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looking north from Market House
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
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Ross-on-Wye (Welsh: Rhosan ar Wy) is a market town in England, near the border with Wales. It had a population of 10,582 according to the 2011 census, estimated at 11,309 in 2019.It lies in south-eastern Herefordshire, on the River Wye and on the northern edge of the Forest of Dean.
The name "Ross" is derived from the Welsh or Celtic for a "promontory". It was renamed "Ross-on-Wye" in 1931 by the General Post Office, due to confusion with other places of the same or similar name (such as Ross in Scotland).
Ross-on-Wye promotes itself as "the birthplace of British tourism".In 1745, the rector, Dr John Egerton, started taking friends on boat trips down the valley from his rectory at Ross. The Wye Valley's attraction was its river scenery, its precipitous landscapes, and its castles and abbeys, which were accessible to seekers of the "picturesque". In 1782, William Gilpin's book Observations on the River Wye was published, the first illustrated tour guide to be published in Britain. Once it had appeared, demand grew so much that by 1808 there were eight boats making regular excursions along the Wye, most of them hired from inns in Ross and Monmouth. By 1850, more than 20 visitors had published their own accounts of the Wye Tour, and the area was established as a tourist destination.
The 700-year-old parish church of St Mary'sis the town's most prominent landmark. Its tall pointed spire is visible when approaching the town from all directions. The church holds several distinctive tombs, one of which – that of William Rudhall (who died in 1530) – is one of the last great alabaster sculptures from the specialist masons of Nottingham, whose work was prized across medieval Europe. Rudhall was responsible for the repair of the almshouses to the north west of the church, in 1575. Another tomb is of John Kyrle, a prominent figure in 18th-century Ross, whose name has been taken by the town's secondary school. He is also recalled in one of the town's notable inns, The Man Of Ross.
The Methodist Church is Christ Church in Edde Cross Street.The United Reformed Church congregation, part of the Herefordshire Group, is likewise at Christ Church. The former United Reformed Church in Gloucester Road has now been converted into housing.
Ross Baptist Church is in Broad Street.In 1731 the Baptists built Ryeford Chapel at Weston under Penyard, but by 1817 worshippers from Ross had decided to separate. In 2017, the current Baptist church in Ross marked its 200th anniversary. In early 1818, 22 church members bought ground in Broad Street, to build a chapel with a graveyard behind. The first chapel was opened on 6 October 1818. By 1879 it had become dilapidated, however, with a leaking roof and a damp interior, and it was demolished and replaced at a cost of £3,700. Community events raised £537 towards the cost, but the remaining £3,163 was paid by Thomas Blake, a local philanthropist.
The Plague or Corpse Cross was erected in the churchyard of St Mary's in 1637 as a memorial to 315 townsfolk who died that year of the plague and were buried nearby in a plague pit – at night and without coffins.
By 1896, the Plague Cross had fallen into disrepair and the top was missing. It was later restored. Since 24 September 1997, it has been listed as a Grade II* edifice.
The Prospect was created by John Kyrle, who rented the land from the Marquess of Bath in 1696 and turned it into a garden and walkway.In 2008, heavy rain uncovered Roman remains that were excavated under the site.
The Prospect provides a public garden opposite the church, containing trees dedicated to local people, a VE Day Beacon and a War Memorial. It offers a view of the famous horseshoe bend in the Wye and as far west as the Black Mountains.
The town is known for locally owned shops, picturesque streets, and a market square with a market hall.
Thursday and Saturday markets are held at the red sandstone Market House building in the town centre.This was built between 1650 and 1654 to replace a probably wooden Booth Hall. The upper storey now houses an arts and crafts centre.
The town's small theatre, The Phoenix, shows films once a month, along with plays and other arts events.
The ruins of Wilton Castle, to the west of the town, have been restored and opened to visitors. The town has a number of sculptures by Walenty Pytel – the left bank of the Wye shows two of these. Despite the common belief that both depict swans, one in fact shows ducks.
Most local government functions are vested in Herefordshire Council, the unitary authority covering the county. Ross Town Council, with 18 councillors, six each from the Ross North, West and East wards, has the powers of a parish council.The Mayor is Councillor Daniel Lister. Ross Rural was merged into the civil parish on 1 April 2015. Since the May 2019 local elections, the town council has a majority of Liberal Democrats, with two Conservatives and three Independents.
The town is part of the Hereford and South Herefordshire parliamentary constituency, currently represented in the House of Commons by the Conservative MP Jesse Norman.
The former Ross-on-Wye railway station was at a junction on the Hereford, Ross and Gloucester Railway north of the town. It was the terminus of the Ross and Monmouth Railway, which joined the Hereford, Ross and Gloucester just south of the station. Opened on 1 June 1855, the line was merged into the Great Western Railway on 29 July 1862 and in 1869 converted from broad gauge to standard gauge in a five-day period. A line to Tewkesbury was authorised by Parliament in 1856, but never built.
Under the Beeching Axe, the lines to Ross closed in stages up to 1964.The brick station has been demolished and the site redeveloped into an industrial estate, on which the brick goods and engine sheds still stand.
The nearest railway station today is Ledbury on the Cotswold Line, but Ross has a better connection with Gloucester,including a bus link with the town and a major interchange on the national rail network.
To the east is the end of the M50, sometimes called the Ross Spur or Ross Motorway, which links with the M5.
