Saturday, 13 April 2013


Ludlow is a market town in Shropshire, near to the Welsh border, an area known as the Welsh Marches.
The castle, on a high point above the River Teme, was first built in the 11th century by one of the Marcher Lords, Roger de Lacy, and was an important stronghold for the English control of the Marches. In the early 14th century, it came through marriage into the possession of the Mortimer family, and was enlarged in the 14th century by Roger Mortimer, one of the most powerful nobles in the country.
The castle came into the possession of Richard, Duke of York, in 1425, and it played a part in the Wars of the Roses on two occasions.
In 1459 the Lancastrian and Yorkist armies faced each other at Ludford, across the river from Ludlow, preparing for battle. However, during the night, one of the Yorkist lords, Anthony Trollope, defected to the Lancastrians with his forces. Rather than face inevitable defeat, York and Warwick fled.
The Yorkist troops disbanded, and the Lancastrian army entered the town. York’s wife, Cecily Neville, was living at Ludlow at this time with her two younger sons, George and Richard (aged 9 and 7 at the time) and her youngest daughter Margaret aged 13, and it’s said they were standing near the market cross when the Lancastrians arrived. I always picture them standing forlornly there, the children especially shaking with fear as they wondered what on earth was going to happen to them now their father had fled. In fact they were entrusted to the charge of Cecily’s sister, Anne, Duchess of Buckingham.

When Edward IV became king in 1461, Ludlow became a royal palace, and about ten years later he sent his two sons to live there, under the supervision of the queen’s brother, Anthony, Earl Rivers. The princes were at Ludlow in 1483 when news came of Edward IV’s death. Rivers immediately set off for London with the two boys, only to be intercepted near Northampton by Richard of Gloucester, who forestalled the plans of the queen’s family to seize control of London and rule the country. More of that in a later post this month!

Richard, Duke of York and Edward IV
The church of St Laurence in Ludlow, first built by the Normans, was rebuilt in the 15th century. The west window commemorates various people connected with Ludlow, including Richard, duke of York, Edward IV, and the two princes.


  1. Lovely, one day maybe I will visit it!

  2. York and Lancaster have a lot to answer for, don't they? And I think I'd rather have been a commoner in those days than royalty.

  3. Ludlow is a lovely town, Claudia, with so many medieval buildings in addition the castle and church.

    Lizy, it was definitely a turbulent time, but even the commoenrs got caught up in it, when they had to go and fight for one side or the other, depending on who owned the land they farmed.

  4. So many battles back then, it seems. Must have been a scary time. I can imagine the terror of those children. I always think more of how the people felt about what was happening to them. That to me is much more interesting than the dates of battles at such and such a place.

    Love those stained glass windows of Duke of York and Edward IV.

  5. Beautiful photos and interesting stories. History was not always kind to kids.

  6. I have never been to Ludlow, it is on my list of places to go.

  7. What a cool place! I love that all the places you have been sharing have these magical castles and places with colorful stained glass windows. I will probably never get to visit these places in life, but am so thankful I have found you so that I could visit these magical places through your vivid words. Thank you!