The Feathers Hotel Ludlow is one of the town’s most famous landmarks and is often quoted as being the most photographed hotel in the country. It was built in 1619 by Rees Jones, the attorney of Pembrokeshire and a member of the ‘Council of the Marches’. The Grade 1 listed Feathers Hotel is a stunning half-timbered Tudor building with ornate carvings and Jacobean furnishings. Recently re-opened after a major refurbishment the Feathers Hotel Ludlow remains one of the towns most iconic destinations.
The hotel contains a Tea Room where you can sit down for cakes, scones tea, coffee or champagne, as well the more formal Plume@Feathers restaurant that serves a menu fusing British and French cuisine with an emphasis on local produce.
Feather Hotel Ludlow
24-25 Bull Ring, Ludlow,
The Readers House Ludlow is one of the most distinctive tudor buildings in the town. It was once the home for the bible readers for the adjacent St Laurence’s Church. Readers House Ludlow dates back to the 12th century and has in the past been a private museum and a grammar school. The current structure was created in 1616 by Thomas Kaye, Chaplain to the Council of the Marches, who grafted a half timbered structure onto the remnants of the earlier stone house. Although the building is not open to the public it is worth combining a visit with St Laurences Church. There is a small garden open to the public next to Readers House which is also worth a visit.
Dinham Bridge Ludlow is a beautiful Stone bridge crossing the Teme in Whitcliffe Park, in the shadow of Ludlow Castle. Sometimes attributed to Thomas Telford , who was Shropshire’s surveyor at the time the bridge was built, it was intact the work of Shrewsbury mason and contractor John Straphen. Dinham Bridge Ludlow was finished in 1823. The bridge is in itself worth seeing, but it also affords some the best views of Ludlow Castle and you can also admire it from the terrace of CSONS at the Green Cafe. The weir that crosses the team just as it passes through the bridge forms a natural swimming pool which is great for taking a dip when it warms up enough, and is very popular with families in the summer. Swans and ducks have made this stretch of the river there home and you might even catch a glimpse of a kingfisher.
St Laurence’s Church Ludlow is the towns main church and one the best medieval churches in the country, featuring as one of only 18 churches in Simon Jenkins ‘Englands Thousand Greatest Churches’ with a five star rating. It’s situation in the centre of town and it’s magnificent 135 feet high bell tower means that St Laurence’s is the first thing that many visitors will see when they approach the Ludlow. Great views of Ludlow and the surrounding Shropshire Hills can be seen by climbing the church tower. The interior of the church is particularly impressive with the chancel containing several monuments to the members of Ludlow Castles Council of the Marches. There is also a notable stained glass window depicting the Ten Commandments. St Laurence’s Church Ludlow had important connections to Ludlow Castle when the town was of crucial strategic importance in the middle ages, and is often referred to as the cathedral of the marches. Indeed although not a cathedral there has been a Bishop of Ludlow since the 1980’s.
When the young Prince Arthur, son of Henry VII, died in 1502 his heart was supposedly buried in the church although the reality is it was probably his bowels. A small plaque commemorates this.
The ashes of AE Housman (who although originally from Worcestershire remains intrinsically linked to Shropshire through his cycle of poems ‘A Shropshire Lad’) are buried in the church grounds and there is a cherry tree to mark the spot.
The Buttercross Museum, Ludlow is a fabulous little museum above the Buttercross in the centre of town. It is and is full of interesting local artefacts and information, as well as affording a great view down Broad Street, one of Ludlows’ most famous streets. Ludlow’s unique geology is depicted in the Murchison Section – a drawing of the geological cross section of Ludlow drawn up by Robert Murchison in 1852 and represents an important stage in the development of Geology as an academic discipline. There are also items from the Bitterly Hoard , a collection of post medieval coins found in the nearby village of Bitterly, as well as fossils, and an beautiful sword pommel.
Read More Here
Ludlow Castle was founded by Walter De Lacy in the wake of the Norman conquest in 1066, and had a crucial role in the social, economic and political life in this part of medieval Britain. Ludlow castle is one of the finest in the country – gazing up at it’s walls as the castle towers over you from it promontory overlooking the Teme one can imagine what it must have felt like to be a traveller (or army) arriving in Ludlow for the first time.
In the 14th century the castle fell into the hands of Roger Mortimer who was the 1st Earl of March and the pre-eminent power broker of the Welsh borders. His number was up after his involvement in a revolt of the Marcher Lords against Edward II, and he would soon find himself hanging at Tyburn for his troubles, although the castle remained in the Mortimer family.
Ludlow Castle was the headquarters of the Council of the Marches founded by Edward the IV in the 15th century to administer Wales and the border counties. His sons Edward and Richard were installed in the Castle to administer the council. After their uncle Richard III seized the throne they were taken to the Tower of London, where they promptly disappeared. These were the ‘Princes in the Tower‘.
Henry VII’s son Arthur lived here as Prince of Wales with his new wife Catherine of Aragon. When he fell ill and died in 1502 he was succeeded by his younger brother Henry who took Arthurs widow for his wife. The rest, as they say, is history…
Henry VIII’s daughter Mary Tudor also lived at Ludlow Castle for 19 months as she oversaw the Council of The Marches.
Inside Ludlow Castle is split into an inner and outer bailey. The inner bailey represents the extent of the Norman Castle, with the outer bailey dating to a later period. The real jewel of the castle is it’s 12t Century chapel of St Mary Magdalene, a circular romanesque design of which there are only a couple of similar examples in the United Kingdom. Built from sandstone it is based on the Shrine of the Holy Sepuchre in Jerusalem.