Ludford House stands just south of Ludlow, on the opposite bank of the Teme. As the Overton Road heads uphill away from the bridge, four huge chimney stacks rise into view, more like buttresses from Ludlow Castle than flues from the polite town houses across the river.
Hidden behind this imposing façade, three further ranges form a rectangle and enclose a spacious courtyard within. To the south and east lie landscaped gardens, and to the west the remnants of a medieval deer park.
Most of today’s Ludford House dates from the sixteenth century, but its origins lie in the thirteenth century with a leper hospital in the proximity, associated with the adjacent Church of St Giles. Later it became the manor, and subsequently home to a number of influential local families, including the Foxes and the Charltons.
At Ludford, people and place intertwine, and just as the house ‘grew like topsy’, so too a rich history encompassing that of Ludlow and the surrounding area.
Ralph Beardmore has gained an intimate knowledge and understanding of Ludford House, through more than 30 years of careful investigation of the fabric, and archival research. The result is a fascinating insight into one of Shropshire’s most charismatic, and least well-known, great houses.
Ralph Beardmore’s knowledge of local history and in particular that of Ludford is the result of three decades of passionate research and observation. Working at Ludford House during the 1990s, Ralph was given the task of showing groups of visitors around the house and grounds. The idea of writing a book took shape many years ago after one group member suggested that he write down all that he knew.
Paperback | 160 pages | 242 x 171 mm
Over 100 b&w illustrations