Leominster

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For the Leominster in the USA, see Leominster, Massachusetts.
Leominster
Leominster is located in Herefordshire
Leominster
Leominster
 Leominster shown within Herefordshire
Population 11,691 [1]
OS grid reference SO496591
Unitary authority Herefordshire
Ceremonial county Herefordshire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LEOMINSTER
Postcode district HR6
Dialling code 01568
Police West Mercia
Fire Hereford and Worcester
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament North Herefordshire
List of places
UK
England
Herefordshire

Coordinates: 52°13′42″N 2°44′19″W / 52.2282°N 2.7385°W / 52.2282; -2.7385

Leominster (Listeni/ˈlɛmstər/ LEM-stər) (once also known as 'Lemster') is a market town in Herefordshire, England, and is located at the confluence of the River Lugg and its tributary the River Kenwater, approximately 12 miles (19 km) north of the city of Hereford and 11 miles (18 km) south of Ludlow. With a population of approximately 11,700 people,[1] it is the largest of the five towns in the county that surround the City of Hereford.

From 1974 to 1996, Leominster served as the administrative centre for the former local government district of Leominster District.

Toponymy[edit]

The town takes its name from a minster, that is a community of clergy in the district of Lene or Leon, probably in turn from an Old Welsh root lei to flow.[2] Contrary to certain reports, the name has nothing to do with Leofric, an 11th-century Earl of Mercia (most famous for being the miserly husband of Lady Godiva). The Welsh name for Leominster, still used today on the Welsh side of the nearby border, is Llanllieni.

History[edit]

Milepost, showing the old spelling 'Lemster', now in Leominster Museum

During the Early Middle Ages, Leominster was home to Æthelmod of Leominster, a Catholic Saxon saint known to history mainly through the hagiography of the Secgan Manuscript.[3] He is reputedly buried in Leominster.

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a raid by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn on Leominster in 1052 resulted in the Battle of Llanllieni, between the Welsh and a combined force of Normans and English Saxons.[4]

Henry II bestowed the minster and its estates on Reading Abbey, which founded a priory at Leominster in 1121, although there was one here from Saxon times.[5] Its Priory Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, which now serves as the parish church, is the remaining part of this 12th-century Benedictine monastery. Quatrefoil piers were inserted between 1872–79 by Sir George Gilbert Scott.[6]

The priory was ransacked by the Welsh forces of Owain Glyndŵr after their victory at the Battle of Bryn Glas near Pilleth in 1402, along with several local manor houses.

Investigations to the north of the priory in 2005 located the position of the cloister, although most of the stone had been stolen following the Dissolution. Discarded animal bones found on the site when submitted to carbon dating showed that the area was occupied in the 7th century. This agrees with the date of 660 CE associated with the founding myth, which suggests a Christian community was established here by a monk, St. Edfrid, from Northumberland.

Leominster is also the historical home of Ryeland sheep, a breed once famed for its "Lemster" [sic] wool, known as 'Lemster ore'. This wool was prized above all other English wool in trade with the continent of Europe in the Middle Ages. It was the income and prosperity from this wool trade that established the town and the minster and attracted the envy of the Welsh and other regions.[citation needed]

From approximately 1748 to 1754, Pinsley Mill in Leominster was home to one of the Paul-Wyatt cotton mills, the first four cotton mills in the world, employing the spinning machines of Lewis Paul and John Wyatt.[7] The mill was financed by Lancashire native Daniel Bourn, and was partly owned by other men from Lancashire. Bourn introduced his own version of the carding engine to work at this mill, and of the four Paul-Wyatt mills, it may have been the most successful, as shortly after the fire that destroyed the mill, it was reported that the cotton works "had been viewed with great pleasure and admiration by travellers and all who had seen them."[8]

One of the last ordeals by ducking stool took place in Leominster in 1809, with Jenny Pipes as the final incumbent.[9] The ducking stool is on public display in Leominster Priory; a mechanised depiction of it is featured on the town clock.[10]

Climate[edit]

As with all towns in the United Kingdom, Leominster has a maritime climate, with mild winters and summers. The data below is from a weather station in Preston Wynne, a village about 10 miles South East of Leominster.

