Something about the romantic Ludlow Castle ruin, in Shropshire England stirred my blood the moment that I saw it. I had to know who founded it, what romantic events took place there, whether there was a ghost, and how it ended up in such tumble down condition. I was not disappointed, stones have memories, and they do tell tales.
The Romantic Ludlow Castle Ruin
An Interior View of Ludlow Castle
Walter de Lacy, a French nobleman who landed with William the Conqueror in 1066 built Ludlow as England’s first stone castle, but died nineteen years later after he fell from scaffolding. The original structure was probably a round stone keep, into which he could retreat with soldiers after herding his livestock into the ground floor. It may have looked something like this, although the round building did end its life as a chapel.
Round Tower in Ludlow Castle
Ludlow Castle fell, and was retaken many times down the centuries, due to its strategic position on a promontory overlooking the River Teme. This rises in Mid Wales south of Newtown and Powys, and flows through Knighton with its fine hotels across the border into England. There would have been an ancient ford here, over which a conquering army could invade.
Ludlow Castle Overlooking River Teme
By 1704 England was at peace with Wales, and the romantic Ludlow castle ruin was tumbling into decay. There were several attempts to reinstate the buildings without success, and it moulders on as one of England’s finest castle sites receiving over 100,000 visitors a year. I believe it has a resident ghost that may be visible at dusk. It is said to be a heartbroken lady who flung herself from the central tower after her lover betrayed her to the enemy.