Page last updated at 15:00 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 16:00 UK
Archaeology pictures reveal medieval Hereford
Hereford city
LIDAR image of Hereford city centre

Hereford has one of the best-preserved historic city centres anywhere in England.

Medieval neighbourhoods have just been traced there by Herefordshire County Archaeologists.

They have unveiled some startling new images and maps showing the city in ways it has never been seen before.

A laser scanner has created an accurate picture of the ground surface, with all the buildings digitally removed, and variations in ground level magnified.

Lost valley

Dr Keith Ray, Herefordshire's county archaeologist, said: "This [laser scanner] produces an image of what the city might look like as an abandoned site.

Hereford city
A computer-generated map showing Hereford in negative

"One such feature is a lost valley that runs through the city from Aubrey Street, across King Street to the river.

"Known as the 'King's Ditch', which has almost disappeared as rubbish has been thrown into it, and mud built up in it over a period of four thousand years.

A second image looks like an aerial view of the city at night.

Dr Ray said: "It is in fact a computer-generated map that shows the city in negative, to highlight the open spaces, and the dense pattern of narrow alleyways and old building plots that are such an attractive feature of the ancient centre."

The study, a 'historic townscape characterisation', is available on the council's website and at Hereford Library in Broad Street.

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