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Historic England Research Records

Ludlow Castle

Hob Uid: 111057
Location :
Shropshire
Ludlow
Grid Ref : SO5086874594
Summary : Ludlow Castle, situated on its rocky promontory over the river Teme, is one of the great Welsh border castles, and its extensive remains span the entire medieval period. It was begun about 1085 by Roger de Lacy, but the round Norman chapel, one of the earliest chapels in the county, was built in the 1130s by a rival claimant, Sir Joyce de Dinan, who temporarily ousted the Lacy's from their home. The outer defences, including the outer bailey and gatehouse, were constructed about 1180, the round towers added a century later, and most of the other buildings within the enclosure - the great hall, great chamber and service rooms - were built in the 14th century and embellished in the Tudor period. After the Lacy line died out in 1240 the castle was held by Roger Mortimer and five generations of his descendants, becoming royal property in 1461 when one of the line was crowned as Edward IV. The 'Princes' tower is so named because his two young sons lived here before their final imprisonment and death in the Tower of London, and 'Arthur's tower' takes its name from Henry VIII's elder brother, who died here in 1507. The castle then became the residence of the Lords President of the Council of Wales, and extensive rebuilding, including the gatehouse on the north side (1581), was carried out by Sir Henry Sidney. Today the stone rubble castle is a ruin, but an extensive and well-preserved one. Scheduled.
More information : (SO 50867459) Castle (NR) (Rems of) (NAT) (1)

(SO 50837453) Site of St Peter's Chapel (NR) (2)
Ludlow Castle: The inner bailey, curtain-walls and towers were built about 1090, the keep, although started in this period was not completed until the 12th century and has late 16th century work. The outer bailey and walls are 13th century and the main five storeyed block in the north is 14th century and later. Part of a range of buildings on the south side of the outer bailey, detached from the curtain wall, was the Chapel of St Peter, first mentioned in 1328, one window of which remains. St Mary Magdalene's Chapel within the bailey is about 1140; it is crenellated and consisted originally of a round nave and chancel with eastern apse. The outline of the now demolished church is visible on the ground. The castle passed into Crown possession in 1461. (3-6)

Earthworks revised at 1/2500. (7)

Brief description of castle complex - additional bibliography. (8)

Additional bibliography (9)

Summary report on work carried out on the medieval curtain wall and shallow excavations within the interior. These excavations indicated that there had been considerable landscaping in the 19th century (10)

Detailed archaeological and architectural assessment of the north- west tower and solar block. The tower is a three-storied, coursed stone rubble structure with elaborate garderobe chambers and mural passages built as part of the Norman curtain wall and probably associated with a former building in the courtyard. The solar block, which is contemporary with the adjoining hall, is of three-stories in coursed stone rubble and built against the Norman wall. It appears to have been constructed in three phases from the mid to late 1280s to c1308 and is possibly the work of Peter de Geneville. The Great Chamber to the east of the hall, previously considered to be coeval with the hall, is demonstrably later and probably attributable to Roger Mortimer in the mid to late 1320s. (11)

SO 509 746. Ludlow Castle. Scheduled. (12)

Additional references (13-16)

Listed by Cathcart King. (17)

Comprehensive architectural history and description. (18)

In the 16th century, Ludlow Castle became the principal seat of the Conuncil of the March of Wales. As such it housed the Lord President and his staff, and the castle was adapted to thoses purposes. The castle escaped attention during the Civil War, but was in a poor state of repair when surveyed in 1661. In 1689 the Council was abolished, and the castle fell into a long period of decay. (19)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10000 1976
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Source Number : 2
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:500 1885
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 183-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 35 (1991)
Source Number : 11
Source : Hereford archaeology series
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 1991
Source Number : 12
Source : County list of Scheduled Monuments : March 1994
Source details : Shropshire
Page(s) : 21
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 13
Source : English castles : a guide by counties
Source details :
Page(s) : 212-214
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : South Shropshire, 09-AUG-1993
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Source Number : 15
Source : Ordnance Survey guide to castles in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 129
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Source Number : 16
Source : English Heritage book of castles
Source details :
Page(s) : 53, 126-7
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 17
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 426
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 18
Source : Ludlow Castle: its History and Buildings.
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 19
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 3 : 1485-1660 (part 1)
Source details :
Page(s) : 277-83
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Source Number : 3
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Ludlow, March 1974
Page(s) : 91
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Source Number : 4
Source : Shropshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 181-3
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : The castles of Great Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 76-8, 143, 145, 203
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages
Source details :
Page(s) : 732
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Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHP 26-JAN-67
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 12, 14
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Vol(s) : 138 (1981)
Source Number : 8a
Source : Archaeologia : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity
Source details :
Page(s) : 257-328
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Vol(s) : 61 (1908)
Source Number : 9
Source : Medieval Britain from the air
Source details :
Page(s) : 26-Jul
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Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Begun about 1085
Monument End Date : 1095
Monument Start Date : 1075
Monument Type : Keep And Bailey Castle, Gatehouse
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built in 1130s
Monument End Date : 1139
Monument Start Date : 1130
Monument Type : Private Chapel
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built around 1180
Monument End Date : 1190
Monument Start Date : 1170
Monument Type : Castle, Gatehouse, Bailey
Evidence :
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built around 1280
Monument End Date : 1290
Monument Start Date : 1270
Monument Type : Tower
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built C14
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Great Hall
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1507-1689
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1507
Monument Type : Official Residence
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : 1507-1689
Monument End Date : 1689
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Official Residence
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built in 1581
Monument End Date : 1581
Monument Start Date : 1581
Monument Type : Gatehouse
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 110302
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 93254
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SA 7
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 389694
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SO 57 SW 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, CITY OF HEREFORD ARCHAEOLOGY UNIT
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date :
End Date :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SO 57 SW 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1967-01-26
End Date : 1967-01-26
Associated Activities : Primary, LUDLOW CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LUDLOW CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LUDLOW CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LUDLOW CASTLE VI
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LUDLOW CASTLE: INNER BAILEY
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT CASTLE HOUSE, LUDLOW CASTLE
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT LUDLOW CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT LUDLOW CASTLE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND ADJACENT TO LUDLOW CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE SQUARE TO DINHAM CABLING
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2015-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31