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Ludlow castle

Ludlow castle (Shropshire), standing on a cliff above the river Teme, has long been regarded as a romantic and picturesque ruin, attractive to artists and writers. As early as 1772 public walks were laid out round the castle. Founded soon after the Conquest by the de Lacy family as a strong point in the turbulent march area, the castle and town remained important throughout the Middle Ages. In 1473, when Edward IV sent his son to Ludlow, the castle became the headquarters of the nascent Council of the Marches, which between 1534 and 1641 was the focus of government for the Welsh border. The castle was often the residence of the princes of Wales. Edward V was there when he succeeded in 1483 and Prince Arthur and Catherine lived there briefly after their marriage until the prince's death in 1502. The political importance of Ludlow made it also a cultural centre. In 1634 John Milton wrote the masque Comus for John, earl of Bridgwater, then president of the council, and it was performed in the castle by members of his family on 29 September.

Lynda Rollason

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