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Ludlow Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Luderaue; Ludelau

In the civil parish of Ludlow.
In the historic county of Shropshire.
Modern Authority of Shropshire.
1974 county of Shropshire.
Medieval County of Shropshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO50867459
Latitude 52.36716° Longitude -2.72299°

Ludlow Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle, and also as a certain Palace.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Ludlow Castle, situated on its rocky promontory over the river Teme, is one of the great Welsh border castles, and its extensive remains span the entire medieval period. It was begun about 1085 by Roger de Lacy, but the round Norman chapel, one of the earliest chapels in the county, was built in the 1130s by a rival claimant, Sir Joyce de Dinan, who temporarily ousted the Lacy's from their home. The outer defences, including the outer bailey and gatehouse, were constructed about 1180, the round towers added a century later, and most of the other buildings within the enclosure - the great hall, great chamber and service rooms - were built in C14 and embellished in the Tudor period. After the Lacy line died out in 1240 the castle was held by Roger Mortimer and five generations of his descendants, becoming royal property in 1461 when one of the line was crowned as Edward IV. (PastScape)

Ludlow Castle was built as a major fortress in the defensive frontier with Wales, and was used as a base for assembling military campaigns in the 12th and 13th centuries (Faraday 1991, 17). The inner gate of the castle was aligned to the south and it is probable that a rural settlement (called Dinham) lay south of the castle, where an early chapel and a market green have been identified (Renn 1987, 58). The shape of plots in this area may be evidence for a rural settlement (Conzen 1988, 264). It is also possible that there was a small rural settlement at Galdeford in what was later the eastern suburb of the town (Faraday 1991, 1).
The castle at Ludlow was built in the late 11th and originally consisted of a ringwork, which was extended with an outer bailey in the late 12th century. The study of the castle through architectural survey and excavation has been ongoing since the early 20th century, and a number of areas have been investigated at differing levels of detail. The entire structure has been surveyed in outline (Hope 1909a), and five distinct medieval structures have been studied in more detail, some with limited excavation in order to reveal structural features: the "Great Tower", the late 13th century "Solar Block", the "old pantry", the early 12th century chapel of St Mary Magdelene and the 14th century chapel of St Peter. A number of areas have been excavated within the inner and outer baileys, but medieval evidence is limited. The structure of the castle forms a substantial ruin, and the entire monument survives as an impressive feature in the modern townscape. The component is defined to include the ditch of the outer bailey (now a public garden) and the scarping of the natural slope on east and north. (Dalwood 2005)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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