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Churches of Herefordshire


Ross-on-Wye
St. Mary the Virgin's Church


A good large parish church, the present building was erected mostly around 1280, no doubt, on the site of previous buildings on the headland from which the town takes its name. There are amazing views of the Wye Valley to be seen from the 'Prospect' adjoining the churchyard. Note the cross at the south-east entrance to the latter marks the graves of the 315 plague victims of 1637. The beautiful spire is 14th century, but was rebuilt (using old materials) in 1721. The Markye Chapel was added in 1510 and is used for mid-week services.

There is a splendid collection of monuments to the Rudhall family rather curiously grouped at the end of the south aisle. That of Colonel William Rudhall is most striking for he stands upright in full Roman military uniform. Such a memorial was the height of fashion in 1651, though few examples survive. Flanking him are William Rudhall, Attorney General to Henry VIII, with some fascinating saintly weepers and the Carolingian John Rudhall, his wife and several infant children.

The great east window should be carefully examined, for it sports some beautiful 15th century glass removed from the, now defunct, Bishop's Palace at Stretton Sugwas. Amongst others it features (on the right), St. Thomas of Hereford. Look out, also, for the many hedgehogs in the church, locally known as 'urchins'. This symbol of Ross is a pun on the surrounding district of Archenfield.

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