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 Mortimers and the Throne


The Mortimer family also arrived in England in the wake of William the Conqueror in 1066, and originally held land at and around Wigmore, near Ludlow. Their story is a colourful picture of ambition, power, rivalry and various attempts to claim the throne. Most of them were called Roger or Edmund, which adds to the colour and confusion of their tale - but here are just some of the treacherous deeds the Mortimers instigated:

Roger Mortimer (1287-1330) led the rebellion against the hopelessly inept Edward II. However, Mortimer went too far; he was instrumental in the barbaric murder of Edward II (after the king had been forced into abdication) and although he ruled as a 'regent' by default of his adulterous affair with Queen Isabella, his licence to rule by other nobles of the rebellion was soon overstretched and they had him arrested and put to death at Tyburn Hill. Roger's exploits were later made famous by the play 'Edward II', written in 1592, by Christopher Marlowe. He is portrayed at first as genuinely loyal to the concept of monarchy, but is debased by his own power and becomes a a callous and calculating traitor.

Edmund Mortimer (1391- 1425) - made a failed attempt to win the throne by proxy. He persuaded his cousin, Richard Earl of Cambridge (descendant of Edward II) to do the rebellious deed, but Richard failed and was put to death. Edmund - somehow - was spared...

Ludlow Castle - The Mortimers, Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York (1411-1460) made an attempt at the throne because his mother, Anne, was a Mortimer, and his father was the Earl of Cambridge. He was the leader of the Yorkists in what became known later as the Wars of the Roses.

Richard was involved in various battles - one at Ludford, near Ludlow, but was killed in battle at Wakefield. His son Edward then became leader of the Yorkists; he won a decisive victory at Mortimer's Cross and marched to London to successfully claim the throne