- Ludlow Castle
Ludlow Castle is a large, [cite web |url= http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/453024|title= SO4974 : Lane from Priors Halton to Ludlow|accessdate=2008-07-10 |last= Rickard|first= Trevor|date= 2007-04-02|work= |publisher=
Geograph British Isles] now partly ruined, non-inhabited castlewhich dominates the town of Ludlowin Shropshire, England. It stands on a high point overlooking the River Teme. [cite web |url= http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/452977|title= SO5074 : Ludlow Castle and River Teme|accessdate=2008-07-10 |last= Rickard|first= Trevor|date= 2007-03-09|work= |publisher= Geograph British Isles] The castle is owned by The Trustees of the Powis Castle Estate on behalf of the family of the Earl of Powis, and is open to the public.
Ludlow Castlebegan in the late 11th Centuryas the border strongholdof one of the Marcher Lords, Roger de Lacy. It is first referred to by chroniclers in 1138but was at this time a more basic castle type. It was held by the de Lacy's into the 13th centuryand with their focus on their holdings in Irelandtheir enemies took it during the civil wars of the reign of King Stephenwhen the King himself besieged the castle and rescued his ally Prince Henry of Scotland. In 1224 King Henry III of Englandmet with Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, the Welsh prince and leader, at Ludlow to sign a treaty with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langtonas mediator. Early in the 14th Centuryit was enlarged into a magnificent palacefor Roger Mortimer, then the most powerful man in England.
1402 Edmund Mortimer, himself born at Ludlow Castle, set out from the castle with a large army to seek battle with the forces of Owain Glyndwr- he met them in the valley of the River Luggat the Battle of Bryn Glaswhere he was defeated, captured and eventually allied himself to the Welsh rebel's cause, to the extent of marrying one of Glyndwr's daughters with whom he had four children, before starvation and death at the siege of Harlech Castlein 1409.
Later, in the
15th centuryunder the ownership of Richard, Duke of York, the Castle was a major base in the Wars of the Rosesand was taken by the Lancastrians in 1459but back in York hands in 1461. Ludlow afterwards became a royal palace. In 1472 Edward IVsent his son the Prince of Wales and his brother (later the ‘ Princes in the Tower’ of Shakespearefame), to live at the castle, which was also the seat of Government for Wales and the Border Counties. Ludlow was now in effect the capital of Wales.
1501Prince Arthur, (son of Henry VII and brother to Henry VIII) with his bride Catherine of Aragon, lived here for a short time before his early death. Mary Tudor, daughter of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII, and then heir to the throne of England as the couple's only issue, spent three winters at Ludlow between 1525and 1528along with her entourage of servants, advisors, and guardians.
The Civil War and subsequent decline
English Civil Warbetween 1642to 1648Ludlow was a Royalist stronghold and was besieged by Parliamentarian forces but negotiated a surrender, avoiding damage and slighting. In 1669the seat of administration for the Marches and Wales and the Council of the Marcheswas centralised in London during the reign of William and Mary. The legal and administrative community moved with it. In 1689the Royal Welch Fusilierswere founded at the Castle by Lord Herbert of Chirburybut soon after it was abandoned and gradually fell into decay. In 1811the ruins were purchased from the crown by the 2nd Earl of Powis, in the ownership of whose family it remains.
Description of the castle
The castle forms a large rectangular
enceinte, with the town and principal entry on the east side, and the west side overlooking the river. The northwest corner is enclosed by another enciente wall forming the inner ward and the heart of the castle. Entry is gained by a bridge to the right of the rectangular keep. The inner ward contains the residential buildings that formed the castles principal accommodation. These buildings feature large windows that overlook the courtyard. In addition, the inner ward features the remains of an unusual chapel that had a circular chancel reminiscent of Temple Churchin London.
Open Air Theatre and Event Venue
masque"Comus" was first performed in the Great Hallin 1634and the tradition of a performance is continued each June and July when a play is performed in the open air within the Inner Bailey, as part of the successful Ludlow Festival[http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/355859] . The Castle hosts other events through-out the year. Over 50,000 people pass through the gates each year [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/89050] .
The Ludlow and the Marches Food and Drink Festival http://www.foodfestival.co.uk/about.html takes place in the Castle precincts each September.
*cite book|last= Matarasso|first= Francois|authorlink= |title= The English Castle|publisher=
Cassell|year= 1995|location= London|pages= |isbn= 9780304347537|oclc= 34917530
* [http://www.ludlowcastle.com/ Ludlow Castle official information site]
* [http://www.castlewales.com/ludlow.html Ludlow Castle on Castlewales.com]
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