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Castle Square

Castle Square

Western End and Market AreaHigh Hall A town house build about 1770 for the Poole family of Stretton Grandison, near Ledbury, on the site of a house formerly owned by the Littleton and Kettleby families, who were noted in judicial circles. In the mid-19th century it was rented by the Roger family of Stanage Park near Knighton, and then became the Rectory. Margaret McMillan, who later was instrumental in the founding of nursery education, was a governess to the Rector's family in the late 19th Century. In 1910, it became Ludlow Girls' High School. Insertion of new windows destroyed some of the Georgian elegance of Farnolls Pritchard's architecture, but the fine porch and staircase remain.

Castle Lodge is a much altered medieval stone house with late 16th Century/early 17th Century timber framed upper storey. It was the lodging of the Porter of the Castle and home of leading officials of Council of the Marches. At the time of the Berlin Airlift, it was bought by the Suez Canal Company as a bolt-hole if their Paris HQ was taken by the Russians. It was then sold to a local antique dealer, who brought in features from demolished houses. Now open to the public.

Assembly Rooms were built in 1840 at a cost of 5,800 to the design of local architect Samuel Stead, for balls and card parties etc. Alongside was a purpose built museum, fitted up internally in neo-Egyptian style. This became a cinema in the early 20th Century. Since the late 1980's it has been transformed into an arts and community centre with initial money raised locally and then a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to complete the project.

Site of Town Hall A town hall was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1897, and the successor to previous similar building on the same site. The Architect was Henry Cheers of Twickenham, who later designed the City Hall in Hereford. Vilified by many, including Pevsner, it was demolished with unseemly haste in 1986 for structural reasons. The open space allows Castle Square to be appreciated in a way not seen since the Middle Ages.Northern SideNumber 18 is a new building, which replaced 'The House of the Leaden Porch' a noted feature of medieval and Tudor Ludlow. It was demolished in 1995 after years of neglect, when it finally began to implode into the cellar.

Number 16 was largely rebuilt in 1838. It was the home of Samuel Stead the architect of the Assembly Rooms. Note the initials and date over the upper windows. The window on the East extends the whole height of the building to light the staircase (and possibly reduce window taxes at the time).

Number 14 is a fine brick house built for the Baugh family in 1728, Note the heraldic badge and the dates on the rainwater headers. The doorway is original and there are several fine panelled rooms on the ground floor. Since WW2, it has been divided into flats, now administered by the Housing Association. The garden originally extended to the pavement area to the South and through to the town wall on the North, before the car park was created.

The War Memorial was erected in the early 21st Century as a public tribute to all killed in war.East EndNote the rows which filled the market place, known as 'encroachments', or market colonisation. The two Northern rows were originally a butchers' shambles with stalls on either side of a central gutter (which is now Harp Lane). The middle row became Shoemakers row. Medieval guilds kept all shops of the same trade together, so that no one gained advantage by a better site. In many towns, such as Hereford, such rows were swept away by early 19th Century improvements.Quality SquareTwo burgage plots became the site of the massive house of Charles Fox, Secretary of the Council of the Marches. Built around a courtyard, it lost its importance following the dissolution of the Council in 1689. In Quality Square, note the former first floor Long Gallery on the West side, now the upper showroom of a shop. The brick work is the earliest in Ludlow, outside of the Castle and dates to the latter part of the 16th Century. The square, which had become run down in the 1960's has been refurbished attractively with a variety of uses.