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.
|Richard, Duke of York and Edward IV|