Ludlow Things to Do

  • St Lawrence Church
    St Lawrence Church
    by Myfanwe
  • St Lawrence Church
    St Lawrence Church
    by Myfanwe
  • St Lawrence Church
    St Lawrence Church
    by Myfanwe

Most Recent Things to Do in Ludlow

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    Ludlow Church & its dazzling stained glass

    by lomi Updated Feb 5, 2010

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    5 * Stained glass

    I love this ancient town with its spired church. In 1999 St Laurence's was one of only 18 churches given a FIVE STAR rating by Simon Jenkins in England's Thousand Best Churches.

    Every time I am in Ludlow I go and gaze at the beautiful stained glass. It has some of the most magnificent medieval stained glass windows in the country. Stained glass reached its height in the Middle Ages when it became a a way to teach an almost illiterate population about the Bible.

    Ludlow came into existence about 1100, and the church must have been built soon after. Between 1433 and 1470 rebuilding took place (when the wool trade was at its height), the chancel was extended, the nave pillars and clerestory built, the whole church heightened and the tower, with its staircase, (which visitors can climb for a small fee), was completed.

    In the North aisle in one of the decorated windows is the Royal Coat of Arms (1628). All around the walls are the piscina alcoves, a reminder that in the Middle Ages the aisles were divided by screens into small chapels, each with its own altar. There are also elaborate misericords with vignettes of medieval life - a mermaid, a drinking party, the highway robbery etc.
    In the 18th century the nave was filled with box pews and galleries, sadly removed during the Victorian restoration.


    Open Summer: 10am - 5.30pm. Winter: 11am - 4pm

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    Stokesay Castle

    by trvlrtom Updated Aug 31, 2008

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    Stokesay Castle, near Ludlow
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    Stokesay Castle is a wonderful place to visit to get an understanding of what an old fortified manor house was like. If you've been to castles, this may seem smaller and less fortified. That's true. But the buildings and grounds are quite fascinating, especially if you use the audio guide, which is provided for free.

    The old manor house dates back to the 13th century, and later modifications haven't taken away the ancient feel of the place. The great sized fireplaces, wood timbered ceilings, stone stairways and tile floors all go back centuries.

    The timbered gatehouse that you pass through to reach the grounds (2nd picture) and the adjacent parish church are also part of the grounds here. The grand gatehouse was built in 1640, just before the Civil War arrived here and brought the castle's only military encounter (they surrendered).

    They also have a tearoom and a gift shop.

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    Old timber framed buildings

    by trvlrtom Written Jul 29, 2008

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    Ludlow has many fine examples of the "black & white" buildings that this area is known for. Along with the fabulous Feathers Hotel, there are several notable buildings located throughout Ludlow's streets. Some of these date back to the 15th century, such as the corner shop where Broad meets King Street. The western gable has a fine crown post roof and interesting dragon beams that overhang from the upper stories.

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    St. Laurence's Church

    by trvlrtom Written Jul 29, 2008

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    This is one of England's Greater Churches and is a notable part of Ludlow's skyline. Parts of the church date back to 1199, but the soaring chancel and nave were rebuilt in the early 1400s, when the town was very prosperous. In the chancel is an interesting series of carved wood misericords and bench-ends that depict medieval life and times.

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    Castle view from across the river

    by trvlrtom Written Jul 29, 2008

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    View of Ludlow
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    To get a good view of Ludlow Castle and the town, drive across the river and take Whitcliffe Road to the overlook. There is a small area to stop and park the car, and some easy footpaths leading to benches to sit on. From here you can see the castle, church tower and surrounding countryside.

    You can take the old bridge at Dinham, or leave town to the south on B4361.

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    Walk around the castle walls

    by trvlrtom Written Jul 29, 2008

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    Ludlow castle.

    A walk around the outside of the castle is a good way to get some fine views. It passes along the city streets facing town and down a trail that goes along the outside walls. You can circle the whole castle in short time and see how impressive it is from all sides. It is easy to get a feel of the Norman and medieval times.

