Visit Ludlow and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Ludlow, Shropshire. Few towns in England have more to show for their history than Ludlow. The most spectacular approach to the town is from the west, along the small road from Wigmore, over Mary Knoll which rises to about 900 ft. For the last mile or so the road drops sharply to show Ludlow spread over its own hill below, a view that is beautiful in clear weather and magical in the mist.
Anglo-Saxon coins unearthed here indicate that the defensive assets of the rising ground partly circled by the Rivers Teme and Corve had been recognized long before Roger Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury and Arundel, arrived here in 1085 and built his massive castle. Some authorities attribute its building to Roger de Lacy, one of Montgomery's chief henchmen, but whoever occupied it during its early years was as likely to have had to contend with fellow-Normans as with the marauding Welsh against whom it was built. Today much of it still stands and the visitor tours a fortress seen by Edward IV; the so-called Princes in the Tower; Catherine of Aragon, when a young bride; Henry VIII's brother, Prince Arthur, who died here; Sir Philip Sidney; John Milton, whose Comus was first performed here in 1634; and a host of other great figures.
The castle is impressively large. The outer bailey is as big as a cricket ground. Within the inner bailey is the most unusual part of the castle: the circular nave of the Norman chapel.
The tower of the Parish Church of St Laurence at 135 ft stands higher than the castle. This is one of the largest parish churches in England with almost cathedral-like proportions. There are earlier fragments but substantially the church is 15th-century. Interesting and historic features abound, notably the misericords in the choir. The east window in the chancel, 30 ft high by 18 ft wide, depicts the life, history and miracles of the patron saint in 27 separate scenes containing about 300 figures.
The finest thoroughfare in Ludlow is Broad Street where every building dates from the 14th or 15th centuries. It climbs from the sturdy, humpbacked stone Ludford Bridge, through Broad Gate, the only remaining gateway in the original town walls, past the black-and-white timbered front of the Angel Hotel, where Nelson was once a guest, to end at the Butter Cross.
Near the church are two buildings of unusual interest. In the churchyard itself is the Reader's House - formerly the Church House. It is part-medieval, part-Tudor and has a very fine three-story Jacobean porch. It is believed that Mary Tudor was imprisoned here for some time. The plaster ceilings are adorned with floral emblems.
Tucked into a courtyard off Church Street is the Rose and Crown, first licensed in the 16th century. Another hostelry, known to travellers from many parts of the world, is the Feathers Hotel in the Bull Ring, one of the best examples of l7th-century half-timbered work in England - and standing now firmly, but far from straight and true. It is believed the entrance door is the original one - more than 300 years old; in the centre of the dining-room ceiling is an embossed copy of the arms of James I, surrounded by thistles, acorns and grapes.
Ludlow is an admirable centre from which to explore south Shropshire: the Clee Hills are only a short journey to the east, Wenlock Edge and the Corve valley to the north, and the Long Mynd country to the north west.
Nearby towns: Bridgnorth, Cleobury Mortimer, Craven Arms, Kidderminster, Knighton, Leominster, Presteigne, Tenbury Wells
Nearby villages: Bitterly, Bromfield, Clee Downton, Comberton, Farden, Little Hereford, Ludford, Snitton, Walford, Wistanstow
Have you decided to visit Ludlow or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Ludlow bed and breakfast (a Ludlow B&B or Ludlow b and b)
- a Ludlow guesthouse
- a Ludlow hotel (or motel)
- a Ludlow self-catering establishment, or
- other Ludlow accommodation