Hereford is a cathedral city, civil parishes in England and county town of Herefordshire, England. It lies on the River Wye, approximately east of the border with Wales, southwest of Worcester, and northwest of Gloucester. With a population of 55,700 people, it is the largest settlement in the county.
The name"Hereford" is said to come from the Old English language "here", an army or formation of soldiers, and the "ford", a place for crossing a river. If this is the origin it suggests that Hereford was a place where a body of armed men forded or crossed the River Wye. The Welsh name for Hereford is ''Henffordd'' meaning "old road", and probably referring to the Roman Road and Roman settlement at nearby Stretton Sugwas.
Hereford Cathedral dates from 1079 and contains the ''Hereford Mappa Mundi'', a medieval map of the world dating from the 13th century which was restored in the late 20th century. It also contains the world famous Chained Library.
An early town charter from 1189 granted by Richard I of England describes it as"Hereford in Wales". Hereford has been recognised as a city since time immemorial, with the status being reconfirmed as recently as October 2000.Beckett, J V (2005). ''City status in the British Isles, 1830â€“2002'', Historical urban studies. Aldershot: Ashgate.
It is now known chiefly as a trading centre for a wider agricultural and rural area. Products from Hereford include: cider, beer, leather goods, nickel alloys, poultry, chemicals and cattle, including the famous Hereford (cattle). The city was the home of the British Special Air Service (SAS) for many years, although the Regiment relocated to nearby Credenhill in the late 1990s.
Hereford is served by a Hereford railway station on the Welsh Marches Line which opened in 1854. There was also another station in Hereford which is now closed, this was Hereford railway stationHistory.