The Lichfield Vaults, Hereford
A classic pub in the historic heart of the city
The Lichfield Vaults can be found in Church Street which runs from the Cathedral Close to High Town (bisected by East Street) and came into existence around.800AD. It emerges in the written records of the city in the late 13th century as ‘Cabochelone’ or Cabbage Lane. (Unlike the position of cabbage today, the privileged Norman/French churchmen ate their meat with choice vegetables like the ‘cabbage’ which would have been purchased in the street, along with exotic herbs and spices.)
Church Street was in St. John’s Parish, where parish officials in the post reformation period applied the laws of settlement to exclude the lame, lazy and sick, thus providing for a ‘polite society’ and maintaining the area’s wealth. However, this did not stop a number of public houses and subterranean drinking dens flourishing in the area. There were three in Narrow Cabbage Lane alone - the narrow passageway linking Church Street to High Town. Cabbage Lane later became known as Capuchine Lane and latterly Church Street.
The first Herefordshire Directory of 1835 lists 26 distinct trades and specialists such as a butcher, baker, fishmonger, tailor, bookseller and milliner. Church Street was a street of commerce and refinement - a position it still holds today. Alongside its history and charm, Church Street continues to offer Hereford’s visitors a superb and wide range of independent shops and restaurants providing unique products and excellent services that cannot be found elsewhere in the city.
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