This area is steeped in history, so is the perfect base from which to explore some of the country’s oldest and most interesting attractions, locations and artifacts…
Visit the Almonry in Evesham. This 14th Century building was once home to the Almoner at Evesham Abbey. It now houses a unique collection of artefacts as well as exhibitions detailing such important happenings as the history of the great abbey and the defeat of Simon de Montfort (said to be one of the founders of parliamentary democracy) at the battle of Evesham in 1265.
From there we travel to the city of Worcester to include a visit to the Commandery. A glorious Grade I listed building dating back to the 12th century, the Commandery has a long and varied history that reflects its range of architectural styles from mediaeval to Victorian. There is many an exciting story to tell about, power, greed, war, wealth, romance, death, society and industry. In the evening we meet our guide for a walking tour of Medieval Worcester.
Today we travel west to visit a north Herefordshire castle. Hampton Court Castle dates back 80 years earlier than the more well-known Hampton Court Palace. The land was granted by King Henry IV to Sir Rowland Lenthall at the time of his marriage to Margaret Fitzalan, daughter of the Earl of Arundel, a cousin of the King. Lenthall built the original quadrangular manor house in 1427, 12 years after his Knighthood at the battle of Agincourt (1415). In 1434 he was granted licence to crenellate the house by King Henry VI.
After lunch we pick up our tour guide in Leominster and travel through the beautiful ‘Black and White Villages’ as well as the historic area that borders Wales called the ‘Mortimer Country’. Named as such because of the warlike, ambitious and powerful, Mortimer family bestrode the medieval stage. Linked with the great events of their time, their story is the tale of a turbulent England racked with dissension, rebellion and open warfare at home and abroad.
Following in the footsteps of William the Conqueror they came from Normandy and established their power base on the border between England and Wales. As Earls of March they played a major part in the story of England. Although the main male line died out in 1425, it was a direct descendant of the Mortimers who became King Edward IV in 1461. Also, the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross was fought on 2 February 1461 in the area. It was a major battle of the Wars of the Roses. The opposing forces were an army led by nobles loyal to the King Henry VI of the House of Lancaster, his Queen Margaret of Anjou and their seven-year-old son Edward, Prince of Wales on one side, and the army of Edward, Earl of March.
This morning we meet our Hereford Guild of Guides tour guide to explore Hereford city. There are so many links with medieval times in Hereford and our guide will bring the history of the city to life. The tour includes a visit to St John Medieval Museum and Coningsby Hospital on the site of The Blackfriars Monastery, which was a Dominican Monastery home of crusaders of the Order of St. John. St John Medieval Museum & Coningsby Hospital was also an exserviceman’s hospital and is now within an attractive rose garden.
See the stone Preaching Cross set within the garden, one of the last surviving examples of such a cross. Learn about the foundation of the Coningsby Red Coat Hospital, probably the model for The Chelsea Hospital in London. Explore the Museum, which explains the links between the Crusades, the Knights Templar and The Hospitaller Knights. You can view the 13th century chapel, which is still in use today by the Order of St John. The remains of Blackfriars monastery are directly beside the museum.
After lunch we visit Hereford Cathedral. Built on a place of worship used since Saxon times, Hereford Cathedral contains some of the finest examples of architecture from Norman times to the present day, including the 13th century Shrine of St. Thomas of Hereford, the recently restored 14th century Lady Chapel and the award-winning 20th century New Library Building.
The award-winning Mappa Mundi and Chained Library Exhibition houses the spectacular medieval map of the world and the Cathedral’s unique Chained Library, tells the stories of these national treasures through models, artefacts and changing exhibitions and displays.
There is then the option to attend evensong in the Cathedral for your final evening before heading home the following day.
All holiday itineraries listed can also be made into an exciting day trip, but if you would like to take advantage of this glorious location, stay a little longer and we can book some great accommodation for you.
Rural Concierge is a full member of PTS (Protected Travel Services) which means you can enjoy your holiday knowing that you have 100% financial protection and full peace of mind at all times.
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