A Labyrinth for Hereford

For Free. For All. For Always.

The Hereford Labyrinth

The Hereford Labyrinth will be a permanent installation, 20 meters in diameter, on the Bishop’s Meadow, providing space for fun, exercise, peace and contemplation.  

The Labyrinth will be free for all to enjoy 24hours a day.
A Labyrinth is different from a Maze, a Maze you can get lost in.   A Labyrinth has a single convoluted path with many reversals of direction and confounded expectations, that nonetheless, leads eventually to its goal.
The design for this labyrinth is inspired by the Mappa Mundi, a Medieval Map housed at Hereford Cathedral.  It dates from around the end of the thirteenth century.
The drawing of a tiny labyrinth can be found on the island of Crete and is only a few centimetres across.

A Brief History of Labyrinths

The Labyrinth is an ancient archetype, found in art forms all round the world from as long ago as 4,000 years. The earliest examples, precise symbols found carved on rocks and painted or scratched on pottery, date from the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. Later designs can be found as far apart as Siberia, Cornwall, amongst the ancient Hopi tribes of North America, in India, Sumatra, New Mexico and Ireland. A design, found on coins from Crete, describes the labyrinth at Knossos in which the Minotaur was imprisoned.With its origins in Pagan myths and rituals the Labyrinth was nevertheless absorbed into early Christian Theology. The oldest known example in a church dates from the fourth century. In Medieval times they became popular with the development of the Gothic style of church architecture. Many examples appeared in Cathedrals and churches around Europe. Today labyrinths are being rediscovered for their historical and spiritual connections. Maybe as many as 10,000 have been created around the world in the last 25 years.The attraction for the new generation could be that labyrinths, with their circuitous pathways always leading to a final centre point, invite playful interaction, as well as soulful contemplation.