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Coordinates: 52°22′05″N 2°43′03″W / 52.3681°N 2.7176°W / 52.3681; -2.7176

A frosty Ludlow.jpg
Wintertime Ludlow as seen from Whitcliffe
Coat of arms of Ludlow.png
Coat of arms of Ludlow
Ludlow is located in Shropshire
 Ludlow shown within Shropshire
Population 11,000 
OS grid reference SO512746
    - London  154 miles (248 km) 
Unitary authority Shropshire
Ceremonial county Shropshire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LUDLOW
Postcode district SY8
Dialling code 01584
Police West Mercia
Fire Shropshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament Ludlow
List of places

Ludlow is a market town in Shropshire, England situated close to the Welsh border, on the A49 road, 28 miles (45 km) south of Shrewsbury and 22 miles (35 km) north of Hereford. With a population of approximately 11,000 Ludlow is the largest town in south Shropshire.

The oldest part of the town is the medieval walled town, which lies within a bend of the River Teme, on its eastern bank, forming an area of 350 acres (142 ha) and centred on a small hill. Atop this hill is the site of Ludlow Castle and the market place. From there the streets slope downward to the River Teme, and northward toward the River Corve. The town is in a sheltered spot beneath the Clee Hills which are clearly visible from the town.[1]

Ludlow has nearly 500 listed buildings.[2] They include some fine examples of medieval and Tudor-style half-timbered buildings including the Feathers Hotel. The parish church, St Laurence's, is the largest in the county.[3] The town is significant in the history of the Welsh Marches and neighbouring Wales.

The town was described by Sir John Betjeman as "probably the loveliest town in England".[4]


The placename "Lodelowe" (Welsh: Llwydlo) was in use for this site before 1138 and comes from the Old English "hlud-hlaw".[5] At the time this section of the River Teme contained rapids, and so the hlud of Ludlow came from "the loud waters", while hlaw meant hill.[5] Thus Ludlow meant a place on a hill by a loud river. Some time around the 12th century weirs were added along the river, taming these rapid flows.

Though the settlement became known as Ludlow, Fouke le Fitz Waryn (a 13th-century poem) states that it was called Dinham "for a very long time".[6] The western part of the town immediately south of the castle retains this name, and many writers assume it is Anglian or Saxon in origin, and the suffix -ham occurs in many placenames in Shropshire. Another alternative is that Dinham took its name from Josce de Dinan, a major landowner in the area in the 12th century.[7]


Medieval history[edit]

Ludlow Castle was built in the late 11th century, following the Norman Conquest.

The town is close to Wales and also very close to the county border between Shropshire and Herefordshire. It was included in the latter in the Domesday Book (and neighbouring Ludford remained part of Herefordshire until the late 19th century). This strategic location invested it with national importance in medieval times. At the time of the Domesday Book survey, Ludlow was the location of the unoccupied large Stanton manor, a possession of Walter de Lacy. Walter's son Roger de Lacy began the construction of Ludlow Castle on the crest of the hill between about 1086 and 1094, forming what is now the inner bailey. Between about 1090 and 1120, the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene was built inside the walls, and by 1130 the Great Tower was added to form the gatehouse. Later in the 12th century the larger outer bailey was added to the castle.

Ludlow Castle was an important border fortification along the Welsh Marches, and played a significant role in local, regional and national conflicts such as the Owain Glyndŵr rebellion, the Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War. The castle and its adjoining town grew in political importance and in the 15th century the castle became the seat of the Council of Wales and the Marches. It was also a temporary home to several holders of the title Prince of Wales, including King Edward IV and Arthur Tudor, who died there in 1502.

The site features heavily in the folk-story of Fulk FitzWarin, outlawed Lord of Whittington, Shropshire and a possible inspiration for the Robin Hood legend. Fulk is brought up in the castle of Joce De Dynan, and fights for his master against Sir Gilbert de Lacy – these battles are also the source of the story of Marion de la Bruyere, the betrayed lover whose ghost is still said to be heard crying "Goodbye, Cruel World!" as she plummets from the castle's turrets.[citation needed]

Marcher town[edit]

A view of the town's outdoor market, which is situated in Castle Square, taken from the tower of St Laurence's Church.

