The current Hereford Cathedral, located at Hereford in England, dates from 1079. Its most famous treasure is Mappa Mundi, a mediaeval map of the world dating from the 13th century. The cathedral is a Grade I listed building.
The Prince and Princess of Wales attend the launch of the Cathedral’s £1 million restoration appeal on April 9, 1985.
During the service Prince Charles was presented with an architectural ball flower, seen above, dating from the 14th century, as a memento of the occasion. He also read a scripture lesson before the 1,800 specially invited guests.
They were also presented with a baby rabbit at the end of their visit as an Easter present for Prince Harry.
The cathedral is dedicated to two patron saints, namely Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Ethelbert the King. The latter was beheaded by Offa, King of Mercia in the year 792. Offa had consented to give his daughter to Ethelbert in marriage: why he changed his mind and deprived him of his head historians do not know, although tradition is at no loss to supply him with an adequate motive. The execution, or murder, is said to have taken place at Sutton, four miles (6 km) from Hereford, with Ethelbert’s body brought to the site of the modern cathedral by ‘a pious monk’. At Ethelbert’s tomb miracles were said to have occurred, and in the next century (about 830) Milfrid, a Mercian nobleman, was so moved by the tales of these marvels as to rebuild in stone the little church which stood there and to dedicate it to the sainted king.
Prince Charles, long an architectural restoration advocate, became involved in he restoration appeal in 1985. The actual appeal was to have started in 1984 as restoration work on the cathedral was urgent and the church clergy had proposed selling some special artifacts in its collection to get the work started. However, the Hereford Diocesan Community Trust kick-started the appeal with a donation of £25,000. In 1985, The Prince and Princess of Wales donated the signed portrait of themselves below to the cathedral to auction it for restoration funds.
The Prince of Wales became Patron of the Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust in 2004, although His Royal Highness had supported the Trust on a number of occasions since it was founded in the mid 1990s. The Prince of Wales first visited the cathedral in the 1980s.
In August 2000, the Prince of Wales dipped into his purse to again show he is a true friend of Hereford Cathedral by splashing out thousands of pounds on its restoration.
And in gratitude the Royal patron is to receive gifts from the city to beautify his gardens.
The substantial donation was announced by Prince Charles during a reception attended by governors and sponsors of the Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust at Highgrove House.
The money, from the Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund, will go towards the repair of the Stanbury Chapel Roof. The perpendicular chapel was erected by Bishop Stanbury’s executors in 1496. It features a richly-groined vault and two stained windows on the north side depicting scenes from the bishop’s life.
As a thank-you to Prince Charles, the cathedral’s perpetual trust has donated a quantity of redundant stone for use as landscape features in Highgrove’s gardens.
Over the years, Prince Charles has been a regular visitor to Hereford Cathedral and has played a pivotal role in the restoration process since the inception of the trust in 1996.