Location: Castle Sq, Ludlow SY8 1AY
History: The castle was probably founded by Walter de Lacy after the Norman conquest and was one of the first stone castles to be built in England. During the civil war of the 12th century, the castle changed hands several times between the de Lacy’s and rival claimants and was further fortified with a Great Tower and a large outer bailey. In the mid-13th century, Ludlow was passed on to Geoffrey de Geneville who rebuilt part of the inner bailey, and the castle played a part in the Second Barons’ War. Roger Mortimer acquired the castle in 1301, further extending the internal complex of buildings, and the Mortimer family went on to hold Ludlow for over a century.
Review: Firstly, parking is atrocious. Admittedly, I went yesterday (so Bank Holiday Monday), but at least on a Bank Holiday you get free parking. Also don’t follow the signs for the castle if you want to park, because there is no good parking right outside the castle, so you do have to walk a little bit from the nearest car park.
Tickets were £7 for an adult, but I think they are normally £5 on any other day.
Now when I first entered the castle, there wasn’t much to see and both my dad and I were thinking – was it really worth the £7 each?
We were both wrong on that.
When you first enter, all you can see is the surrounding walls, a lot of grass and then what looks like just one small building (the castle itself), so at first it does seem rather small. But once you cross over the bridge and enter the castle there is so much more to it.
There’s the Castle Keep, the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene; the Solar Block, the Great Hall and Great Chamber Block; the Tudor Lodging, the Judges Lodging; the Outer Bailey, Mortimer’s Tower; St. Peter’s Chapel and the Court House, the Porter’s Lodge, Prison and Stable Block.
Just from that list above, you can clearly see just how much there is to explore and that’s not including all the ‘secret’ rooms and towers – there’s the one section where you can make it to the very top and look at all the stunning views.
And the views really are stunning – you can also clearly see how their defense would have worked because it would have been really hard for enemies to sneak up on this castle.
There is so much to see and take in at this castle, that I know for my dad and I we needed a good three to four hours to look round and take in everything.
My one only complaint about the actual castle, is that there is not enough signs about the castle and what each building is. I know that there is a guide book, but when you go into the ticket office, they’re kind of hidden from view which isn’t that great either. So with a lack of signs, it’s almost like they are pushing for you to buy the guide book for an extra £3. Now my dad and I probably would have brought one, but when we were getting our tickets we couldn’t see one (we probably should have asked thinking about it now, but oh well).
This is a very kid friendly place and all they ask is that when you go up the towers, just watch over them because some steps are a little steep.
Once you are done exploring the castle there is more to do outside its walls. The Town Centre is the perfect place to finish your day with, as there are many shops worth a look at.
All in all, Ludlow is the perfect place if you want a day trip out.