The town also provided a useful source of income for successive Marcher Lords, based on rents, fines, and tolls. They developed the town on a regular grid pattern, although this was adapted somewhat to match the local topography. The first road was probably High Street, which formed the wide market place to the east of the castle gates. The town continued to grow, joining an old north-south road, now called Corve Street to the north and Old Street to the south. Mill Street and the wide Broad Street were added later.

The first recorded royal permission to maintain defensive town walls was given to the "men of Ludlow" in the Patent Rolls of 1233. The entry is however incomplete and atypical and was not renewed in the usual way. A murage grant was next made in 1260 and renewed regularly over the next two centuries. This time the grant was made by name to Geoffrey de Genevile, Lord of Ludlow. From this and other surviving documents it seems that the town walls and gates were in place by 1270.[8] They were constructed about the central part of the community with four main gates and three postern gates. The castle complex continued to expand (a Great Hall, kitchen and living quarters were added) and it gained a reputation as a fortified palace. In 1306 it passed through marriage to the ambitious Earl of March, Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March. Queen Isabella and her son, the young Edward III, were entertained at the castle in 1328.

The Feathers Hotel, one of Ludlow's more famous timber-framed buildings.

The town prospered, and sustained population of about 2,000 for several centuries. It was a market town; market day was held on every Thursday throughout the 15th century. In particular, it served as a centre for the sale of wool and cloth. It was home to various trades, and in 1372 boasted 12 trade guilds including metalworkers, shoemakers, butchers, drapers, mercers, tailors, cooks and bakers. There were also merchants of moderate wealth in the town and especially wool merchants, such as Laurence of Ludlow, who lived at nearby Stokesay Castle. The collection and sale of wool and the manufacture of cloth continued to be the primary source of wealth until the 17th century. Drovers roads from Wales led to the town.

This prosperity is expressed in stone and stained-glass as St. Laurence's parish church. It is a wool church and is the largest in Shropshire. Despite the presence of some Decorated work it is largely Perpendicular in style.[9] Its size and grandeur has given it the nickname "the cathedral of the Marches", and since 1981 there has been a Bishop of Ludlow, a suffragan bishop.

The town also contained several coaching inns, public houses and ale houses, leading to court records of some alcohol-induced violence and a certain reputation for excess. Several coaching inns were constructed to accommodate travellers by stagecoach and mail coach. The Angel on Broad Street was one such notable coaching inn, where the Aurora coach departed for London (taking 27 hours in 1822).[10] A surviving medieval coaching inn today is the 15th century Bull Hotel on the Bull Ring. Several other pubs and hotels in the town have historic pedigree, including the Rose and Crown.

During the Wars of the Roses, Richard, Duke of York, seized the castle and turned it into one of his main strongholds. The Lancastrian forces captured Ludlow in 1459, at the Battle of Ludford Bridge, but at the end of the conflict in 1461 the castle became property of the Crown and passed to Richard's son, Edward IV. The town was then incorporated as a borough, and began sending representatives to Parliament. Edward set up the Council of Wales and the Marches in 1473 and sent his son, Edward, Prince of Wales, to live there, as nominal head of the Council. It was at Ludlow that the prince heard the news of his father's death and was himself proclaimed King Edward V of England.

The magnificent Church of St Laurence has Norman origins and expanded throughout the Middle Ages, being a wool church, becoming the largest parish church in Shropshire.

Under Henry VII the castle continued as the headquarters of the Council of Wales and served as the administration centre for Wales and the counties along the border, known as the Welsh Marches. During this period, when the town served as the effective capital of Wales, it was home to many messengers of the king, various clerks and lawyers for settling legal disputes. The town also provided a winter home for local gentry, during which time they attended the Council court sessions. Henry VII also sent his heir Prince Arthur to Ludlow, where he was joined briefly by his wife Catherine of Aragon later to become wife to Henry VIII, who was living in Castle Lodge, Ludlow at the time. Ludlow Castle was therefore the site of perhaps the most controversial wedding night in English history, when Catherine's claim that the marriage was never consummated became central to the dispute concerning Henry VIII and Catherine's annulment in 1531.

