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Ludlow Town Wall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Ludelawe; Ludlowe; Lodelowe; Christ Croft

In the civil parish of Ludlow.
In the historic county of Shropshire.
Modern Authority of Shropshire.
1974 county of Shropshire.
Medieval County of Shropshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO512743
Latitude 52.36522° Longitude -2.71796°

Ludlow Town Wall has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


The medieval town wall, ditch and gates of Ludlow, which were built between 1233 and c1304, thus postdating the laying out of the planned medieval town itself (and indeed excluding parts of it). The remains are fragmentary, but the course of the defences remains visible.
Murage grants for the upkeep of walls were documented in 1294 and 1309. The town ditch was in existence in 1691 when there was still a drawbridge over it at Broad Gate. However, there was a cottage in the ditch. The town defences follow the same alignments as property boundaries and clearly post-date the layout of the properties. The town defences were owned by the Corporation from 1461 and by the 16th century the ditch was leased for limepits, gardens and small houses.
Construction of the town defences began in 1233 and continued until 1304. The wall was fronted by a ditch, now largely infilled. The ditch is now marked by curving property boundaries.
The height and thickness of Ludlow's town walls was not comparable to other fortified towns such as Shrewsbury. They appear to have acted more as features controlling access into the town than real defensive structures. The construction is usually of rubble sandstone rather than ashlar as is generally seen elsewhere. A recording exercise on the rear boundary wall of the old Museum Stores in Old Street established that the lower part of the wall could be part of the medieval town wall, though it could also be a post medieval rebuild on the same line. (Shropshire HER)

The first murage grant was received in 1233. The fourteenth-century building accounts suggest that although murage was being levied, it was not spent on the walls. (Turner)

The walls are built mainly of the local bedrock, a somewhat friable grey calcareous siltstone (Rosenbaum 2007), and were not particular thick. As a consequence the walls are particularly subject to collapse and have done so in several places along the surviving circuit in the recent very wet years. The circuit is far from complete, although about two thirds does survive, and earlier collapses must have happened. The surprise may be that so much of the wall does survive.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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