Leominster (/ˈlɛmstər/ ( listen) LEM-stər) is a market
town in Herefordshire, England, and is located at the confluence of
River Lugg and its tributary the River Kenwater, approximately 12
miles (19 km) north of the city of
Hereford and approx 7 miles
south of the Shropshire border, 11 miles from
Ludlow in Shropshire.
With a population of approximately 11,700 people,
Leominster is the
largest of the five towns (Leominster, Ross-on-Wye, Ledbury, Bromyard
and Kington) in the county surrounding the City of Hereford.
From 1974 to 1996,
Leominster served as the administrative centre for
the former local government district of
7 Notable people
8 Twin towns
9 Local attractions
10 See also
12 External links
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. 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, used today by a few on the Welsh side of the nearby
border, is Llanllieni.
Milepost, showing the old spelling 'Lemster', now in
During the Early Middle Ages,
Leominster was home to Æthelmod of
Leominster, an English saint known to history mainly through the
hagiography of the
Secgan Manuscript. He is reputedly buried in
According to the
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a raid by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn
Leominster in 1052 resulted in the Battle of Llanllieni, between
the Welsh and a combined force of
Normans (mercenaries) and English
Henry I 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. Its
Priory Church of St. Peter and St. Paul,
which now serves as the parish church, is the remaining part of this
Quatrefoil piers were inserted
between 1872–79 by Sir George Gilbert Scott.
The priory was ransacked by the Welsh forces of
Owain Glyndŵr after
their victory at the
Battle of Bryn Glas
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.
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. 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."
One of the last ordeals by ducking stool took place in
1809, with Jenny Pipes as the final incumbent. The ducking stool is
on public display in
Leominster Priory; a mechanised depiction of it
is featured on the town clock.
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
Climate data for Preston Wynne, elevation 84 metres (276 ft),
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
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
Leominster railway station has
Arriva Trains Wales
Arriva Trains Wales services on the
Welsh Marches Line, northbound to Manchester Piccadilly via Ludlow,
Shrewsbury and Crewe as well as Holyhead via Shrewsbury, Wrexham
General and Chester and southbound to Milford Haven or Cardiff Central
Hereford and Abergavenny and Newport; links to London Paddington
are achieved by changing at Hereford, for services via
Oxford, or at Newport, South Wales.
Earl Mortimer college, is a state comprehensive school providing
secondary education for about 650 pupils. The town has two primary
Leominster Primary School and Westfield's School. Primary
schools in the villages around the town include Ivington, Kimbolton,
Luston and Stoke Prior
The Grange, Leominster
Saint Cuthfleda was the abbess of the nunnery at
Leominster and the
patroness of the region. Known for her holiness and chaste life.
Æthelmod of Leominster
Æthelmod of Leominster
Anglo-Saxon Saint
Leofric, Earl of Mercia
Leofric, Earl of Mercia and his wife Godgifu
Lady Godiva – are
commemorated as benefactors of the monastery at Leominster
John Abel (1578/9-1675), an English carpenter and mason, granted the
title of 'King's Carpenter', who was responsible for several notable
structures in the ornamented half-timbered construction, notably the
market house known as
Grange Court (1633) in Leominster, which
originally stood in Broad Street, but was rebuilt in 1855 near to the
Priory Church. It is widely regarded as one of Abel's finest
John Scarlett Davis
John Scarlett Davis (1804–1845), artist, was born at 2 High Street.
A number of his works are in
Arthur Peppercorn (1889–1951), locomotive designer
Leominster is twinned with
Saverne in France, and
Tengeru in Tanzania.
Leominster town centre
Burford House Gardens
Priory Church, Leominster
Monkland Cheese dairy
Stockton Bury Gardens
Leominster (UK Parliament constituency)
^ a b "Neighbourhood Statistics – Area:
Leominster (Parish) – Sex,
United Kingdom Census 2011. Office for National
Statistics. 2011. Archived from the original on 12 January 2014.
Retrieved 12 January 2014.
^ J. & C. Hillaby,
Leominster Minster, Priory, and Borough
c.660–1539 (Logaston Press, Almeley, Herefs. 2006), 4–5.
^ Stowe MS 944 Archived 3 January 2014 at Archive.is, British Library
^ Evans, Gwynfor (1974). Land of My Fathers: 2000 Years of Welsh
History. Y Lolfa. p. 156. ISBN 9780862432652.
^ Hillaby, 53-7
^ The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, Nikolaus Pevsner, (1963)
p226 ISBN 0-14-071025-6
^ Wadsworth, Alfred P.; Mann, Julia De Lacy (1931). The Cotton Trade
and Industrial Lancashire, 1600–1780. Manchester: Manchester
University Press. pp. 433–448.
^ Manchester Mercury, reported on 5 November 1754
^ Rejali, Darius (2009). Torture and democracy (1. paperback printing.
ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. p. 282.
Herefordshire clock on go slow".
Hereford Times. 5 August 2009.
Retrieved 7 May 2013.
^ "Climate Normals 1971–2000". YR.NO. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
Oxford Dictionary of Saints, 5th ed, 2011. Accessed 5
^ The Chronicle of John of
Worcester ed. and trans. R.R. Darlington,
P. McGurk and J. Bray (Clarendon Press:
Oxford 1995), pp.582–3.
^ "John Abel, King's carpenter",
Grange Court website. Accessed 5
^ Hobbs, Tony (2004). John Scarlett Davis: A Biography. Almeley,
Herefordshire: Logaston Press. ISBN 1904396151.
^ "Arthur Peppercorn", A1 Steam Locomotive Trust. Accessed 5 January
Leominster Town Council
Leominster History from Archenfield Archaeology (this site is not
Leominster at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Ceremonial county of Herefordshire
County of Herefordshire
See also: List of civil parishes in Herefordshire
Population of major settlements
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings