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A unitary authority and historic county of England. It extends from Welsh border in the west to industrial midlands in the east and has an area of 2180 sq km (842 sq mi). Under local government reorganization in 1974 it became part of Hereford and Worcester but in 1998 it was reinstated as independent. The historic county includes three small areas outside the current unitary authority. One, just south of Ludlow, is in the South Shropshire district of the administrative county of Shropshire and the other two 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. Herefordshire is predominantly agricultural and is known for its hop production (surpassed only by Kent), pear and apple orchards, and the famous Hereford breed of cattle. The chief river is the Wye and the administrative center is Hereford. There are several notable prehistoric sites here, including Sutton Walls, Croft Ambrey, Herefordshire Beacon, and Leintwardine. Ruined 12th-century Norman fortresses still stand at Wilton, Goodrich, and Pembridge. The Herefordshire school of Romanesque architecture is exemplified in Kilpeck's Church of St. Mary and St. David and the 13th-century Treago is a notable fortified mansion. Other notable architecture includes the Cistercian Abbey Dore and Hereford Cathedral. The county supported the Yorkist cause during the War of the Roses and was royalist during the Civil Wars of the 17th century.
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