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  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    Ludlow Castle - home of Kings

    by aaaarrgh Updated Jul 1, 2006

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    the inner castle
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    A friend told me there was not much to see at Ludlow Castle. But I visited anyway. And I think my friend was thinking of a different castle - Ludlow's 'pile' is verrry interesting!

    Like everything else in Ludlow, there is loads of information notice boards on display around the castle grounds. It is great fun to explore, because there are many staircases, towers, ramparts and rooms open and accessible. At the very top of the main Keep you have incredible views over Ludlow Market, the Church, the River Teme and the Shropshire hills.

    And there are some beautiful details if you look closely. The interesting Round Chapel (rare example) has a splendid decorated Norman arch. And gargoyles to hold the floor up!

    Ludlow Castle supported King Charles during the English Civil War. Large parts of Ludlow's outskirts were burnt and knocked down as the Parliamentarians tried to capture the Castle (it eventually surrendered to save the town)!

    During Ludlow's festivals the central area of the Castle, between the inner and outer moats, is used as an arena, for fairs and Shakespeare plays.

    There is a large souvenir and gift shop at the Castle entrance. Some nice stuff!

    Normal opening hours February-December 10am-4pm. Closes 5pm during Summer. Open weekends only in January. Current adult admission £4.

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  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    Ludlow - walk the streets!!

    by aaaarrgh Updated Jul 1, 2006

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    broad street
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    There is lots in Ludlow but it is fairly compact. You could wander round and see most things in a day. There is an excellent fold-out guide available at the Tourist Information Office and, during the Summer, guided evening walks around the town.

    The area around King Street and the Bull Ring is Ludlow's main shopping area. The centre of things touristy is around Castle Square (where the markets takes place) and the elegant Broad Street. At the top end of Broad Street is the 18th century Buttercross building. Down the hill (past De Grey's Tea Shop) is the only surviving town gate, then Lower Broad Street and the River Teme. Mill Street is another grand road that runs parellel to Broad Street. It leads back up to Castle Square and Ludlow Museum. There are several quaint little roads that cross from Old Street, Broad Street, to Mill Street. The other main street of note is Corve Street, which winds down the hill to the north from the town centre.

    Ludlow's impressive Castle is facing... Castle Square. Here is the large Tourist Information office on the Square too as well as the town Museum (open March to September).

    Ludlow Civic Society have done an amazing job putting blue plaques on the walls which explain the history of everything, so wander around the town and soak it up! There are guided tours available during the Summer - check the Ludlow website or Tourist Information Bureau.

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  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    Bread Walk - see the Earth's crust

    by aaaarrgh Written Feb 1, 2006

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    ludford corner
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    Ludlow is also famous for its geology - the rocks in the area are superb examples of Silurian siltstones, filled with all sorts of fossils dating back over 300 million years. Whitcliffe Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of this. 'Cliffe' is self explanatory. 'Whit' comes from the white deposits left by the lime in the rocks, I think.

    You can see the cliffs of siltstone if you take a stroll along the Bread Walk. This is a wooded path along the River Teme, between Ludford Bridge and Dinham Bridge. It is believed the path got its name because the labourers who made the path 150 years ago were paid with bread.

    I walked the path before the leaves had grown on the trees - there were great views of Ludlow from the top of the cliff, through the bare tree branches. The River Teme is beautifully tranquil between each weir. You also have the opportunity to take a closer look at Ludlow's two ancient bridges - one of the arches of Dinham Bridge was added by Thomas Telford (of Ironbridge fame).

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  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    St Lawrence's Church

    by aaaarrgh Updated Jan 14, 2006

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    The Palmers' Window

    'There is but one church in the towne but that is very fayr and large and richly adorned and taken for the fayrest in all these quarters'
    (John Leland, 1539)

    St Lawrence is still easily the biggest and most important church in the town. If you can find it behind the shops of King Street, go inside. It is massive. It shows how rich Ludlow was in 1199, when the church was built!! Sometime in the 15th century the pretty Perpendicular style adornments were added.

