Ludlow has an almost complete ring of town walls. They were built during the 1200's with a gatehouse at each entry point. Ludlow Castle walls form part of the town's defenses and the castle was never captured by force! The walls helped defend Ludlow from the pesky Parliamentarians during the English Civil War, the Castle only surrendered when the attackers began burning houses down outside the walled area. There seven gates through the walls but only the Broad Gate remains intact today (see separate tip).
OK, these are not the pretty, fairytale type of walls with ramparts, crenellations and walkways. They are massive, solid constructions. At points the walls are still around 30 feet high. Walk down College Street and Upper Linney to see them at their most impressive. Or they can be seen along St John's Road. Or at the bottom of Mill Street and along Silk Mill Lane. Not surprisingly after 760 years they can do with some repair to make them safe and I beleive the town need several million pounds to start the work.
It fascinated me to see a braille map of Ludlow in the foyer of Ludlow Museum. It looked to me a very decorative object and I'm sure very welcome for sight-impaired visitors.
In addition, there is a piece of sculpture next to the walls of Ludlow Castle which is designed to be touched. Other than that, if you are blind, you will miss out on the visual architectural feast of the town. But there is often the sweet smell of wood smoke from the occasional bonfire. Or the aroma of fresh meats, fruit, or bakery products from the many family shops. Or the intermittent drone of cars and buses navigating the one-way systems, or trying to find a parking space ;-)
I first visited Ludlow at the end of a three-day hike from Wellington and along Wenlock Edge in 1984. My feet were hurting and I wanted a mug of tea and then an evening of good company.
This lovely little town, with its half-timbered buildings, castle, riverside walks and lively pubs and welcoming youth hostel was up to the task.
I'm set on visiting again very soon, this time with the camera. It's off the beaten track but well worth spending time in.
Fondest memory: .
WHEN I came last to Ludlow
Amidst the moonlight pale,
Two friends kept step beside me,
Two honest lads and hale.
Now Dick lies long in the churchyard,
And Ned lies long in jail,
And I come home to Ludlow
Amidst the moonlight pale.
A E Housman, from A Shropshire Lad