Walter de Lacy, a trusted member of the household of William fitzOsbern arrived in England with the conquering army of William in 1066. FitzOsbern was rewarded for his loyal part in William's victory with an Earldom over the lands of Hereford. After three years of local resistance, fitzOsbern was able to claim his Earldom and planned to keep his new acquisition secure by developing a string of castles along the border of England and Wales. To assist in this plan, he followed the model of patronage and favour set by William the Conqueror himself and began to distribute areas of his lands to his trusted men, in order to keep their loyalty and support. Thus, Walter de Lacy, fitzOsbern's second in command seems to have acquired the lands of South Shropshire - and from there, he appears to be linked with the earliest developments around Ludlow Castle. Walter's sons, first Roger and then Hugh built the earliest surviving parts of the Castle that we can still see today, and the de Lacy family retained lordship until the end of the 13th century.
The Castle Fortress that the de Lacy's built, occupies a finely judged defensive position. Guarded by both the rivers Teme and Corve, Ludlow Castle stands prominently on high ground, able to resist attack from would be invaders from over the Welsh border. Stone was readily available, being quarried from the castle's own site, and water was obtained from a deep well - sunk from what is now the Inner Bailey, down to the level of the River Teme.
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