Construction of Ludlow Castle began in the late 11th Century as the border stronghold of one of the Marcher Lords, Roger De Lacy.
Early in the 14th Century it was enlarged into a magnificent palace for Roger Mortimer, then the most powerful man in England. Later, in the 15th Century under the ownership of Richard, Duke of York, the Castle was involved in the Wars of the Roses before becoming a royal palace. In 1472 Edward IV sent the Prince of Wales and his brother (later the 'Princes in the Tower' of Shakespeare fame), to live at the Castle, which was also the seat of Government for Wales and the boarder Counties.
In 1501 Price Arthur, (son of Henry VII and brother to Henry VIII) with his bride Catherine of Aragon, lived here for a short time before his early death. Queen Mary Tudor and her court spent three winters at Ludlow between 1525 and 1528. In 1689 the Royal Welsh Fusiliers were founded at the Castle by Lord Herbert of Chirbury but soon after it was abandoned and fell into decay. In 1811 the ruins were purchased from the crown by the 2nd Earl of Powis, in the ownership of whose family it remains.
The Castle's long history is reflected in its varied architecture; Norman, Medieval and Tudor, many of the buildings still stand. From the huge Outer Bailey a bridge across the moat leads to the Inner Bailey with the Keep, the Great Chamber, the other side of the moat is the Ice House - once used to store explosives. Milton's famous Comus was first performed in the Great Hall in 1634 and the tradition of a performance is continued each June and July when a play is performed in the open air within the Inner Bailey, as part of the Ludlow Festival. The Castle hosts other events through-out the year.
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