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Old English Herefordscir, from Hereford (958), literally "ford suitable for the passage of an army." Probably so-called in reference to the Roman road passing over the Wye River. Herford in Germany has the same etymology. As the name for a type of cattle, first bred there, it is attested from 1789.
unitary authority and historic county that covers a roughly circular area in the Welsh borderland of England. The historic county includes three small areas outside the unitary authority. One, just south of Ludlow, is in the South Shropshire district of the administrative county of Shropshire. The others are in the Malvern Hills district of the administrative county of Worcestershire: one is the area between Leigh Sinton and Acton Green, and other is the parish of Stoke Bliss. Conversely, the unitary authority includes three small areas that are part of the historic county of Worcestershire: the parishes of Edvin Loach and Acton Beauchamp and an area including West Malvern and Mathon.