After 1610, the cloth industry declined but the wealth of the town was little affected until about 1640, when the activities of the Council were suspended and the town's population promptly fell by 20%.

Eventually, the Council resumed and except for brief interludes, Ludlow continued to host the Council until 1689, when it was abolished by William and Mary as part of the Glorious Revolution. The castle then fell into decay. The structure was poorly maintained and stone was pillaged. In 1772 demolition was mooted, but it was instead decided to lease the buildings. Later still it was purchased by the Earl of Powis, and together, he and his wife directed the transformation of the castle grounds.

18th and 19th centuries[edit]

Ludlow had seven gates in its town walls; the only one remaining is the Broad Gate (viewed from the south).

From 1760, the population began to undergo a significant expansion. New structures were built along the outskirts that would become slums in the 19th century and later, torn down.

In 1802, Horatio Nelson was awarded the freedom of the borough and stayed at The Angel coaching inn on Broad Street, together with his mistress Emma and her husband Sir William Hamilton. The honour was presented to him in a room at the inn, later to be known as the Nelson Room, and he addressed the crowds from one of the bay windows on the first floor.[11] Also during the Napoleonic Wars, Lucien Bonaparte, younger brother of the French Emperor, and his family were imprisoned at Dinham House in 1811.

In 1832 Dr Thomas Lloyd, the Ludlow doctor and amateur geologist, met Roderick Murchison at Ludford Corner to study the rocks exposed along the River Teme and on Whitcliffe, advancing Murchison's theory for a Silurian System that he was to publish in 1839.[12] Immediately above the topmost layer of the marine rock sequence forming Murchison's Silurian period was a thin layer of dark sand containing numerous remains of early fish, especially their scales, along with plant debris, spores and microscopic mites. In contrast to the underlying sediments of the Ludlow Series which were deposited in a shallow warm sea some 400 million years ago, the Ludlow Bone Bed represents terrestrial (land) conditions and thus a fundamental change in the landscape. At the time, this was believed to be the earliest occurrence of life on land. Murchison thus took the Ludlow Bone Bed as the base of his Devonian Period, although over a century later this boundary was to be moved a little higher, the overlying rocks being ascribed to the Pridoli. The science of geology has taken a number of local names from these studies and now applies them worldwide, in recognition of the importance of this area to scientific understanding, for example Ludlow Series and Whitcliffe Formation. The site is now an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and still attracts international studies.[13]

Recent history[edit]

A traditional greengrocers' shops amidst Ludlow's narrow streets.

By the late 20th century, the town had seen a growth in tourism, leading to the appearance of many antique dealers, as well as art dealers and independent bookshops (the latter now mostly gone). A long battle of words between local activists (including many of the town's independent businesses) and Tesco was eventually solved when the mega retailer obtained planning permission to build a supermarket on Corve Street, on the northern edge of the town centre, but only after agreeing to conform to the architectural demands of the local council. The building is designed to follow the shape of the old town plans with a curving roof. Bodenham's, a clothing retailer, has been trading from a 600-year-old timbered building since 1860 and is one of the oldest stores in Britain.[14]

In 2004 the council was granted funding from Advantage West Midlands to build a new 'Eco-Park' on the outskirts of the town on the other side of the A49 bypass, at the Sheet, with space for new "environmentally friendly" office buildings and a park & ride facility. More construction work began in 2006 on the same section of by-pass on a much-debated piece of land on the town's fringe known as the Foldgate. The land has now been drawn up for commercial use with a petrol filling station, Travelodge hotel and pub chain pub/restaurant, opened in late 2008. The previous plans to include a number of "high street" stores was thrown out when an independent official branded it "damaging" to and "out-of-place" with the character of the old town.

