Ludlow Castle - A brief history and visiting information.

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Ludlow Castle - A Brief History & Visiting Information

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle's Keep & Outer Bailey © Shropshire & Telford TSB

The construction of the Ludlow Castle started around 1085, with many later additions in the following two centuries. It is one of the most interesting castles in the Marches, in a dominant and imposing position high above the river Teme. It features examples of architecture from the Norman, Medieval and Tudor periods. The building of the castle led to the development of Ludlow itself, at first grouped around the castle; the impressive ruins of the castle occupy the oldest part of Ludlow.

In the late 12th and early 13th centuries the castle was extended, and part of the grid pattern of streets immediately to the south was obscured by the enlarged outer bailey. From 1233 onwards the town walls were constructed; Ludlow Castle stood within the circuit of the walls.

Ludlow Castle domestic buildings viewed from the Keep © Shropshire & Telford TSB

Ludlow Castle has played a key role in some turbulent events in English history. One of its 14th-century owners, Roger Mortimer, helped his mistress Queen Isabella, in the overthrow of her husband King Edward II. In 1473, the Prince of Wales and his brother were held here before their mysterious death in the Tower of London. In 1502 Prince Arthur, Henry VII's son and heir to the throne, died at Ludlow.

Capital of Wales?
Edward IV founded the Council of the Marches of Wales in the late 15th century, its headquarters were in Ludlow Castle. The Council administered most of Wales and Shropshire and the adjacent English counties. The Council's courts were very active, and the castle and Ludlow were full of lawyers, clerks and royal messengers.

The Council of the Marches ceased to exist in 1689, and after this the castle gradually fell in to disuse and disrepair, although Ludlow itself was still on a wave of prosperity.

Read more about the history of the Welsh Marches here

Ludlow Castle viewed from Whitcliffe © David Fleming

Ludlow Castle Today
The castle was bought by the 2nd Earl of Powis in 1811; and is still owned by current Earl of Powis. A large amount of conservation work has taken place under the stewardship of the previous and current owners to arrest the decline in the fabric of the castle and to make it an enjoyable and safe place to visit. Today Ludlow Castle is a popular visitor attraction and host to a variety of events throughout the year.

Visitor Information:
Ludlow Castle is open to the public from 10am to 4pm, 7 days a week
(except Christmas Day and December & January weekdays).
Current Admission (2014) prices: Adults £5, Senior/Student £4.50, Family £13.50 (2 adults + all children), Children £2.50. You are advised to check the Castle is open to the public before making your journey, please visit Ludlow Castle web site admissions page.

Ludlow Castle's Keep from the Outer Bailey © David Fleming

Events at Ludlow Castle:
As well as being open to the public throughout the year, the inner and outer baileys are used for several festivals and other events each year, notably:

Ludlow Food Festivals' Spring Festival which takes place in Ludlow Castle. A weekend of music and good food. Celebrating great local beers, bangers, bread, classic cars - and much more!

Every September the Ludlow Food and Drink Festival, when the town and Ludlow Castle is filled with food lovers from all over the UK, and beyond.

Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre - A castle full of medieval entertainment for all ages. 28th & 29th November 2015

For other events in Ludlow Castle and Ludlow and the surrounding area please visit our What's on Guide

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