South Herefordshire District was formed on 1 April 1974 as part of a general reorganisation of local administration in England and Wales under the Local Government Act 1972. It was formed from part of the administrative county of Herefordshire, and was an amalgamation of four local authorities: Ross-on-Wye urban district, Dore and Bredwardine Rural District, Hereford Rural District and Ross and Whitchurch Rural District. The district entirely surrounded the district of Hereford.
Following a review by the Local Government Commission for England, both the County of Hereford and Worcester and the seven districts within it were abolished on 1 April 1998. South Herefordshire was combined with the areas of City of Hereford, most of the District of Leominster, and part of the District of Malvern Hills to form a new unitary County of Herefordshire District: usually referred to simply as Herefordshire.