Ludlow was described by Country Life as "the most vibrant small town in England."[15]


Dinham Bridge crossing the River Teme; Ludlow Castle is situated above on the hill.

The medieval settlement, which grew as a planned town located by the Norman castle, is located largely on the top of a hill, with the castle, market and the church (St Laurence's) situated along the flat land on this hilltop. The streets then run down to the Rivers Teme and Corve (their confluence being to the northwest of the centre of Ludlow) to the north and south. To the west is Dinham, possibly an older settlement, dominated by the castle, with a road leading steeply down from Castle Square to the Teme and then over Dinham Bridge. To the east a rolling landscape exists, and it is in this direction that the town has steadily grown. East Hamlet was the name of the settlement to the east of the town.

View from St Laurence's to the castle, looking west across the highest part of the medieval town.

The growth of the town in this eastwards (and to the north-east) direction continues to the present day, with little or no development especially to the south or west, to an extent that the traditional town centre (the medieval town) is actually located in the southwest corner of the entire settlement. It has also meant that the village of Ludford, located immediately on the other side of the Teme at Ludford Bridge (itself at the foot of Lower Broad Street), remains a distinct community.

The historic centre of Ludlow has largely escaped development that would otherwise alter its medieval, Tudor and Georgian character. Furthermore the lack of development to the south and west allows for the town's historic setting (and particularly that of the castle) by the Teme and the neighbouring countryside to be readily appreciated in the modern day. R. G. Conzen remarked of Ludlow "Its composite medieval town plan and a history of eight and a half centuries with several periods of considerable importance have endowed its Old Town with an historically well-stratified and richly textured landscape."[16] Michael Raven, who created a detailed gazetteer of all the settlements of Herefordshire and Shropshire in the late 20th century, stated that "There can be little doubt that Ludlow is the finest town in Shropshire."[17]

The medieval street plan remains, though the town walls and gates have disappeared in many places. Mill Street and Broad Street, leading down from the very centre to the Teme in the south, are particularly famous for their rich architectural heritage and vistas, with many fine Georgian buildings. Sir Nikolaus Pevsner described Broad Street as "one of the most memorable streets in England".[18]

Localities in the town's suburbs include Gallows Bank and Sandpits. Immediately beyond the A49 by-pass are Rocks Green and the Sheet, and it is in these two places that much of the present development and growth of the town is taking place. They are both approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) from the town centre.

Ludlow was winner of The Great Town Award from The Academy of Urbanism in 2006. The first episode of the BBC television series Town, in which geographer Nicholas Crane examines the great towns of the United Kingdom, focused solely on Ludlow for the hour-long documentary.[19]


The 2011 UK census recorded 10,266 people living in Ludlow's civil parish.[20] A further 673 live in the neighbouring Ludford parish,[21] resulting in a total current population for the settlement of approximately 11,000.


In 1377, poll tax was levied against 1,172 of the parish's residents.[22] By this measure, Ludlow was the 35th most populous town in England.[23]

Population growth in Ludlow since 1801
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 1971 1987 2001 2011
Population 3,897 4,150 4,820 5,253 5,064 4,691 5,035 4,460 4,552 5,926 5,674 5,642 6,456 6,796 7,470 7,450 9,548 10,266
Source: A Vision of Britain through Time and the Office for National Statistics[24][25]


Ludlow railway station

On 4 February 1980, the £4.7 million single-carriageway by-pass road, which had been built to the east of the town, diverting the A49, was officially opened by Kenneth Clarke. This allowed heavy lorry traffic to avoid the town centre, significantly reducing noise levels and delays. The town centre was built for the era of the horse & cart and there are long running problems with motor traffic and car parking. A number of proposals have been offered to remedy these problems. The former route of the A49 through the town was re-classified as the B4361.

The A4117 begins at the Ludlow by-pass and runs across the Clee Hills from Ludlow to Cleobury Mortimer and onwards into north Worcestershire.

The new Ludlow Eco-Park situated on the outskirts of the town, along the A49, includes a new Park & Ride facility, with a frequent bus service to and from the town centre.

