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Things to do in Pembridge, Herefordshire

Few places in Herefordshire are lovelier than Pembridge. This small village is located on the sloping sides of the valley above the River Arrow, seven miles west of Leominster.

Pembridge main street © David Oakley-Hill
Main Street © David Oakley-Hill


It was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and is no doubt much older.

Pembridge is known as the Jewel in the Crown of the Black and White Village Trail due to its lovely half-timbered cottages which put the main street in a charming time warp.

Modern-day Pembridge is home to an estimated one thousand residents.

It has a lively village centre with three pubs and restaurants. The village retains a mediaeval air due to its village architecture.

Wooden spire © David Oakley-Hill
Wooden Spire © David Oakley-Hill

There is an art gallery and a church with its most unusual clock tower topped with a cross which peeks above the other buildings.

Pembridge has a truly idyllic centre with a historic open-sided market building on the traditional triangular market place.

Old shelter © David Oakley-Hill
Old Shelter © David Oakley-Hill

Thought to date back to 1520, the Old Market Hall has eight posts supporting the slate roof.

During recent renovations, one of the oak posts had to be removed and replaced due to decay.

Beneath the old post was an old penny dated 1806 which had obviously been placed on the original stone base to date the work of previous craftsmen.

It was replaced, along with a pound coin to date the work for future generations.

Leaning wall © David Oakley-Hill
Leaning Wall © David Oakley-Hill

The market hall is surrounded by many black and white nursery-rhyme cottages which lean precariously from their stone bases.

Many are lovely listed buildings and the village itself is a conservation area managed by the Pembridge Amenity Trust.

One of the loveliest buildings is the 16th century Kings House, probably a former coaching inn and courthouse.

It is now an upmarket restaurant.

View from Pembridge © David Oakley-Hill
View from Pembridge © David Oakley-Hill

Pembridge is well served by shops and local services in the nearby towns of Leominster and Hereford which have similar black-and-white architecture.

Things to do in Pembridge

Visitors to Pembridge will want to walk around this lovely village and sample its delights.

Church and spire © David Oakley-Hill
Church and Spire © David Oakley-Hill


It is popular with artists and photographers, eager to capture its historic charm and ambience.

Many visitors follow the Black and White Village Trail along the Arrow Valley and through other nearby villages such as Eardisland.

Ludlow in nearby Shropshire is a particularly lovely town to visit on the banks of the rivers Corve and Theme.

History of Pembridge

The village gained its royal charter in the 13th century which allowed it to hold fairs and a market.

Old buildings © David Oakley-Hill
Old Buildings © David Oakley-Hill

It was known for its delightful sounding Cowslip Fair and Woodcock Fair, held in May and November respectively.

As well as local events, these fairs were where farm labourers would come to seek work from local landowners.

St Mary's Church in Pembridge was built mainly in the 14th century on the site of an even older church.

It has an extraordinary bell tower with supporting criss-crossing timbers topped with a Pagoda-style roof.

Unusually, the walls of the belfry have arrow-slits suggesting it was built as a stronghold against raids, being close to the Welsh border.

The building also saw action in the English Civil War as a bullet hole on the west door of the church will testify.

The nearby New Inn (ironically now one of the oldest in the county), was built in the 17th century but the original inn was thought to have been built in 1311.


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