The rolling agricultural landscapes of Herefordshire have an easy-going charm, but the finest scenery hereabouts is along the banks of the River Wye, which wriggles and worms its way across the county linking most of the places of interest. Plonked in the middle of the county on the Wye is Hereford, a sleepy, rather old-fashioned sort of place whose proudest possession, the remarkable Mappa Mundi map, was almost flogged off in a round of ecclesiastical budget cuts back in the 1980s. To the west of Hereford, hard by the Welsh border, the key attraction is Hay-on-Wye, which – thanks to the purposeful industry of its very own self-proclaimed ‘King’ Richard Booth – has become the world’s largest repository of secondhand books, on sale in a score of secondhand bookshops. The Hay Festival of Literature & Arts is an annual literature festival held there for ten days from May to June. Devised by Norman and Peter Florence in 1988, the festival was described by Bill Clinton in 2001 as ‘The Woodstock of the mind’. But Hay-on-Wye was already well known for its many bookshops before the festival was launched. Booth opened his first shop there in 1961, and by the 1970s Hay had gained the nickname ‘The Town of Books’. On 1 April 1977 Booth proclaimed Hay an independent kingdom with himself as king – styled Richard Cœur de Livre – and his horse as Prime Minister. He lives there still, ruling the kingdom of Hay from his very own castle in the hills.
Thanks for stopping by!
I'm a writer and on this site you'll find samples of my work (which spans lots of genres including horror, comedy, mystery, thriller and fantasy) as well as book/film/music reviews, true stories, tall tales, urban legends and news of forthcoming publications. To follow me on Twitter or Facebook click on one of the links below.
- 626,264 hits
- #GhostCities #Powwow goo.gl/l2RV4Y https://t.co/DFAIAmhxFN 2 weeks ago
- #GhostCities #Hay goo.gl/99x68n https://t.co/AY599tK7QR 1 month ago
- #GhostCities #MRJames anilbalan.com/2016/12/18/a-w… 2 months ago
- #GhostCities #Sinterklaas goo.gl/hQ30Pe https://t.co/Htwawlugoe 2 months ago
- #GhostCities #CanterburyTales anilbalan.com/2016/11/13/can… https://t.co/X2PZrcjdWG 3 months ago
Top Posts & Pages
- Secrets of the Pow-wow
- The Kingdom of Hay
- A Warning to the Curious
- Canterbury Tales
- Crooked House
- Demons and Shadows: The Ghostly Best of Robert Westall
- Lost Hearts
- Ghost Walk
- The Green Man
- Kong: Fact or Fiction?
- Mysteries of the Moor
- London After Midnight
- The Land of Lost Content
- Oranges and Lemons
- The Bay of the Departed
- At the Mountains of Madness
- The Maid of Buttermere
- A Ghost Story for Christmas: The Tractate Middoth
- A View from a Hill
- Number 13 by M R James
- Manannan, Son of the Sea
- The Secret History of Sherlock Holmes
- Morag, the Monster of Loch Morar