Visit Leominster and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Leominster, Herefordshire, pronounced “Lemster”, was for 500 years one of the great wool markets of England and is now the centre of a thriving agricultural area. It is set among pasture land, hop fields and orchards in a countryside watered by three streams, the Lugg, the Pinsley and the Arrow. The narrow High Street runs north and south and is fronted by medieval timber-framed houses with overhanging gables. Drapers Row, behind High Street, and even narrower, has some good Tudor houses. Broad Street and Etnam Street by contrast are wide thoroughfares with Georgian brick houses telling of Leominster's l8th-century prosperity, when the fine wool known as Lemster Ore was renowned in all England. In Bridge Street is a house, No. 29, dating from 1400. The mid-Victorian Italianate Town Hall leaves something to be desired, the more so as comparison with the old Town Hall is inevitable. The latter, near the ancient priory church and now known as Grange Court, was built in 1633 by the remarkable John Abel, and originally stood at the crossroads in the town centre. Up to the time of its removal in 1855, its ground floor with its colonnade of oaken Ionic columns was used as the butter market. It was sold for the derisory sum (even for Victorian days) of £95. It was re-erected on its present site and the ground floor filled in with masonry. It is one of the loveliest timber-framed houses in the county, two-storied with fine bays and adorned with elegant carvings. The windows of the upper-story project and have unusual carvings of male and female busts. John Abel's original inscription can still be read on the frieze in which he says his columns support the fabric as “noble gentry ... support the honour of a Kingdom”.
Although Leominster is so rich in early English domestic architecture it is its reddish stone Priory Church set on open swards of green which can never fail to delight and impress the visitor. Its foundation is generally attributed to Earl Leofric, husband of Lady Godiva, who established a nunnery here. Nothing survives of the Anglo-Saxon church and in Norman times a Benedictine priory was founded from Reading Abbey, which was already wealthy in the time of Henry I. The north aisle with its massive Norman columns gives a majestic sense of spaciousness while the triforium with interlaced arches and the rounded windows of the clerestory give an impression of height unequalled in any other Norman church in the country. This is the earliest part of the priory church which has no less than three naves. The central nave is enriched with a traceried 15th-century west window. The l4th-century aisle has superb Decorated windows. The west tower was built in the following century with fine Perpendicular panelling. In 1699 a disastrous fire destroyed the original chancel and damaged the arcade, necessitating the rebuilding of the columns supporting it. It possesses one of the finest l5th-century chalices in England. A ducking stool is preserved in good working order in the church. Silver birches, limes and yews grow in the churchyard.
Nearby cities: Hereford
Nearby towns: Bromyard, Hay-on-Wye, Kington, Ludlow, Presteigne, Tenbury Wells
Nearby villages: Docklow, Eardisland, Hope under Dinmore, Kimbolton, Kingsland, Monkland, Steen's Bridge
Have you decided to visit Leominster or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Leominster bed and breakfast (a Leominster B&B or Leominster b and b)
- a Leominster guesthouse
- a Leominster hotel (or motel)
- a Leominster self-catering establishment, or
- other Leominster accommodation