It was first constructed as a wooden structure by the Norman baron Roger de Montgomery around 1085 and was rebuilt several times, with its final version as a stone castle being built after 1190.
Ludlow Castle was probably the home of Hamon (or Hamo) de Gamon, also called Hamo the Kingmaker, who held it from 1066 until his death in 1095.
He was an important figure in the wars between King William II of England and his rivals for the throne, among them Osbern, who had married Hamon’s sister Adeline.
Where is Ludlow Castle?
Ludlow Castle lies in the town of Ludlow in the county of Shropshire, England. It is located in the southern part of the town near the River Teme, beside the Ludlow Tourist Information Centre.
The A49 road, which goes from the southwest to the northeast, passes through the town. Ludlow is west of Hereford, southeast of Shrewsbury, northeast of Birmingham and northwest of Gloucester.
Ludlow Castle History
The earliest evidence of a castle being constructed at Ludlow was in the year 1085. The location was chosen for its defensive qualities, as it was on a steep mound overlooking the River Teme.
Ludlow Castle was originally a wooden fortification built by Roger de Montgomery, the Norman baron who had conquered the area from King Harold II of England during The Battle of Hastings in 1066.
The earliest surviving parts of the castle are the Great Tower and the gatehouse, the latter having been built in the 12th century.
In 1155, it was attacked by Prince Henry of Scotland during The Anarchy between King Stephen and Empress Matilda.
The castle was rebuilt as a stone fortification between 1190 and 1195 by Hugh de Clive, although it had important alterations made in the 13th century, when it was remodelled as a more comfortable residence and the Great Tower was heightened.
The castle was attacked again in 1216, this time by Prince Louis of France who was aiming to conquer the English throne. The town was besieged and the castle came under attack, but the garrison held out.
The castle was besieged again in 1233 during the Second Barons’ War between the barons and King Henry III. The Barons, who included the famous Simon de Montfort, took control of the castle and put the garrison under siege. The castle was retaken by royalist forces who failed to hold it, as it was captured again by de Montfort’s men.
As the years passed, Ludlow Castle was rebuilt and remodelled, with its final alterations being made between 1485 and 1490. It was here that Henry VII of England was conceived, when his mother Margaret Beaufort was staying at the castle with her husband the Earl of Richmond.
The castle continued to be used as a residence until the 17th century, when it was converted into a courthouse and prison. By the 19th century, it was being used as a barracks, prison and court again.
However, by the 20th century it had fallen into disuse and disrepair. In 1934, work was carried out to repair the damage to the castle, but the Great Hall in particular was badly damaged in a fire in 1937. It was decided to restore the castle to its medieval state, and the work was completed in the 1960s.
Why visit Ludlow Castle?
Ludlow Castle is a great place to visit for many reasons. It is an impressive site, being at the top of a large hill overlooking the town.
The views from the castle are very picturesque and are a big attraction for visitors.
There are many historical monuments at the castle, including the surviving gatehouse, the remains of the keep, the Great Hall and the Undercroft.
These are excellent for people interested in history and architecture, and make for a very interesting visit. The castle is famous for being the birthplace of King Henry VII of England, who was conceived there when his mother Margaret Beaufort was staying at the castle with her husband the Earl of Richmond.
This means that the castle is also connected to one of England’s most important monarchs, and is a place of great historical significance.
Activities at Ludlow Castle
The Ludlow Castle Visitor Centre offers interesting exhibitions and activities for all the family.
Visitors to Ludlow Castle can take a guided tour of the site, which is highly recommended as it provides a detailed insight into the history of the site.
There is an interactive exhibition, called The Kingmaker’s Legacy, which uses various multimedia displays to tell the story of Ludlow Castle.
Opening Times & Admission Fees
The castle is open 10am to 4pm in Autumn/Winter and 10am to 5pm
Ludlow Castle is a must-see location for anyone visiting the southern English county of Shropshire.
It is a popular site for tourists as it is a fascinating castle with a rich history. It is also a great place to visit for families, as there are many activities available to people of all ages.
For these reasons, Ludlow Castle is a great place to visit during your trip to England.