Cathedral in the city of Hereford, Herefordshire, England. Founded not later than 680 by its first bishop, Putta, it was destroyed in 1055 by the Welsh, and rebuilt late in the 11th century, the nave and other Norman parts of the building being completed in about 1140. Since medieval times the structure has been much rebuilt and restored. The finest parts surviving intact are the Lady Chapel (1220–40), the north transept (1250–87), and the early 14th-century crossing tower.
Much of the nave was rebuilt by James Wyatt from 1786 after the collapse upon it of the western tower. In about 1842 Lewis Nockalls Cottingham rebuilt the crossing, and parts of the nave and chancel. George Gilbert Scott's wholesale restoration and reconstruction were from 1856 to 1863. Finally, Wyatt's west end was replaced in 1902–08 by John Oldrid Scott (1842–1913) in a Decorated style.
Features The cathedral's two most treasured possessions are its remarkable chained library, containing some very rare manuscripts and early printed volumes; and the Mappa Mundi (map of the world), dated about 1275, and probably the earliest map of its kind in existence, the earlier Nuremberg map having disappeared. Jerusalem is seen to be at the centre of the world. Only two other chained libraries can compare with the one at Hereford, which contains amongst its 1,440 books; Caxton's Golden Legend, The Nuremberg Chronicle, and the only surviving copy of the Use of Hereford are a few examples.