Nottingham Castle

Ludlow Castle

History & Origins

Ludlow Castle, nestled in the heart of Shropshire, England, is a true gem of the country's rich historical heritage. This magnificent fortress, with its commanding presence and storied past, has captured the imagination of visitors for centuries. Constructed in the 11th century, this impressive structure was once a crucial defensive outpost, guarding the border between England and Wales. Over the centuries, it has witnessed the rise and fall of dynasties, the clash of armies, and the intrigue of royal court politics. The castle's origins can be traced back to the Norman conquest when it was built by the powerful de Lacy family. As the centuries passed, Ludlow Castle grew in size and significance, becoming a seat of power for the Earls of March and the Princes of Wales. The castle's strategic location, perched atop a rocky outcrop, made it an impregnable fortress, able to withstand even the most determined sieges. Today, Ludlow Castle stands as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of its medieval builders. Visitors can explore the imposing gatehouse, the grand banqueting hall, and the atmospheric chapel, all while imagining the vibrant life that once filled these ancient walls.


Ludlow Castle Shropshire, England is a treasure trove of historical significance, offering visitors a glimpse into the fascinating past of this corner of the country. From its origins as a Norman stronghold to its role as a seat of power for the Princes of Wales, the castle's history is intertwined with the broader narrative of English and Welsh history. One particularly notable chapter in the castle's history is its association with the Princes of Wales. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Ludlow Castle Shropshire, England served as the administrative centre for the Council of the Marches, which governed the Welsh Marches on behalf of the English crown. It was here that the young Princes of Wales, including the ill-fated Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, received their education and training. The castle's connections to the Tudors and the Wars of the Roses also add to its historical significance. Ludlow Castle Shropshire, England was a key stronghold for the Yorkist cause during the conflict, and it was here that the young Edward IV was proclaimed king in 1461. Visitors to Ludlow Castle in Shropshire, England can explore the castle's rich history through guided tours, interactive exhibits, and educational programs. From the grand banquet hall to the atmospheric chapel, each corner of the castle holds a story waiting to be discovered.

Peckforton Castle

Ludlow Castle Events — Bringing History to Life

One of the most captivating aspects of Ludlow Castle is the diverse range of events at Ludlow Castle that are hosted throughout the year. These events provide a unique opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the castle's rich history and experience the pageantry of the past. From medieval reenactments and craft fairs to live music performances and literary festivals, there is something to suit every interest. Visitors can witness the clash of swords and the thunder of hooves as costumed actors bring the castle's history to life, or explore the work of local artisans and craftspeople showcasing their wares. The Ludlow Castle calendar is filled with a diverse array of events at Ludlow Castle, each offering a chance to step back in time and connect with the castle's storied past. Whether you're a history buff, an art lover, or simply seeking a unique and memorable experience, these events are sure to captivate and delight you.


Some of the notable events at Ludlow Castle throughout the year include:

  • Medieval Mayhem Festival — A weekend-long celebration of all things medieval, featuring live combat demonstrations, traditional crafts, and hearty medieval fare. (Held annually in June)

  • Ludlow Shakespeare Festival — A summer-long festival that brings the Bard's works to life on the castle's historic grounds, with outdoor performances and interactive workshops. (June to August)

  • Ludlow Food and Drink Festival — A celebration of the region's culinary delights, showcasing local producers, artisanal food and beverages, and live cooking demonstrations. (September)

  • Ludlow Christmas Market — A magical holiday market that transforms the castle's courtyards and gardens into a festive wonderland, complete with handcrafted gifts, warm mulled wine, and carols. (November to December)

  • Ludlow Castle Ghost Tours — Brave the castle's shadowy corridors and uncover its haunting tales on these spine-tingling guided tours, held year-round for the daring visitor.

  • Ludlow Castle Art Fair — A showcase of the region's vibrant art scene, featuring works by local painters, sculptors, and other artists, set against the castle's dramatic backdrop. (May)

  • Ludlow Castle Music Festival — A summer music festival that celebrates the castle's rich cultural heritage, with performances ranging from classical concerts to folk and world music. (July to August)

These are just a few examples of the diverse and engaging events at Ludlow Castle that bring the castle's history to life throughout the year. With something for everyone, these events offer a truly immersive and unforgettable experience for all who visit this captivating medieval fortress.

Peckforton Castle
Peckforton Castle

Richards Castle Ludlow — A Neighboring Fortress

Nestled just a short distance from Ludlow Castle is another historical gem, Richards Castle Ludlow. This imposing fortress, dating back to the 11th century, was once a part of the broader defensive network that protected the Welsh Marches. Richards Castle Ludlow has a fascinating history of its own, having been the seat of the powerful de Lacy family, who were instrumental in the conquest and consolidation of Norman rule in the region. Over the centuries, the castle has witnessed the ebb and flow of power, changing hands between various noble families and playing a role in the turbulent conflicts that shaped the history of the Welsh Marches. Today, Richards Castle Ludlow stands as a testament to the strategic importance of this region, offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore the military architecture and defence systems of the medieval period. Guided tours of the castle provide a wealth of information about its history, architecture, and the daily lives of its inhabitants.