On 26 June 2007, rising flood water caused Burway Bridge in Ludlow to collapse, severing a gas main and causing 20 homes in nearby Corve Street to be evacuated.[26] The bridge is now replaced with a new construction.

Ludlow railway station is located about five minutes walk from the town centre. Arriva Trains Wales provide regular services to Shrewsbury, Hereford, Chester, Holyhead, Newport, Cardiff, Crewe and Manchester.

Clee Hill Junction existed just to the north of the station, with a goods line leading off the mainline up to the quarries on Titterstone Clee Hill.

Two historic bridges cross the River Teme at Ludlow — Ludford Bridge (a Scheduled Ancient Monument) and Dinham Bridge (early 19th century, Grade II listed)[27] — both of which still take vehicular traffic as no modern bridges have been built.


Festivals and fayres[edit]

The Ludlow Festival has been held annually since 1960, during the end of June and the start of July each year.[28] An open area within the castle serves as the stage and backdrop for various Shakespearean plays, while a number of supporting events at various venues include classical and pop/rock concerts, varied musicians, lecture talks from public figures, and entertainers.

The Medieval Christmas Fayre is another annual event in Ludlow taking place during late November, again centred on Ludlow Castle and the market square.[29]


One of a several traditional butcher shops in the centre of the town

Ludlow has become a gastronomic centre and at one point was the only town in England with three Michelin-starred restaurants[30] (a distinction lost to Bray-on-Thames in Berkshire), but Ludlow still holds two Michelin starred establishments, and eight AA Rosette starred restaurants. The town hosts the prestigious annual Ludlow food festival. Ludlow was the first UK member of Cittaslow or "slow food" movement,[31][32] but is no longer a member. It supports three traditional butchers, four bakers, a regular farmers market and a range of specialist food shops. The town has its own brewery, which has been producing real ale (using local hops) since 2006.[33]

The annual Ludlow Marches Festival of Food & Drink is a food festival that takes place in and around Ludlow in September. Centred on Ludlow Castle, where over 150 local, small food producers showcase and sell their wares, the three-day event involves the town centre in food and drink trails including the famous "Sausage Trail".[34]


The town is also home to an arts and cinema centre, The Ludlow Assembly Rooms, that hosts live music, theatre, stand up comedy and talks. It also acts as an arts community centre, has a visual arts gallery, and on most evenings, shows a film, from a wide variety of genres (including classic, arthouse, and blockbuster).[35] Ludlow has featured in movies and TV programmes including Tom Sharpe's Blott on the Landscape and 90s TV adaptations of The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling and Moll Flanders. Ludlow is described as the capital of Wales following a zombie apocalypse in the novel World War Z.[36]

Ludlow has connections with a number of figures in the arts – most notably, Alfred Edward Housman, poet and author of "A Shropshire Lad" (his ashes buried in the graveyard of St. Laurence's Church and marked by a cherry tree). Stanley J. Weyman, the novelist known as the "Prince of Romance", was also born in Ludlow, as was sculptor Adrian Jones, whose ashes are also buried in the same churchyard. The naval historian and novelist Captain Geoffrey Bennett (Sea Lion) lived in Ludlow after his retirement in 1974 up to his death in 1983 and his ashes, too, were interred in the parish churchyard.


The town has a football team (AFC Ludlow) located on the northern outskirts of the town, and a rugby union team, with their ground situated just off Linney near the castle, competing in the Midland leagues. There is also a cricket team sporting its 1st and 2nd XI teams in the Shropshire Premier Cricket League and its 3rd and 4th XI in the Shropshire Cricket League Division 5 and Division 6 respectively. The cricket pitch is located at the junction of Burway Lane and Bromfield Road in the north of the town and has a picturesque setting with the castle, St Laurence's church and surrounding hills and countryside clearly visible. Ludlow Racecourse and adjoining golf club are situated just off the A49 road a mile north of the town at a place called Old Field (with historic connections to Ludlow Castle).[37]

A leisure and fitness centre, which includes a swimming pool, is located on Bromfield Road on the northern edge of the town (near the secondary school).[38] Lawn bowls is played in the area, with several teams from Ludlow's two bowling clubs (Burway and Ludlow Castle) playing against each other and teams from further afield, in the Ludlow & District Bowls League,[39] as well as in the higher Shropshire leagues. There is also an amateur boxing club, situated on Wheeler Road, with its new clubhouse opening in 2014.



