COULD you choose 50 buildings that tell the story of Hereford?

That is the task Derek Foxton and Ron Shoesmith set themselves in their new book, aptly called Hereford in 50 Buildings.

They are well qualified for the challenge.

Derek has lived in Hereford all his life, and practised as a dentist in the city until his retirement 13 years ago. He has also worked as a commercial photographer, and many of the pictures in the book are his.

Ron was director of the City of Hereford Archaeology Unit between 1974 and 1996, and also served as the cathedral's archaeologist.

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In the blurb to their book they write: "Hereford has a proud and distinctive identity. Its extraordinary history is embodied in the buildings that have shaped this cathedral city."

We have picked just 10 buildings from the authors' 50 that give a flavour of their selection. Do you agree that we have chosen the most interesting and significant? Or have we made some glaring omissions?

Ledbury Reporter:

Hereford Cathedral by Mike Thornberry

1. Hereford Cathedral

Founded in AD676, the present cathedral is mainly early 12th-century. During the Anarchy (the dispute between Stephen and Matilda for the Crown) the cathedral became a castle. The central tower was used as a base from throwing "missiles" against the king's men the castle, which was then between the cathedral precinct and St Guthlac's Priory.

2. Blackfriars Monastery, Widemarsh Street

The Dominicans, Black Friars, of Friars Preachers arrived in England shortly before AD1200. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, their priory in Hereford fell into private hands. Owner Sir Thomas Coningsby converted part of the building into his own house, and stone from much of what remained built the almshouses known as Coningsby Hospital in Widemarsh Street. The 14th-century preaching cross is the only surviving example in England.

3. Booth Hall

Although the existence of Booth Hall was well documented, its exact location had been lost in the passage of time until 1919 when a chimney stack fell exposing some magnificent medieval roof timbers. For some time the historic hall itself was not the main part of the inn – this was the 19th-century range that extended from the hall towards East Street. The Booth Hall was almost lost a few years ago during the High Town fire.

4. Old Wye Bridge

The present bridge was built around 1490, but the buiders may made use of some earlier piers. For centuries the main road along the Welsh border crossed the Wye at the Old Wye Bridge. In the southern refuge on the east side are two mortar-filled vertical grooves. They were made to take waist-high slabs of granite to shield the occupant using the urinal, which is shown on an 1886 map.

Ledbury Reporter:

Nos 4 and 5 Harley Court. The house on the right was the home of Alfred Watkins, who conceived the idea of ley lines

5. No 5 Harley Court, off Cathedral Close

The southernmost of two semi-detached houses in this little backwater was the home of Alfred Watkins from 1919 until his death in 1935. Best known as a photographer, he also had a great interest in archaeology. He excavated several sites in the city and will forever be remembered for his theory of 'ley lines', invisible alignments of ancient sites which he suggested were used as trade routes.

6. The Black Lion, Bridge Street

One of the oldest inns in Hereford, the main part of the building dates to the middle or late half of the 16th century. A room on the first floor was used as a club room for many years. On the walls were discovered in 1932 the remains of a series of wall paintings representing people breaking the 10 Commandments.

7. Old House, High Town

The date on the shield held by angels underneath the central gable is 1621. Its first occupant was probably John Jones, a butcher, and it continued to be a butcher's shop and home for many years. Its penultimate use was as a bank. It was a branch of Lloyds before becoming the museum it is today.

8. Old City Gaol and Magistrates Building

Built in Gaol Street in 1844, it was only in use for a short time, as it was closed as a result of the Prisons Act in 1877. It then became the city police station and fire-engine house. The old police station survived substantial redevelopment of the area to become the city magistrates court until the end of the 20th century. It was until recently up for sale.

Ledbury Reporter:

The Merchant's House, Widemarsh Street

9. The Merchant's House, No 6-8 Widemarsh Street

A little-known architectural gem rediscovered just 20 years ago. It was build during the later years of the 17th century. Only the western part of the building survives, but it contains a very good original staircase, moulded plaster ceiling and other historic fittings. Its cellar connects via a vaulted brick passage to others beneath High Town.

Ledbury Reporter:

The former Union Workhouse, now part of the Hereford County Hospital

10. Former Union Workhouse

The Hereford Union Workhouse opening in 1838, serving 49 parishes. It originally had room for 300 inmates. Any male inmate had to bring his family with him, but he and his wife were separated, along with all children over seven years of age. Other inmates included unmarried mothers and widows with children. All, apart from the youngest and infirm, were work hard. The workhouse building is now part of Hereford County Hospital.