For those interested in delving deeper into the history of the Welsh Marches, a visit to Richards Castle Ludlow complements the experience of exploring Ludlow Castle, providing a more complete understanding of the complex and fascinating history of this region. The castle's history is deeply intertwined with the de Lacy family, who were one of the most powerful Norman families in the region. In the late 11th century, the de Lacys were granted the lordship of Richards Castle Ludlow by William the Conqueror, who recognised the strategic importance of the site in securing the border between England and Wales. Over the centuries, the castle witnessed numerous battles and sieges as the Welsh Marches were continually contested between the English crown and the Welsh princes. During the Wars of the Roses, Richards Castle Ludlow played a significant role, serving as a stronghold for the Yorkist cause and eventually falling into the hands of the victorious Tudors. Today, visitors to Richards Castle Ludlow can explore the castle's well-preserved ruins, including the impressive gatehouse, the remains of the great hall, and the foundations of the old chapel. Guided tours provide insight into the castle's military architecture, the daily life of its inhabitants, and the broader context of the Welsh Marches during the medieval period.

Peckforton Castle
Peckforton Castle

Bastille Ludlow Castle — A Unique Event

One of the most unique and anticipated events at Ludlow Castle is the annual Bastille Ludlow Castle celebration. This lively festival, held each July, pays homage to the historic connections between Ludlow Castle and the French Revolution. The Bastille Ludlow Castle event originated in the 1980s when the castle's owners recognised the intriguing parallels between the French Revolution and the castle's turbulent history. Today, the festival has grown into a vibrant celebration of Franco-British cultural exchange, featuring a diverse array of activities and entertainment. Visitors to the Bastille Ludlow Castle event can immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and flavours of France, with live music, traditional cuisine, and colourful street performances. The castle's grounds are transformed into a lively marketplace, where local artisans and craftspeople showcase their wares, and revellers can indulge in the festive atmosphere.


But the highlight of the Bastille Ludlow Castle celebration is undoubtedly the stunning fireworks display that takes place on the evening of the event. As the sun sets, the sky above the castle is illuminated with a dazzling array of pyrotechnics, creating a truly unforgettable spectacle that pays tribute to the castle's enduring legacy. The roots of the Bastille Ludlow Castle event can be traced back to the 18th century when Ludlow Castle played a surprising role in the events of the French Revolution. In 1789, the French revolutionary leader, the Marquis de Lafayette, visited the castle as part of a diplomatic mission to England. During his stay, he was inspired by the castle's architectural grandeur and strategic location, which may have influenced his later actions in the French Revolution.


This intriguing historical connection, combined with the castle's turbulent past, has fueled the imagination of the event's organisers and attendees. The Bastille Ludlow Castle celebration is a unique opportunity to explore the cultural and political ties between England and France, while also immersing oneself in the rich history and medieval ambience of this remarkable fortress. From the lively street performances and artisanal market stalls to the breathtaking fireworks display, the Bastille Ludlow Castle event offers a truly unforgettable experience for visitors. It's a celebration that not only honours the castle's past but also celebrates the enduring bonds between two nations with a shared history.

Peckforton Castle
Peckforton Castle

Accommodations near Ludlow Castle

For those planning to visit Ludlow Castle, there is a wide range of accommodations available in the surrounding area to suit every traveller's needs. Whether you're seeking a cosy bed and breakfast, a historic inn, or a modern hotel, the town of Ludlow and the surrounding countryside offer a wealth of options to enhance your castle exploration experience.


Some of the top accommodations near Ludlow Castle include:

  • Feathers Hotel — A 16th-century Tudor-style inn located just a short walk from the castle, offering guests a unique historical experience.

  • Dinham Hall Hotel — A luxurious Georgian manor house hotel situated on the banks of the River Teme, with stunning views of Ludlow Castle.

  • The Old Downton Lodge — A charming 17th-century farmhouse bed and breakfast located just a few miles from the castle, featuring award-winning cuisine.

  • Holiday Cottages and Vacation Rentals — Cosy self-catering accommodations in the villages and countryside surrounding Ludlow Castle, providing a home base for families and groups.

  • The Clive Arms — A historic inn situated in the picturesque village of Bromfield, just a 10-minute drive from Ludlow Castle.

  • Fishmore Hall — A boutique hotel set in a Georgian manor house, offering guests a contemporary and luxurious stay just 2 miles from the castle.

  • The Merchant House —  A charming bed and breakfast located in the heart of Ludlow, within walking distance of Ludlow Castle.

  • Castle Lodge Hotel — A modern hotel located directly opposite Ludlow Castle, providing unbeatable convenience and views of the historic fortress.

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