"The general aspect of this county is extremely
beautiful", writes Pigot in his Directory of 1844, "its surface is
finely diversified and broken by swelling heights... From many of these
elevations the prospects are uncommonly fine, but are peculiarly so from the
Malvern Hills on the east, and the Hatterell or Black Mountains on the west. The
fertility of the soil is very great, and the country is clothed in almost
perpetual verdure. On every side a luxuriance of vegetation is exhibited, in
widely extended corn-fields, teeming orchards, expansive meadows and flourishing
plantations; every part seems uniformly productive, except, perhaps, on the
north and west outskirts...
Herefordshire is particularly famous as a cider county: it was
during the reign of Charles I that, by the spirited exertions of Lord Scudamore
and some other land proprietors, the plantations of apple trees acquired the
peculiar eminence which they yet retain, and the county became in appearance one
entire orchard. The principal markets for the fruit liquors of this shire are
London and Bristol, from which ports great quantities are sent to Ireland, to
the East and West Indies and other foreign markets, in bottle.
But the orchard, though a favourite object of the cultivator's
attention, is not the only one - for, from cattle, sheep, swine, corn, etc., he
derives a general advantage. The growth of the hop (of which there are two
kinds, the white and the red), likewise forms a considerable branch of the rural
economy of the county, and is still increasing, particularly in the parts
contiguous to Worcestershire. Herefordshire is also rich in woodland; many
species of trees, in different districts, spring up spontaneously, and become
strong in a very short period..."
Family History, Genealogy and
Local History Research Information for Herefordshire
fifth series of
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