The small market town of ROSS-ON-WYE, nestling above a loop in the river sixteen miles southeast of Hereford, is a relaxed and easy-going place with an artsy/New Age undertow. Ross’s jumble of narrow streets converges on the Market Place, which is shadowed by the seventeenth-century Market House, a sturdy two-storey sandstone structure that sports a medallion bust of a bewigged Charles II. Veer right at the top of the Market Place, then turn left up Church Street to reach Ross’s other noteworthy building, the mostly thirteenth-century St Mary’s Church, whose sturdy stonework culminates in a slender, tapering spire. In front of the church, at the foot of the graveyard, is a plain but rare Plague Cross, commemorating the three hundred or so townsfolk who were buried here by night without coffins during a savage outbreak of the plague in 1637.

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