Reflections Of Ludlow ~ March Squares

Ludlow is probably the most handsome of Shropshire’s ancient market towns, and one of our favourite places for a day out. It is also the region’s foodie capital so you can usually be sure of something delicious to eat at one of its many inns and restaurants. And it has shops as they used to be – proper butchers, green grocers and bakers. Then there is this place on Corve Street – a magical emporium of light fittings and fixtures. They are all rather expensive so we usually just look in for the show, or press or noses to the window.


March Squares This month Becky wants squares in squares or squared circles.

The Changing Seasons ~ March

This first photo sums up our best  March highlight so far – a trip to Ludlow a couple of weeks ago – a day of near summer weather where we sat out at a pavement cafe without coats, and had a delicious pasta and spicy clam lunch; followed a couple of hours later by afternoon tea and cake at the riverside Green Cafe, where we were still outside and coatless. Bliss. Ducks in companionable clumps were sunbathing on the river islands, the River Teme was teeming over the weir, the more active ducks were using it as a duck chute, and people and dogs were lazing about the place, soaking up the sun. The whole day seemed like a dream.

But now we are not dreaming, for if March came in like a lamb, then today it is definitely in lion mode – all biting, icy teeth, and I’m being a weak and feeble woman, and failing to gird myself for an allotment visit. It’s much more pleasant to assemble a gallery of warm-day-out photos. Welcome to Ludlow, South Shropshire’s loveliest market town:


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copyright 2017 Tish Farrell

To take part in The Changing Seasons challenge, please visit Max over at Cardinal Guzman. The rules are simple, and you get to see Max’s photo shoots around Oslo.

“When I came last to Ludlow…”


This week in her Black & White series, Cee gives us a free hand, and says we can post our favourite B & W images. Here is one of mine: Dinham Bridge over the River Teme, with Ludlow Castle above. For those of you who do not know England, Ludlow is a scenic market town in South Shropshire. All looks so tranquil here, and the town itself ever has a sleepy air.

Historically, though, Ludlow was an important border stronghold commanding the Welsh Marches to the west, and repeatedly the scene of bloody battles and political intrigue down the ages.

The castle is almost a thousand years old, having its beginnings on the crest of the hill in around 1075. The outer fortifications were added a hundred years later, and the castle continued to expand and become ever more grand over succeeding centuries.

I’ve mentioned before that one of the castle’s claims to fame is that it was here in 1501 that fifteen-year old Prince Arthur Tudor, son of Henry VII and thus Henry VIII-to-be’s older brother, spent his honeymoon with sixteen-year old Catherine of Aragon, and that Arthur caught a fever and was dead within the year, thus leaving Catherine to be betrothed to Henry.

Nearly thirty years later when Catherine was embroiled in Henry’s ugly attempts to be rid of her so he could marry Anne Boleyn (he demanded an annulment on the grounds that it went against biblical teaching for a man to marry his brother’s wife) she claimed that nothing had happened between her and Arthur at Ludlow; that their marriage was never consummated.

So much for Ludlow-past as a honeymoon destination.

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But the castle has older more grizzly mysteries associated with it. They relate to the Wars of the Roses mentioned in the previous post. Ludlow Castle was one of Richard Third Duke of York’s key strongholds until it was lost to Lancastrian forces in 1459 at the Battle of Ludstone Bridge – the next bridge downriver from the one in the photo. Three years later in 1461, when his son defeated the Lancastrians and became Edward IV, the castle was restored to the Crown, and it was during Edward IV’s reign that both castle and town grew in political prominence.

And it was in Ludlow Castle where Edward IV’s sons, Edward and Richard, spent much of their childhood, and whence they were taken in 1483 to the Tower of London. Their father had died, and Edward aged twelve had been pronounced Edward V, but was not yet crowned. His father’s brother, Uncle Richard Duke of Gloucester, aka Richard Crookback and soon to be Richard III, was Lord Protector.

Then came news that Edward IV’s marriage had been proved invalid. His young sons were declared illegitimate, and Richard quickly had himself crowned. The boys, thereafter referred to as the Princes in the Tower,  were never seen again. Behind them only argument remained – did Richard III have his nephews murdered? Did the two small skeletons, later unearthed in the Tower,  belong to young Edward and Richard? When I think of them in the brooding Tower of London, which incidentally was then a royal palace and not a prison, it still gives me a pang. I sense their feelings of loss and displacement, a pining for Ludlow, ‘the hill beside loud waters’**, the forests and wide Shropshire vistas below the battlements; just the place for growing lads.

If Richard did kill the boys in a bid to secure his claim to rule, it didn’t do him much good. He was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485  after only two years as king. His remains were buried in the church of a Franciscan Friary in Leicester, and in 2012 were re-discovered with much fanfare during an excavation of the site, which by this time lay buried under a city car park. Leicester University scientists then set out to prove the identity of the skeleton, an exciting piece of forensic archaeology and genealogy which is detailed at this link.

After Richard came Henry Tudor who won the day at Bosworth Field, the last significant conflict in the Wars of the Roses. So ended the Plantagenet Dynasty, and so began the Tudor Dynasty with the coronation of Henry VII – which is pretty much where this post began.

These days Ludlow Castle is a prime tourist attraction. It is privately owned by the Earls of Powys, and has recently been subject to much restoration work. If you can’t visit in person, then follow this link to do a virtual tour. But if you do get a chance to go there, the town itself is also a treasure. You will not be disappointed.


copyright 2016 Tish Farrell


*  “ When I came last to Ludlow…” from A E Housman’s A Shropshire Lad  LVIII

** The name Ludlow is said to derive from the Old English meaning ‘the hill beside loud waters’



My Treat Today In Ludlow

A Five-Hundred-Year Old C.V.

My treat – today in Ludlow


It could have been summer today – warm enough to sit outside without a coat. Well for heavens’ sake, just look at that sky. And what better place for a meander on a dreamy autumn day than Ludlow. It is one of Shropshire’s loveliest towns, and has more antiquity than you can shake a stick at.

The castle, whose ruins dominate the skyline, was begun over a thousand years ago during the Norman Conquest of Britain. It was built to secure the border with Wales, and was one of the first stone castles in the country. Over ensuing centuries it figured in all manner of political machinations including the York v Lancaster Wars of the Roses.  When the Lancastrian side won, the victor, Henry Tudor, shortly to become Henry VII claimed Ludlow Castle. He later gave it to his eldest son, Prince Arthur. In 1501 Arthur and his bride, a fifteen-year-old Katherine of Aragon, came here for their honeymoon.  A year later Arthur was dead. Katherine was then betrothed to Prince Henry, Arthur’s brother, but it wasn’t until 1509 that they were married. By then Henry was king. Their marriage endured for 24 years before things went horribly wrong. And we all know what happened next – Anne Boleyn and some serial beheadings.

So enough history. Here are some more views – my treat to you:








Today is My Birthday ~ We went to Ludlow


I was born on Halloween, so here I am today – not too scary I hope, wearing my autumn colours. The Team Leader snapped me by the bridge over the River Teme, in the ancient town of Ludlow, Shropshire. We went there for my birthday lunch.


It was warm enough to eat outside at The Green Cafe, a wonderful little restaurant that sits on the riverbank between the bridge and the weir. It serves divine food in rather cramped quarters, because it is simply so popular (voted third best in Ludlow, which is quite something in the foodie capital of Shropshire).



After lunch we wandered around ancient streets that were full of autumn sunshine.





Happy All Hallows Everyone


Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Autumn