The Buttercross, built in 1743-6, at the top of Broad Street and the highest point of the medieval town (the site of the High Cross); historically this spot was used as a benchmark for road distances to Ludlow.

Ludlow was historically a borough and in the present day is a civil parish with a town council and a mayor. Wider local government was provided by Ludlow Rural District (which absorbed the borough of Ludlow in 1967) until 1974 when South Shropshire District Council (with Ludlow as its seat) took over along with Shropshire County Council in a two-tier arrangement. The district councils of Shropshire were abolished in 2009 and the county now has a unitary authority called Shropshire Council.

The town council is based at the Guildhall on Mill Street, which was the home of the town's county and magistrates' courts until their closure in 2011.[40] There was a Town Hall, situated in the Square, which was built in 1887-8 and demolished in March 1986;[41] it featured prominently just prior to its demolition in the 1985 television drama Blott on the Landscape. The other notable civic building in the centre of town is the Buttercross — the former home of the town council (after the demolition of the Town Hall and prior to the closure of the courts) it will become an 'interpretation centre' for the town's architectural heritage in 2014.[42] Shropshire Council have offices and information point located to the rear of Stone House on Corve Street.[43]

Ludlow and its neighbouring parishes comprise three electoral divisions each returning one councillor to Shropshire Council in elections held every four years, the most recent being in 2013 (a by-election for one of Ludlow's divisions took place in 2014). Fifteen councillors sit on the town council, representing seven wards, and elections are held every four years (at the same time as elections to Shropshire Council). The boundaries of Ludlow's electoral divisions and wards were most recently reviewed in 2008. The electoral divisions are named Ludlow North, Ludlow East and Ludlow South, with only East being wholly within the town's boundaries. The seven wards were altered slightly in 2008, retaining their previous names and number of councillors they each return — they are (with the number of town councillors returned given): Rockspring (2), Hayton (2), Bringewood (2), Corve (2), Whitcliffe (2), Gallows Bank (3), and Clee View (2).[44]

Ludford is a separate civil parish, with its own parish council, and covers the adjoining places of Ludford, Foldgate, Steventon, the Sheet and Rocks Green. There was also the parish of East Hamlet, which covered the area to the east of the town; this parish was gradually absorbed by Ludlow's parish as the town expanded into it, and in 1987 the remainder merged into Ludford and the parish was abolished. Ludlow's parish has also taken a small part of Bromfield.


The coat of arms of Ludlow, which displays the white roses of the House of York, a legacy of the Wars of the Roses when the castle and town came under Yorkist control. Under the Yorkist kings of England, Ludlow became a borough and returned members to Parliament.

For representation to the House of Commons, Ludlow falls within the Ludlow constituency, which was created in 1473 when the town was granted borough status, and in modern times covers a large area of southern Shropshire including Bridgnorth. The current member of Parliament for Ludlow, since 2005, is Philip Dunne.


Ludlow has three primary schools (an infant school, a junior school and a 'combined' primary school) for children aged 5–11, and a secondary school — the Ludlow Church of England School — for pupils aged 11–16.

Ludlow College is a sixth form college (for students aged 16–18) located in the town centre.[45] Formed by the merger of the town's boys grammar school and girls high school, it is one of the oldest educational institutions in the country, dating back some 800 years.


Ludlow Hospital is a NHS community hospital located at the junction of Gravel Hill and New Road. It has several inpatient and outpatient departments and wards, as well as a minor injuries unit.

There are two doctors' surgeries in the town, both located just off Upper Galdeford.

