There has been a place of worship on the Cathedral site since at least the 8th century, although no part of any building earlier than the 11th-century bishop’s chapel survives.
The medieval Cathedral was not monastic; the governing body, known as the Dean and Chapter, were not monks but secular priests who led active lives in the world. They employed the Vicars Choral, a body of clergy who lived a collegiate life in the Vicars’ Cloister, to sing the daily services for them. It has been the home of many communities for well over 1,300 years.
Hereford Cathedral is one the main tourist attractions in Hereford. Housed on the Cathedral site is the Mappa Mundi, the only complete world map of its kind to have survived. It is now one of the Cathedral’s greatest treasures and a tourist attraction of international importance. Also to be visited is the Chained Library which is the world’s largest surviving example.
Within the Cathedral is a shop supplied with books, photos and souvenirs of your visit. Adjacent to the shop is a peaceful café looking out onto beautiful gardens which are also open to the public.
The Special Air Service has a unique relationship with Hereford Cathedral, the city, county and diocese.
Many parishes across the diocese have connections to the SAS Regiment – serving soldiers, retired members, support staff, families and friends.
To honour and celebrate this relationship, the SAS Regimental Association has commissioned artist John Maine RA to create an inspirational new sculpture and stained-glass window for Hereford Cathedral, which will be installed over the winter and unveiled in April 2017.
The installation will be called Ascension and will be a focus for reflection, pilgrimage and worship. It will act as a memorial and tribute to all who serve in and support the SAS – past, present and future – along with their families and friends. Ascension will also provide a spiritual place for reflection for all visitors to the cathedral, where people can reflect on their own lives and look forward with hope.