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Ludlow, Shropshire, England
Ludlow Castle is situated in the centre of the market town of Ludlow, 28 miles south of Shrewsbury overlooking the Corve and Teme rivers.
The well maintained rectangular castle ruins consist of an inner and outer bailey surrounded by a moat and curtain wall, a tower and keep. Built of grey stone the tower of the castle's keep is built over 4 floors and from the top visitors have long reaching views over the town and the surrounding countryside.
Entry to the castle is via a bridge over the dry moat. The inner bailey contains the remains of residential buildings built in Tudor, Medieval and Norman styles, a chapel and a circular chancel.
The castle has a shop and tearoom within the castle walls, there is also the recently converted Castle House; rooms built into the castles outer curtain wall, where holiday accommodation and civil marriages take place.
There are three luxury self catering holiday accommodations within Castle House and the Beacon Room or the Library are where civil wedding ceremonies take place which are licensed for up to 60 guests.
The original castle on the site was a much smaller building from the beginning of the 11th century. It was constructed as a border stronghold against the Welsh for Roger de Lacy.
In the 14th century it was enlarged into a palace for 'the most powerful man in England' Roger Mortimer and in the 15th century was under the ownership of Richard, Duke of York when it played an important role in the Wars of the Roses.
Although in England, the town of Ludlow effectively became the capital of Wales and its seat of Government when Edward IV sent his son Edward, Prince of Wales and his brother the Richard, Duke of York to live in the castle in 1472
The next royal occupants were Prince Arthur and his bride, Catherine of Aragon who lived there for a short time before Arthur's death in 1502. Catherine left Ludlow and became the first wife of Henry VIII; Arthur's brother, and their child, Mary Tudor, heir to the throne, spent the winters in the castle between 1525 and 1528.
During the Civil War the castle escaped being slighted and in 1689 was where Lord Herbert of Chirbury founded the Royal Welch Fusiliers. In the following years the castle fell into disrepair until it was purchased in 1811 by the 2nd Earl of Powis whose family still own the castle today.
Every year at the end of June the castle is the main venue for Ludlow Festival, a tradition which started in 1634 with the first performance of Comus by John Milton. The castle's inner bailey is the stage for a outdoor Shakespearean play along with music concerts in the outer bailey which in the past have included Jools Holland and Michael Ball.
Other Castles in the Area
Acton Burnell Castle, Shropshire
Clun Castle, Shropshire
Croft Castle, Herefordshire
Stokesay Castle, Shropshire
Wigmore Castle, Herefordshire