Pictures of Hoarwithy
Take a picture tour of Hoarwithy..
Tucked away in a little corner of England amid the rich water-meadows of the Wye Valley, is a fabulous Italianate church. It stands in glorious testimony to one man's eccentricity or deep love of all things Italian - whichever you choose to believe, for a country church it remains unrivalled in it's beauty and would fit snugly on any Tuscan hillside.
It was the year 1854 when a wealthy Victorian minister arrived in the peaceful hamlet of Hoarwithy. He found the church of St.Catherine, his new ministry 'ugly in the extreme, completely without any style of architecture' and thus, the Reverend William Poole, a man never to be daunted, set about building a new church. He employed the architect J.P. Seddon, who designed the new church to be built around the small plain chapel. The Reverend Poole, brought in craftsmen from Italy and he purchased only the finest of material some, including marble, he imported from Europe.
A church of one man's dreams, St.Catherine's is unique, it is a colourful folly of rustic tiled and mosaic, floors off-setting open colonnades. Within the cool interior there are intricate floors, a magnificent white marble alter, whilst the domed ceiling is supported by columns of French and Cornish marble. Superb wood carvings of British saints adorn the choir stalls and the windows have amazing stained-glass spreading splashes of light throughout the church.
Apart from the church, the rest of the village reflects the character of all things English. Beautiful black and white timber- framed properties, some of 16th-century origin, dot the quiet countryside. An interesting building is the old three storey toll house, a relic of 1856 the house is built at the side of the iron bridge built in 1876 to replace the ferry crossing. The River Wye meanders through lush agricultural countryside, cattle can be seen grazing at the waters edge while fishermen, dreaming of a rare catch of Wye salmon sit idly by.
Hoarwithy is within easy driving distance of Ross-on-Wye, a lovely old market town with an ancient market place, whilst a few miles further are the cities of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester, each dominated by a famous Cathedral and known for the famous Three Choirs Festival. In this sweeping agricultural area there are acre's of fruit orchards and fields full of pungent hops. It is the English countryside at its very best - well worth taking time to explore.
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in the county of Herefordshire(4.7 miles, 7.5 km, direction SE of Hoarwithy)
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