Emergency services[edit]

The Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service have a fire station on Weeping Cross Lane.

West Mercia Police have a police station on Lower Galdeford.


St Peter's church, built in the late 1930s in the neo-Byzantine and plain Romanesque styles, is the town's Roman Catholic church.

The Church of England parish of Ludlow has two churches in Ludlow — the large and historic St Laurence's Church in the centre of the town — the parish church — and St John's Church on Gravel Hill. Ludford has its own Church of England parish and church, dedicated to St Giles.

Ludlow falls within the Church of England's Diocese of Hereford and since 1981 is a suffragan see with its own suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Ludlow, the only such bishop in the diocese. There has long been an Archdeacon of Ludlow, historically known as the Archdeacon of Shropshire, overseeing the other parishes in this part of the county.

There is a Roman Catholic parish covering Ludlow, with its own church (dedicated to St Peter) located on Henley Road in the town.[46] The church began construction in 1935, using stone from nearby Farlow and built in a neo-Byzantine and plain Romanesque style. The construction also involved novel re-enforced concrete technology. The Byzantine design continues inside, with a splendid blue dome with twelve gold-leaf stars (representing St Peter and the other Apostles).[47] An Art Deco presbytery building was built right by the church, resulting in an interesting mix of building styles. Historically, there was also a St Peter's chapel within the castle, now a ruin.

Ludlow also has a Methodist church on Broad Street,[48] a Quaker Meeting House on St Mary's Lane,[49] and a Baptists church at the Rockspring Community Centre.[50]

Two monastic institutions once existed in Ludlow — one Augustinian ("Austin") Friars on the corner of Lower Galdeford and Weeping Cross Lane, and the other Carmelite ("White") Friars between Linney and Corve Street. Both were dissolved in 1538. The White Friars site continued to have a church on its site, St Leonard's, the building (which is Victorian since the older church building was previously demolished) and graveyard of which still exists but is no longer used for worship (instead it is a commercial premises). The Austin Friars site became the town's livestock market (the Smithfield) and is now a public car park.


Ludlow has three twinning arrangements.[51]

Notable people[edit]

Notable people associated with the town include Charles Badham, a Victorian scholar and professor at Sydney University. Sir Charles Hastings, a pioneering Victorian doctor and founder of the BMA, was born in Ludlow, and grew up in Worcestershire. Ludlow was birthplace of historian Charles Lethbridge Kingsford in 1862, when his father was headmaster at Ludlow Grammar School.

Baron Rees of Ludlow, the current Astronomer Royal is associated with the town, and Anthony Howard, a senior British political journalist and commentator had a home there.

Born near the town in 1836 was John Marston, the founder of the Sunbeam racing car and motorcycle company. Also born in proximity to Ludlow was Henry Hill Hickman, a very early pioneer of anaesthetics, who was born at Lady Halton, near Bromfield in 1800. Later in the same century, in 1831, Pictorialist photographer Henry Peach Robinson was born in the town.

Sir John Bridgeman, a Chief Justice of The Marches in the 17th century is buried in St Laurence's church, within a tomb monument attributed to Francesco Fanelli.

Captain Geoffrey Bennett DSC, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, naval officer and also a well-known author, writing novels as 'Sea Lion' and naval histories under his own name, retired to a cottage in central Ludlow in 1976, dying there in 1983.

Captain Adrian Jones M.V.O., M.R.C.V.S., F.R.B.S., the well-known sculptor. He has many works throughout the world, particularly the Peace Quadriga on the Wellington arch in London.

Sir William Jukes-Steward, later Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, had boyhood home in Ludlow, where he attended the Grammar School, at Numbers 4–5 King Street (marked by plaque).

The actor John Challis (Boycie in Only Fools & Horses) lives near Ludlow, as did Pete Postlethwaite. The actress Holly Davidson (from Casualty and The Bill) was born locally in 1980. Hollie Robertson, winner of the BBC's Strictly Dance Fever in 2006 is also from Ludlow.


