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 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.
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 is open to the public from 10am to 4pm, 7 days a week
(except Christmas Day and December & January weekdays).
Current Admission (2017) prices: Adults £5, Senior/Student £4.50, Family £13.50 (2 adults + 2 children), Children £2.50, Children 6 yrs & under: FREE.
You are advised to check the Castle is open to the public before making your journey, please visit Ludlow Castle web site admissions page.
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 Spring Festival, Ludlow Food and Drink Festival and Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre.
For other events in Ludlow Castle and Ludlow and the surrounding area please visit our What's on Guide