To locate a Ross-on-Wye Hotel just click here.

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