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  12. ^ "Why Shropshire's geology is important". Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
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  15. ^ "Ludlow Tourist Information". Retrieved 17 September 2007. 
  16. ^ Conzen "Morphogenesis, morphological regions and secular human agency in the historic townscape, as exemplified by Ludlow" Urban Historical Geography p. 254
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  18. ^ Nicolle, Dorothy (1999) Francis Frith's Shropshire page 98
  19. ^ BBC Town with Nicholas Crane - Series 1 Episode 1 - Ludlow
  20. ^ Office for National Statistics Ludlow 2011
  21. ^ Office for National Statistics Ludford 2011
  22. ^ Fenwick The poll taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381, p. 376
  23. ^ Pallister The Cambridge Urban History of Britain, p. 758
  24. ^ "Ludlow AP/CP: Historical statistics / Population". A Vision of Britain Through Time. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  25. ^ "Area: Ludlow CP (Parish) –Parish headcounts". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  26. ^ "Bridge collapse severs gas main". BBC News. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  27. ^ British Listed Buildings Dinham Bridge, Ludlow
  28. ^ "Ludlow Festival". Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  29. ^ "Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre". Retrieved 15 August 2008. 
  30. ^ "Ludlow Shropshire tourist and visitor information". Retrieved 17 September 2007. 
  31. ^ "UK Cittaslow Website". Retrieved 10 November 2007. 
  32. ^ "Woman's World – Going slow in Ludlow". Retrieved 17 September 2007. 
  33. ^ Ludlow Brewing Co.
  34. ^ "Ludlow Food Festival". Retrieved 10 November 2007. 
  35. ^ "Ludlow Assembly Rooms". Retrieved 10 November 2007. 
  36. ^ Brooks, Max (2010). World War Z (Kindle Edition). Gerald Duckworth. p. 188. ISBN 0715637037. 
  37. ^ "Ludlow Racecourse". Retrieved 10 November 2007. 
  38. ^ Teme Leisure Ludlow
  39. ^ Ludlow and District Bowls League
  40. ^ BBC News Ludlow, Shrewsbury and Oswestry county courts close (30 September 2011)
  41. ^ Farlow, R and Trumper, D (2005) Ludlow and South-West Shropshire page 11
  42. ^ Ludlow Town Council The Buttercross Update
  43. ^ Shropshire Council Customer Service Points - Ludlow Area HQ
  44. ^ LGBCE Shropshire review (2008)
  45. ^ Ludlow College
  46. ^ St Peter's Ludlow
  47. ^ Tour of St Peter's church, Ludlow
  48. ^ Ludlow Methodist Church
  49. ^ Ludlow Quakers
  50. ^ Ludlow Baptist Church
  51. ^ Ludlow Town Council Ludlow's Twin Towns
  52. ^ "Ludlow San Pietro Twinning Association". Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  53. ^ "Home". Ludlow French Town Twinning Association. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 


  • Conzen, M. R. G. (2011) [1988]. "Morphogenesis, morphological regions and secular human agency in the historic townscape, as exemplified by Ludlow". Urban Historical Geography: Recent Progress in Britain and Germany. Cambridge Studies in Historical Geography 10 (paperback ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 253–272. ISBN 978-0-521-18974-3. 
  • Coplestone-Crow, Bruce (2000). "From Foundation to the Anarchy". In Ron Shoesmith & Andy Johnson. Ludlow Castle: Its History & Buildings. Logaston Press. ISBN 1-873827-51-2. 
  • Fenwick, Carolyn (ed) (2001). The poll taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381: Part 2, Lincolnshire–Westmorland. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-726228-3. 
  • Pallister, David Michael (ed) (2000). The Cambridge Urban History of Britain. Volume I: 600–1540. Cambridge University Press. 
  • Room, Adrian (2003). Placenames of the World: Origins and Meanings. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1814-1. 
  • Shoesmith, Ron (2000). "The Town of Ludlow". In Ron Shoesmith & Andy Johnson. Ludlow Castle: Its History & Buildings. Logaston Press. ISBN 1-873827-51-2. 

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