Ross-on-Wye experiences a typically British maritime climate, with mild summers and winters. A Met Office weather station provides long-term climate data for the town. Meteorological readings have been taken in Ross since 1858; the Ross-on-Wye weather station holds some national records.
|Climate data for Ross-on-Wye 41m asl, 1991-2020|
|Average high °C (°F)||8.0|
|Average low °C (°F)||2.2|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||75.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||54.6||77.1||119.1||166.0||203.7||200.5||210.5||189.4||143.7||103.6||63.0||47.1||1,578.3|
|Source: Met Office|
References appear on each person's page. In birth order:
Ross-on-Wye has three twin towns:
Monmouth is a town and community in Wales. It is situated where the River Monnow joins the River Wye, 2 miles (3.2 km) from the Wales–England border. Monmouth is 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Cardiff, and 113 miles (182 km) west of London. It is within the Monmouthshire local authority, and the parliamentary constituency of Monmouth. The population in the 2011 census was 10,508, rising from 8,877 in 2001. Monmouth is the historic county town of Monmouthshire although Abergavenny is now the county town.
Hereford is a cathedral city, civil parish and the county town of Herefordshire, England. It lies on the River Wye, approximately 16 miles (26 km) east of the border with Wales, 24 miles (39 km) south-west of Worcester and 23 miles (37 km) north-west of Gloucester. With a population of 60,800, it is by far the largest settlement in Herefordshire.
Monmouthshire is a county in the south-east of Wales. The name derives from the historic county of the same name; the modern county covers the eastern three-fifths of the historic county. The largest town is Abergavenny, with other towns and large villages being: Caldicot, Chepstow, Monmouth, Magor and Usk. It borders Torfaen, Newport and Blaenau Gwent to the west; Herefordshire and Gloucestershire to the east; and Powys to the north.
Herefordshire is a county in the West Midlands of England, governed by Herefordshire Council. It is bordered by Shropshire to the north, Worcestershire to the east, Gloucestershire to the south-east, and the Welsh counties of Monmouthshire and Powys to the west.
Newent is a market town and civil parish about 10½ miles north-west of Gloucester, England. Its population was 5,073 at the 2001 census, rising to 5,207 in 2011, and estimated in 2019 at 5,082. Once a medieval market and fair town, its site had been settled at least since Roman times. The first written record of it appears in the 1086 Domesday Book.
Weston under Penyard is a small village in Herefordshire, England. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 Census was 1,007.
Goodrich is a village in south Herefordshire, England close to Gloucestershire and the Forest of Dean, situated near the River Wye at grid reference. It is known for its Norman and mediaeval castle built with Old Red Sandstone.
John Kyrle, known as "the Man of Ross", was an English philanthropist, remembered for his time in Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire.
Hereford railway station serves the city of Hereford, England. Managed by Transport for Wales, it lies on the Welsh Marches Line between Leominster and Abergavenny, is the western terminus of the Cotswold Line and also has an hourly West Midlands Trains service from Birmingham New Street. The station has four platforms for passenger trains and two additional relief lines for goods services.
Aston Ingham is a village in south-eastern Herefordshire, England, near Newent and about 7 miles (11 km) east of Ross-on-Wye. The population of the village at the 2011 census was 398. There is a church, dedicated to St John the Baptist, which has been a Grade II* listed building since 17 March 1987.
Blaisdon is a village and civil parish in the Forest of Dean of Gloucestershire, England, about ten miles west of Gloucester. Its population in 2005 was estimated by Gloucestershire County Council to be 249. An estimate in 2012 placed the population at 420. The local church is dedicated to St Michael.
Mitcheldean is a market town in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England.
Dorstone is a village within the Golden Valley, Herefordshire, England. There is a thriving community with a church and public house with restaurant. The Golden Valley area offers excellent hillwalking and horseback riding countryside and is noted for its scenery. It is within the catchment area of the popular Fairfield secondary school.
Kings Caple is a village in the largest loop of the River Wye between Hereford and Ross-on-Wye in the English county of Herefordshire. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 census was 331.
The Hereford, Ross and Gloucester Railway, was a railway which ran for 22+1⁄2 miles (36.2 km) linking Hereford and Gloucester, England, via Ross-on-Wye. It was opened on 1 June 1855 as a 7 ft 1⁄4 in broad gauge line, it was amalgamated with the Great Western Railway in 1862. In 1869 the railway was converted to 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in standard gauge. The railway was closed to passengers on 2 November 1964, freight services between Ross-on-Wye railway station and Grange Court railway station continued on until 1 November 1965.
Ross-on-Wye railway station is a former junction railway station on the Hereford, Ross and Gloucester Railway constructed just to the north of the Herefordshire town of Ross-on-Wye. It was the terminus of the Ross and Monmouth Railway which joined the Hereford, Ross and Gloucester Railway just south of the station.
Hereford Road Skew Bridge is a disused railway bridge in Ledbury, Herefordshire. Built in 1881 to carry the Ledbury and Gloucester Railway across the Hereford Road at an angle of approximately 45°, it was built as a ribbed skew arch with stone spandrels and wing walls, and ribs of blue brick. The railway line was closed in 1959 and the bridge is now used as part of the Ledbury Town Trail footpath.
Brampton Abbotts is a village and civil parish in Herefordshire, England. It is located 2 km north of Ross-on-Wye and 16 km south east of Hereford. The village lies near the western terminus of M50 motorway.
Bridstow is a village and civil parish in Herefordshire, England, 2 km west of Ross-on-Wye and 17 km south-east of Hereford. The parish is bounded to the east and south by the River Wye. The A40 road linking the M50 motorway to South Wales runs through the parish, crossing the Wye at Bridstow Bridge. The parish had a population of 906 in the 2011 UK census, and an estimated population of 941 in 2018.
Harewood is a civil parish in Herefordshire, England. It is approximately 7 miles (11 km) south from the city and county town of Hereford and 4 miles (6 km) north-west from the market town of Ross-on-Wye. Within Harewood is the rural estate of Harewood Park, owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. The parish is part of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.