Hereford Cathedral is home to the Hereford Mappa Mundi, one of the world’s unique medieval treasures. Measuring 1.59 x 1.34 metres (5’2” by 4’4”), the map is constructed on a single sheet of vellum (calf skin). Scholars believe it was made around the year 1300 and shows the history, geography and destiny of humanity as it was understood in Christian Europe in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries.
The inhabited part of the world as it was known then, roughly equivalent to Europe, Asia and North Africa, is mapped within a Christian framework. Jerusalem is in the centre, and east is at the top. East, where the sun rises, was where medieval Christians looked for the second coming of Christ. The British Isles is at the bottom on the left.