Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia



Hereford is a historic cathedral city located in Herefordshire, England, on the Wye river.

Wace says that Earl Guerguint governed the city under King Arthur.

Hereford | 0 to the 9th century AD

Roman Period | 1st – 5th centuries
Hereford, known as Magnis during Roman Times, was a Roman settlement and an important crossing point on the River Wye. The territory that includes modern-day Hereford was part of the Roman province of Britannia. The Romans established a network of roads and settlements in the region, including the construction of roads like Watling Street. They also built a fort at Magnis, likely as a logistical and strategic center. The area had connections to other Roman towns and military sites in the region.

Sub-Roman and Early Medieval Period | 5th – 8th centuries
As the Roman Empire declined and withdrew from Britain in the early fifth century, the region experienced a period of transition and uncertainty. The withdrawal of Roman legions left a power vacuum, and various Celtic and Germanic groups, including the Anglo-Saxons, began to assert themselves.

Hereford, like many other places, became part of the evolving landscape of early medeival Britain. The area likely saw a blend of indigenous British and incoming Anglo-Saxon influences.

The spread of Christianity in Britain began during the Roman period, but its influence persisted into the Anglo-Saxon era. Missionaries and clergy worked to convert the local population to Christianity. By the seventh century, Christianity had gained a foothold in the region.

One notable historical figure from this period is Saint Ethelbert, a king of the East Angles who converted to Christianity. Ethelbert was reportedly killed in the vicinity of Hereford in 794 AD. A church dedicated to St. Ethelbert was built in the area, which eventually became the site of Hereford Cathedral.

Viking Incursions | 8th – 9th centuries
During the late eighth and ninth centuries, Viking raids and incursions affected various parts of Britain. While the Vikings targeted coastal areas more extensively, their influence could have been felt in regions along navigable rivers, including the River Wye. The impact of Viking activities during this period contributed to political and social changes, and it set the stage for further Viking involvement in Britain in the subsequent centuries.

Roman de Brut | Wace, c. 1155
Brut | Layamon, late 12th century to mid-13th century