Ludlow Castle History

Follow the Fascinating History of Treachery, Love and Royalty at Ludlow Castle

In the Early Days

1086 Walter de lacy starts to build Ludlow Castle after coming over here in 1066 with William the Conqueror

Visit the de Lacy Chronicles website

The Mortimers

The Mortimer family arrived in the wake of William the Conqueror.

Their story is a colourful picture of ambition, power, rivalry and various attempts to claim the throne.

The Young Princes

The Princes in the Tower spent their childhood playing around the North Range, Great Hall and Tudor Lodgings before their fateful trip to London

The Royal Castle

Throughout the 16th and 17th Century Ludlow Castle was held by the Crown

Everyday Life in the Castle

Many people would have lived within the Castle walls from important nobles to chambermaids and farriers.

Sports and Leisure

The Georgians and Victorians used the castle as a bowling green, for archery, hunting, agricultural shows and later plays and festivals

The Arts and
Ludlow Castle

On special occasions entertainment in the castle goes back as far as the 16th Century

High Days and Holidays

By 1689 the castle was a ruin but then, with the coming of the railway to Ludlow in 1852 and travel being more accessible to all, it became a tourist Attraction

Restoration Project

An exciting and ambitious renovation to the Castle House within the castle walls was completed in 2007.

Everyday Life in the Medieval Castle at Ludlow

Ludlow was an important and busy castle, thronging with important nobles, officials, priests, servants, cooks, bakers, weavers, herbalists, grooms, chambermaids, clerks, tutors, porters, farriers and so on and so forth. Many of these people would have lived within the castle walls, some would have come in just for various commercial, business or maintenance activities as required.

Inside the family home, now called the North Range (see map on Virtual Tour Page) private living rooms would have been kept warmly cosy with roaring fires. Beautiful woven tapestries on the walls would keep away draughts and also added lovely visual decoration. A letter of 1631 says that 'hanginges 12 feet high and 60 yards long' furnished these rooms. Rush matting on the floor covered the stone flags and wooden floorboards of the upper stories. This was cleaned out just once a year and replaced with fresh new rushes at the end of May - this practice was widepread and gives rise to our modern expression 'spring cleaning.' Floors were regularly sprinkled with herbs to try to keep them smelling sweet.

Herbs were also used for cooking and for their powers of healing; a large variety were grown in the castle grounds. Books called 'Herbals' gave advice on growing and using herbs. One was called the 'Canon of Medecine' and was written by a Persian medic called Avicenna. He mentions lavender, sage, rosemary and thyme among many others.

The castle kitchens would have been very busy all year round and a huge fire burned in the 16ft wide fireplace, even during the heat of summer. Huge joints of meat were roasted on spits, turned by a young boy called the 'turnspit.' The castle baker baked all the bread in the kitchen bread ovens for the lord, his family, his guests and his staff. The kitchen staff not only fed the population of the castle on a daily basis, but they also provided luxurious banquets for special occasions - Roger Mortimer for example, was famed for his lavish entertaining.