infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 52.2282
longitude= -2.7385
population= 11,000
official_name= Leominster
unitary_england= Herefordshire
region= West Midlands
lieutenancy_england= Herefordshire
constituency_westminster= Leominster
post_town= LEOMINSTER
postcode_area= HR
postcode_district= HR6
dial_code= 01568
os_grid_reference= SO496591

Leominster (Audio|En-uk-Leominster.ogg|pronunciation; IPA|/ˈlemstə/ or "Lemster"; is a market town [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/149159] at gbmapping|SO496590 in Herefordshire, England. It has a population of approximately 11,000 and is on the River Lugg and its tributary the River Kenwater in North Herefordshire.

From 1974 to 1996, Leominster served as the administrative centre for the former local government district of Leominster.


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. [J. & C. Hillaby, "Leominster Minster, Priory, and Borough c.660-1539" (Logaston Press, Almeley, Herefs. 2006), 4-5. ] . 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 language name for Leominster, still used today on the Welsh side of the nearby border, is "Llanllieni".


According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a raid by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn on Leominster in 1052 resulted in the Battle of Llanllieni, between the Welsh and a combined force of Normans and English Saxons.

Henry II bestowed the minster and its estates on Reading Abbey, which founded a priory [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/15896] at Leominster in 1121, although there was one here from Saxon times [Hillaby, 53-7] . Its Priory Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, which now serves as the parish church, is the remaining part of this 12th century Benedictine monastery. Quatrefoil piers were inserted between 1872-79 by Sir George Gilbert Scott."The Buildings of England: Herefordshire", Nikolaus Pevsner, 1963 p226 ISBN 0-14-071025-6]

The priory was ransacked by the Welsh forces of Owain Glyndŵr after their victory at the 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 though most of the stone had been robbed following the Dissolution. Disposed 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 A.D. 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 [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/149156] 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, Leominster was home to one of only four early cotton spinning mills 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, for the Manchester Mercury, reported on November 5, 1754, shortly after the fire that destroyed the mill, commented that the cotton works "had been viewed with great pleasure and admiration by travellers and all who had seen them."


The four-mile A49 £9m 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 has services to Ludlow and Hereford; links to London are achieved by changing at Newport, South Wales.


The only secondary school in Leominster is the Minster College, a comprehensive school with around 750 pupils. [ [http://www.minster.hereford.sch.uk/ The Minster College ¦ Home Page ] ] It is located fairly centrally, next door to the town's leisure centre and swimming pool, which are used by the school. The Minster College has received poor results in the past, but county league tables now rank it approximately half way in the list of the county's dozen secondary schools. The Minster is a specialist Sports College.

The town's main primary schools are Leominster Infants and Leominster Junior School. There are also a number of local village schools including Ivington Church of England primary school, Luston and Stoke Prior.

People from Leominster

* Albert Lee - Guitarist
* Arthur Peppercorn - Locomotive designer
* Joe Davies - Radio personality

Twin towns

Leominster is twinned with:
*flagicon|France Saverne, France
*flagicon|Tanzania Tengeru, Tanzania

Local attractions

*Croft Castle [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/26481]
*Berrington Hall [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/43243]
*Leominster Folk Museum [http://www.leominster.co.uk/leominster-museum.htm]
*Mousetrap Cheese [http://mousetrapcheese.streamlinenettrial.co.uk/]
*Broadfield Court
*Burford House Gardens
*Priory Church, Leominster
*Lucton SchoolBlack and White Village Trail [http://www.localtoleominster.co.uk]

Leominster in the news

*In 2007 a shop in Broad Street, Leominster, called 'Teagowns and Textiles' supplied a number of vintage costumes for the acclaimed film "Atonement", which was nominated for 14 BAFTA awards (it came away with 2).
*"Independent" columninst Brian Viner lives near Leominster and frequently writes in praise of the town.New web site launched for Leominster and the surrounding villages of Herefordshire. Locally run for the community and visitors to the region.All contributions welcome.Local to Leominster.

See also

*Leominster (UK Parliament constituency)


External links

* [http://www.leominster.co.uk Leominster website]
* [http://www.leominsterfc.com Leominster FC]
* [http://www.leominsterbedandbreakfast.com Leominster Bed and Breakfast] - B&B in Leominster
* [http://www.operationleofric.com Operation Leofric Friends of Leominster Priory]
* [http://www.archenfield.com/Leominster.htm Leominster History from Archenfield Archaeology]
* http://www.localtoleominster.co.uk Local web site for community and visitors run locally. [ [http://www.francisfrith.com/search/england/herefordshire/leominster/photos/leominster_photos.htm 33 Old photos of Leominster]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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