The River Wye is the fifth-longest river in the UK (134 miles or 215 km) and for parts of its length becomes part of the border between England and Wales. The source of the Wye is in the Plynlimon Hills in Mid Wales and ends by flowing into the Severn estuary. The river Wye flows through the towns of Rhayader, Builth Wells, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Monmouth, Tintern and Chepstow. The river Wye and its valley is a great place for activities such as fishing, kayaking, canoeing, climbing and walking.
The Ross-on-Wye Heritage Centre is located on the upper floor of the town's former Market House, and consists of a museum that offers a history of the town on panels, in photographs, by computer slide-show as well as video format. The museum also explores local history and is a host to a wide range of frequently changing community exhibitions, as well as regular craft workshops.
Free Admission (Donations Welcome)
April to October
Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday: 10:30 am to 4:00 pm
November to March
Tuesday to Sunday: 10:30 am to 4:00 pm
John Kyrle (1637-1724) was a local 18th Century philanthropist who used his wealth to endow facilities in the town and is referred to as the "Man of Ross". He was also renowned for his modest lifestyle and charity work and regularly used to help the poor and the sick. John Kyrle helped to design the town to benefit the people, as an example, in 1700, the "Prospect" walk, was one of his first recorded attempts. John Kyrle came from an ordinary background but was educated at the Grammar School, Gloucester and then trained as Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied Law but left before graduating. He inherited the Jacobean house in Ross marketplace which is now a Grade II listed Building.
The current Market House was built between 1650 and 1654 and replaced an older building, regular markets are still held under and in front of the building. The right to hold a market in the town was granted in the 12th century by King Stephen, this helped to stimulate the economy and later records show that Ross supported a variety of tradesmen, shops, market stalls, mills and iron forges. The clock tower was a later addition and dates from the 18th Century.
These lovely Gardens are situated behind the Church right next to the graveyard. It is relatively small but pefectly formed. Here you can sit amidst the floral displays and admire some spectacular views of the river wye as it winds its' way through the countryside. I particularly loved the elegantly carved doorways at the entrances to the park.
The Spire of St Mary's Church is one of Ross's famous landmarks which can be seen from miles around. The Church has been present on its' site for nearly 700 years, it was dedicated in 1316 for the worship of God and as a gathering place for the community.
The Church is open to visitors daily where you can browse around at your pleasure. Free leaflets are available which highlight the more interesting aspects of the Church, there are also some great information panels dotted around the church. After all this if you still want to find out more about the history of the place are books on sale giving the history of the Church in more detail.
Some of the interesting features inside the Church are; the east window which dates from 1430, the Rudhall family monuments dedicated to a Noble family from Rudhall near Ross and a lovely oak screen and carved regimental badges.
International Music Festival Held around the week of August bank holiday. Names that played include; Joan Armatrading, Van Morrison, Toploader, Pep Bou and Robert Plant. Held on the banks of the river wye in marquees with seeting. Beer tents, food and wine trails and original kids entertainment.
Goodrich Castle is a wonderful castle situated just South of Ross-On-Wye in Herefordshire. It stands majestically on a wooded hill commanding the passage of the River Wye into the picturesque valley of Symonds Yat. The castle was begun in the late 11th century, by the English thegn Godric who gave it his name.
A generation later the splendidly preserved square keep which still forms its core was added, probably in the time of Richard 'Strongbow' de Clare, Earl of Pembroke and Lord of Goodrich 1148-76.
Under King John, Goodrich was granted along with the earldom of Pembroke to the famous William Marshal, a great castle builder who may have initiated work on the inner ward. Each of the Marshal's four sons inherited the fortress in turn, the last dying childless at Goodrich in 1245.
Thereafter the fortress and earldom passed to Henry III's half-brother,William de Valence, who rebuilt its defences and living quarters in the most up-to-date style.
Goodrich still boasts one of the most complete sets of medieval domestic buildings surviving in any English castle. William's widow Countess Joan frequently stayed here with an entourage of up to 200, entertaining her relations and friends in the most lavish style.
During the Civil War, Goodrich was held successively by both sides. Sir Henry Lingen's Royalists eventually surrendered in 1646 under threats of undermining and a deadly Parliamentarian mortar. The famous 'Roaring Meg', the only surviving Civil War mortar, has returned to the castle after over 350 years.
There is a lovely little gift shop and coffee shop at the entrance to the Castle - I finished my visit off with a lovely tea cake!
The Gazebo Tower as it is now known was built, along with mock gothic town walls, during the 1833 construction of Wilton Road. It was built as part of Palace Pound the house of John Collins and originally known as "Collins Tower."
Although Ross is a medieval market town, the current market house was built between 1650 and 1654, replacing an older building. Ross Market Building is still in use by local traders on Saturdays and Thursdays and also houses the Ross Heritage Centre, which is open to visitors during the summer months.
Ross -On- Wye town is situated high up on a hill top. The views of the Herefordshire Countryside surrounding Ross are outstanding. One of the best vantage point is next to the Gazebo Tower.