On the Trail of the Mortimers in the Welsh Marches


Philip Hume


This book provides a richly-illustrated history of the medieval Mortimer family of Wigmore in north Herefordshire, with a focus on their impact on the Welsh Marcher lordships. It suggests two tours that explore the surviving physical remains that relate to the family in the Welsh Marches.

The Mortimer family came from Normandy, either at or shortly after the Norman Conquest, became established in Wigmore, Ludlow and the surrounding area and, over the centuries, rose to be one of the most powerful families in the land. Partly through having an unbroken male succession for over 350 years, and also through conquest, marriage and royal favour, they amassed a great empire of estates in England, Wales and Ireland; played key roles in the changing balance of power between the monarchy and nobles; deposed a king and virtually ruled the kingdom for three years; became close heirs to the throne through marriage; and seized the throne through battle, when a Mortimer grandson became King Edward IV.

The inner tour details what there is to see at 22 locations connected with the Mortimers in the areas of south Shropshire, north Herefordshire and Radnorshire that were the heart of their power. The outer tour of 16 locations includes the other Marcher lordships within Wales that came under their control as the family grew to dominate the Welsh Marches. The locations include substantial remains of stone-built castles as well as mottes of several smaller castles; churches and tombs; depictions of individual members of the family and their heraldic coats of arms in stained glass; and buildings and art patronised by the family.

Philip Hume lives in the heart of ‘Mortimer Country’. He is the author of The Welsh Marcher Lordships I: Central & North and series editor for volumes II & III. He is a co-author of The Ludlow Castle Heraldic Roll.

Paperback | 176 pages | 234 x 156 mm | October 2022
128 colour photographs, 4 maps, 3 family trees
ISBN 978-1-910839-59-1


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