Climate data for Preston Wynne, elevation 84 metres (276 ft), 1971–2000
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.9
(44.4)
7.3
(45.1)
9.9
(49.8)
12.3
(54.1)
15.9
(60.6)
18.7
(65.7)
21.5
(70.7)
21.2
(70.2)
18.0
(64.4)
13.9
(57)
10.0
(50)
7.8
(46)
13.62
(56.5)
Average low °C (°F) 1.1
(34)
0.9
(33.6)
2.4
(36.3)
3.3
(37.9)
6.0
(42.8)
8.7
(47.7)
10.8
(51.4)
10.6
(51.1)
8.6
(47.5)
6.0
(42.8)
3.0
(37.4)
1.7
(35.1)
5.26
(41.47)
Source: YR.NO[11]

Transport[edit]

The 4-mile (6.4 km) A49 £9 million bypass opened in November 1988. The town also has a bus station linking it to Hereford and a number of nearby towns and villages.

Leominster railway station has services to Manchester via Ludlow and to Cardiff via Hereford; links to London are achieved by changing at Hereford, for services via Worcester and Oxford, or at Newport, South Wales.

Schools[edit]

Earl Mortimer college, is a state comprehensive school providing secondary education for about 650 pupils. It is located near the centre of the town, next to the public leisure centre and swimming pool. The town has three primary schools; Leominster Infants School, Leominster Junior School and Westfield's School. Primary schools in the villages around the town include Ivington, Kimbolton, Kingsland, Luston and Stoke Prior

Notable people[edit]

The Grange, Leominster

Twin towns[edit]

Leominster is twinned with Saverne in France, and Tengeru in Tanzania.

Local attractions[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Neighbourhood Statistics - Area: Leominster (Parish) - Sex, 2011 (QS104EW)". United Kingdom Census 2011. Office for National Statistics. 2011. Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2014-01-12. 
  2. ^ J. & C. Hillaby, Leominster Minster, Priory, and Borough c.660-1539 (Logaston Press, Almeley, Herefs. 2006), 4-5.
  3. ^ Stowe MS 944, British Library
  4. ^ Evans, Gwynfor (1974). Land of My Fathers: 2000 Years of Welsh History. Y Lolfa. p. 156. ISBN 9780862432652. 
  5. ^ Hillaby, 53-7
  6. ^ The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, Nikolaus Pevsner, (1963) p226 ISBN 0-14-071025-6
  7. ^ Wadsworth, Alfred P.; Mann, Julia De Lacy (1931). The Cotton Trade and Industrial Lancashire, 1600-1780. Manchester: Manchester University Press. pp. 433–448. 
  8. ^ Manchester Mercury, reported on 5 November 1754
  9. ^ Rejali, Darius (2009). Torture and democracy (1. paperback printing. ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. p. 282. ISBN 0691143331. 
  10. ^ "Herefordshire clock on go slow". Hereford Times. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Climate Normals 1971–2000". YR.NO. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  12. ^ Cuthfleda, Oxford Dictionary of Saints, 5th ed, 2011. Accessed 5 January 2014.
  13. ^ The Chronicle of John of Worcester ed. and trans. R.R. Darlington, P. McGurk and J. Bray (Clarendon Press: Oxford 1995), pp.582-3.
  14. ^ "John Abel, King's carpenter", Grange Court website. Accessed 5 January 2014.
  15. ^ Hobbs, Tony (2004). John Scarlett Davis: A Biography. Almeley, Herefordshire: Logaston Press. ISBN 1904396151. 
  16. ^ "Arthur Peppercorn", A1 Steam Locomotive Trust. Accessed 5 January 2014.

External links[edit]