…a medieval view of the world

Synopsis (from book cover):

How was it possible for such a large and fragile artifact to have survived intact from the Middle Ages to the present day?  The Hereford Mappa Mundi, moved in April 1996 from the Cathedral Crypt to a purpose built museum, is an unique document.  It provides us with a window into  time past when there were no aeroplanes or cars, no radio or television, no telephones or newspapers and when travel beyond the immediate confines of ones’s home was an arduous and considerable undertaking.  All the more remarkable therefore that such a map of the world is able to show relative positions for cities and whole continents, although the people and animals depicted are often bizarre and fantastical.  The Mappa Mundi gives us today an incomparable insight into the mind of Medieval Christendom, depicting not only the geographical world but also the spirituality, philosophy of life and the political and economic structures of its people.  The creation of such a map was not only a considerable achievement, but a symbol of power and status in a world still in a feudal stat.  This volume takes the reader on a tour of that world as well as of the maps; a journey as fascinating as the Mappa itself.

Book Review:

When I visited Hereford Cathedral in November I particularly wanted to revisit the Mappa Mundi.  I picked up this book whilst I was there.

The book gives added incite to the Mappa Mundi which is housed in a specially built display wing of the Cathedral.  It is uncertain whether the Mappa was created in Hereford or elsewhere.  This book takes the view that the map was created elsewhere and one of the topics is the map’s origins and journey to Hereford.  Other topics include the medieval view of the world, the geography of the map and the creatures (both real and mythical) that feature on the map.

The book is illustrated throughout by Dominic Harbour, it also contains a full colour copy of the Mappa Mundi.

I recommend the book to anyone who wants to find out more about the Hereford Mappa Mundi.

11 Comments CherryPie on Jan 2nd 2014

11 Responses to “The Hereford Mappa Mundi… by Gabriel Alington”

  1. Hereford is another place that I have to visit.
    Love to see Chester one day too. ;)

    Which one do you think I should visit first?

  2. ....peter:) says:

    I read your book report and then i searched online for more information on the Hereford Mappa Mundi….
    There were so many different images referring to this map… but it was time well spent and i may go out and buy a copy of this book Cherie…
    thank you….peter:)

    • CherryPie says:

      The map is fascinating, I am glad you found it interesting. I have a review of another book about it coming up in a few days time. That one compares it to other maps of it’s kind.

  3. Ginnie says:

    It sounds like you’re well on your way into the new year, Cherry! Good for you.

  4. The Mappa Mundi has always fascinated me and the book sounds really interesting. Happy New Year, Cherie.

  5. james higham says:


    Incite to do what, Cherie?