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.

The Arts and Ludlow Castle


Documents show that throughout the 16th and 17th centuries many troupes of travelling actors, musicians and entertainers were employed at Ludlow Castle. 'The Lord of Sussex' Players' and the famous 'King's Men' both performed for the residents and officials at the castle, but we can only speculate at what plays, masques and revels they presented. Undoubtedly, the popular plays of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, John Webster would have been in the repertoire.

Sir Phillip Sidney, who became famous for his courtly poetry during the Elizabethan age, was son of the Lord President of Wales, based at Ludlow Castle. The playwright Phillip Massinger and the poet Thomas Carew, were both relatives of Ludlow Council officials. George Herbert, the medieval poet, and his brother Edward - Lord Herbert of Chirbury are both direct ancestors of today's Castle owner John Herbert, 8th Earl of Powis.

John Milton wrote his masque, Comus, a fictional, stylised account of the Bridgewater family, to be presented before John, Earl of Bridgewater, Lord President of Wales at Ludlow Castle. There was a celebratory performance at the castle of Comus in 1984, to commemorate the 350th anniversary of Milton's premiere.

The tradition of literary performances continues at Ludlow Castle today, when Ludlow Festival stages a Shakespeare play each summer in the Inner Bailey.