During our shrieval year, we hope to visit all the market towns in the county on an informal basis to get to know them better.
We started with Ross-on-Wye in the south of the county and met the Mayor of Ross, Cllr Harry Bramer and his consort, Mrs Marie Ward at Ross’s magnificent market house. Herefordshire is blessed with a wide variety of market houses. Ross’s is unusual in being built with stone pillars. It is substantial, built between 1650 and 1654. It has had many uses including fire station. The right to hold a market in Ross dates back to King Stephen in the 12th century.
The Man of Ross, John Kyrle, lived opposite (Born in Dymock in 1637 and died and is buried in Ross in 1724). He was a man of vision, enterprise and philanthropy. He brought to bear an aesthetic sense to town planning that was unusual in small country towns at that time. The tradition has been sporadically followed by town planners since but present-day planners are more sensitive to the importance of a pleasant environment than was perhaps the case only a few decades ago – thank goodness.
It was a very hot day and there was an almost Mediterranean feel to some of the corners we looked into, such as the remaining parts of the old Bishop’s Palace.
After a substantial lunch, we walked down to the riverside where the Proms in the Park were taking place. Every Sunday from May to August, a guest band takes over the Bandstand. Today, there was a programme of four bands. If it had been cooler, it would have been hard to resist dancing to the Swing band. As it was, we had large ice creams instead.
Visit Ross. It is built on steep banks leading down to the Wye with spectacular views. There are plenty of places to eat and drink. A jewel in Herefordshire’s crown.
For more about John Kyrle, see this link. I see that his Grandfather was an High Sheriff of the County.