Often people come to Kington because they happen to be walking the Offa's Dyke Path which is in itself an integral part of the history of this area. The Dyke and the fact that Herefordshire is recorded as being second only to Northumberland for the number of castles per square mile gives a picture of a turbulent past. If you have more time than the long distant walker you might be interested in visiting some of our castles. Other earlier settlements in the area are the hillforts on Wapley Hill and Croft Ambrey. A visit to these will mean a short drive and then some uphill walking. Energetic? Well the pace does not have to be brisk and the scenery and views are to be enjoyed. There is also The Black and White Village Trail taking in hundreds of timber framed buildings in the area. Pick up a leaflet from the Tourist Office in Kington.
Another early site to which you could drive is Arthur's Stone on Dorstone Hill. Alternately you might park in the lane by Bredwardine Church and visit the grave and memorial to Francis Kilvert before taking a circular walk via Merbach Hill with stunning views down to the Wye.
Perhaps if the weather is inclement you might like to spend time inside and explore some of the historic buildings of these parts. The National Trust has several properties in Herefordshire, the nearest to Kington is Cwmmau, an early 17th century, timber framed, stone tiled farmhouse (now a National Trust holiday let) and the more splendid ones Berrington Hall and Croft Castle. Other properties you might consider visiting are The Judges Lodging, just over the border at Presteigne an award winning restored historic courthouse and The Thomas Shop. Penybont which is an "authentic restoration of a Victorian Village Store". About twenty four miles from Kington is the village of Abbey-Cwmhir. Here you will find the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey . There are many more historic buildings for you to visit in the Marches area the only constraint is how much time you have to spend exploring.
If Church architecture interests you more than mottes and baileys Hereford has had a cathedral since Saxon times and in the Golden Valley you can explore the Cistercian monastery of Dore Abbey. There is a comprehensive leaflet "Visiting Herefordshire Churches" available from Kington Tourist Information Centre or online at
Visit Herefordshire Churches
St Mary's, Kington is one of nine Herefordshire churches with a detached tower. It has been suggested that at least seven of these towers acted as refuges during Welsh Border Raids although St Mary's tower is no longer detached. However St Mary's in the nearby village of Pembridge does have a separate and very unusual shaped bell tower. Two other nearby churches you may like to visit are St John's, Shobdon which is famous as the only Rococo church in England and St Peter & St Paul's, at the Black and white village of Weobley, has a large village church spire of 185 feet. There are two quite well known Friends Meeting Houses in the area at Almeley and Llandegley,
The town's industrial past is tied up with the construction of the Kington Tramroad completed in 1820. It brought coal, iron, slates etc to Kington and took away lime, flour, malt and other local products. Kington then had a foundry, gas works and nail shops. You can walk part of the tramroad, whilst considering that a "full load of 8 tons carried for 10 miles would have cost 67p (new money) and that users were fined 50p if their horses were caught trotting".
If you appreciate a glass of cider perhaps you would enjoy a visit to The Cider Museum in Hereford or if steam pumping engines interest you there is The Waterworks Museum, Broomy Hill, Hereford, or nearer Kington, Mortimer's Cross Water Mill which is also close to Mortimer's Cross Battlefield.
As for local myths, Kington has the legendary Vaughan family! Come and find out all about them.