    The inside is vast and has many interesting things to look at. There is a free information leaflet (though a donation is suggested). Around the church you will find notices giving you additional information.

    I was very impressed with the old church organ, which was installed in 1764! You can see the old mechanism for the church bell chimes next to the organ. In the opposite (east) aisle is the old clock mechanism - Ludlow's church clock is nowadays computerised!! Also look out for the interesting gravestones on the floor - can you spot 102 year old Thomas Wainwright? There is also some very old graffiti on the church pews - William Payter 1753 for example.

    The church is very well looked after. There are stewards on duty and a large shop for books and postcards. Presently (2005/6) they are building some new washroom facilities for the church..

    Try and go up the church tower if it is open (see my other tip).

    Open from about 10am to 4pm most days.

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  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    Church tower - the best view in Shropshire!

    by aaaarrgh Updated Nov 16, 2005

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    perpendicular style with perpendicular route.
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    St Lawrence's Church tower can be seen for miles, being at the top of Ludlow's hill. The tower nis 135 feet high. That means it is also possible to see for miles from the top. And yes, this is what you are allowed to do!

    For the small price of £1.50 you can climb up to the top of the tower. Two hundred twisting steps, past the bell-ringing chamber (which has a window in the floor) and ending with a tiny door to the roof. Stunning ariel views of this wonderful town and the Shropshire countryside!! Maybe you will notice the thirty-five years of graffiti marked into the lead-roof. And just inside the doorway there are names and dates carved into the stone, one-hundred years earlier. I am not recommending you add your own name, I'm sure these people were struck down by a bolt of lightning as they left the church :-)

    Ask the member of staff inside the church to show you where to go.

    WARNING: There are 200 steep steps. Children under 8 years old are not allowed entry. See my Warnings and Dangers tips.

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    Castle Views

    by Watsoncomper Written Aug 29, 2005

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    Ludlow View

    Although the castle is primary a ruin there is sufficient of the castle standing to allow you to climb via a stone circular stairway to the top of the castle.

    The views are magnificent. The River Teme.can be seen running past the castle below

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    The Round Tower

    by Watsoncomper Written Aug 29, 2005

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    The Round Chapel

    Ifound the round chapel and its history fascinating. It is one of the finest types of round chapels in England.

    It is sometimes called the Norman Chapel, and it sits in the middle of the Inner Bailey of the castle. It is though to have been built by Hugh de Lacy, son of Walter de Lacy, a member of the household of William FitzOsbern who had arrived in England with the army of William in 1066

    The Chapel is dedicated to St Mary Magdelene and is the most important chapel at Ludlow Castle. Round chapels like this were associated with the Knights Templar

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    Ludlow castle

    by Watsoncomper Written Aug 29, 2005

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    Ludlow castle

    The castle dominates Ludlow. With your imagination you can glimpse its past grandeur but be warned it is now a ruin.

    Well worth the entrance fee for the views it gives you over the surrounding rolling countryside.

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    Ludlow's last surviving town gate

    by aaaarrgh Written Jan 23, 2005

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    watch out for ludlovians in big vehicles ;-)
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    Ludlow is rare in that its streets still follow the medieval street pattern. During the 13th century a massive town wall was built, completely surrounding the settlement. There were seven town gates through the wall, the majority with a portcullis to keep intruders out!

    Unfortunately only one of Ludlow's gates survives today - The Broad Gate. This incredible gate dates from the 13th century. And it looks ancient, in a beautiful way :-) Above the gate is a massive house with two large stone turretts. From under the gateway, you can clearly see the stone slots that guided the portcullis. The floor of the house above is made from ancient timbers.

    The Broad Gate is still used by pedestrians and cars - so watch out, in case you are run down by a Ludlovian in a '4x4' :-)

    Next door to the Gate, in Lower Broad Street, is the Wheatsheaf Inn. I did not enter but from the outside it looks like a busy, pleasant place for a drink or a meal.

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