Ludlow Castle

moss, Ludlow Castle detail, Ludlow Castle
looking out of Ludlow Castle looking out of Ludlow Castle looking out of Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle was first built at the end of the eleventh century, but from the start of the fourteenth century was gradually converted into a palace. Work continued on it into the Elizabethan period. Between the rivers Teme and Corve, it was well situated for survival (and picturesqueness).

For some time the castle was a royal residence, and from the reign of Henry VIII. to that of William III. it was the seat of the council of the marches [of the Lords President of Wales]. In the reign of Charles I. it was garrisoned for the king, but it surrendered to the parliamentary forces in June 1646. (EB)

Thus wear and tear on the castle continued well after the Olde Worlde of jousting and all that. Luckily in 1771 the Herbert family, Earls of Powis, "took the ruins of Ludlow Castle on lease from the Crown, planted walks of trees around it, and maintained it as an amenity for the town" (Girouard 106). I believe that they still own it. It probably has not changed much since the 1820s, when:

The first view of the interior of the Castle is strikingly fine. The court is an irregular square area not very spacious, but the lofty embattled structures with which it is inclosed, though in ruin, still preserving their original outlines; the bold masses of light and shade produced by deep retiring breaks; the rich tints and strains of age; the luxurious mantling of ivy, and the sullen stillness that now reigns throughout these forlorn and deserted towers, once the scene of royal splendor and feudal revelry, present a spectacle of the fallen magnificence of past ages, rarely to be equalled. (Wright 131)

I shot a lot of "film" at Ludlow Castle: there's a lot of the castle to shoot. I shan't attempt to tell you which part of the building is which.

Ludlow Castle Ludlow Castle Ludlow Castle Ludlow Castle Ludlow Castle Ludlow Castle Ludlow Castle Ludlow Castle

There's a lot here of great architectural as well as merely picturesque interest. For example:

Equally irregular is the position of the chapel. This has the utterly uncommon distinction of a circular nave. No convincing reason for the choice has yet been put forward. (Pevsner 182)

The castle also gives good views of the town -- admittedly less attractive from a distance than close up -- and the surrounding countryside.

Ludlow townscape Ludlow townscape Ludlow countryside

The Chocolate Gourmet, LudlowBack to the town

You're not yet convinced of Ludlow's appeal? Here's the clincher: it has its own chocolate shop, "The Chocolate Gourmet".

The town, as one wanders through it, has now a narrow and a spacious part, a part where the eye looks unimpeded along wide streets or from houses over extensive back gardens, or from the churchyard immediately into open countryside, and another part with lanes and arches and close backyards. Both are needed in a town, and may Ludlow never decide to pull down its tortuous centre to please the gentleman motorist or the charabanc tourist. (Pevsner 184)


For more of the town, see also:

Back to the first page

Other snaps


First created: 4 April 2001. Last fiddled with: 5 April 2001. Any comments, corrections? Write to me (Peter Evans).

CSS! Valid XHTML 1.0!

Gloucester. My other self, my counsel's consistory,
  My oracle, my prophet, my dear cousin,
  I, as a child, will go by thy direction.
  Toward Ludlow then, for we'll not stay behind. (Richard III)