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.


Sports and Leisure


The Bowling Green was a popular venue. A small building next to it was first called Bowling GreenHouse, then the Castle Inn. Matches between Shropshire and other counties were held at the Fives Court while John Harris, @a noted pugilist and player of fives@ lived in Mortimer's Tower until his death in 1804.

Archery was popular in the 19th Centure, @a numerous and aristocratic company@ assembling in 1861 for a match between the Archers of the Teme Valley and the British Bowmen. Local schools held sports, as in 1861 when 740 children fromthe National Schools marched through the streets @headed by Mr Price's Band@ for @tea and plum cake' in the Assembly Rooms, followed by 'sports on Castle Green'. IN 1944 American troops played baseball here.

Hunting for foxes was popular locally, and meets often occurred in Ludlow Castle, a tradition which continued into the 21st Century. In the mid-19th Century the prestigious Ludlow Agricultural Show was held here, as in August 1876, when the ploughing match was won by Edward Lewis, ploughman to the Earl of Powis.

Public Celebrations often occurred. In 1830, when William IV was proclaimed King, several hogsheads of cider were served 'to the populace within the walls of the venerable ruins of Ludlow Castle'. In 1987, at 'the majority of Princess Victoria', tea was served in Castle Green at 5pm for upwards of 1,000 of the female population. Anna Maria Fay, a class conscious American visiting Ludlow described the festivities when the Shrewsbury to Ludlow railway was opened in 1852. These included 'rustic sports in the castle green to delight the riffraff', after which the Shropshire Yeomanry Band 'played in the evening for parties who wished to dance'.