Ludlow may be a small town, but it is brimful of little gems just out of sight as we tread the main paths around town. So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to shine a spotlight on four beauties:
First up, Ludlow Museum at the Buttercross is a real treasure for visitors and locals who want to become more knowledgeable about Ludlow’s History. The museum is elevated, and you can enter using the accessibility lift under the Buttercross or the stairs on Church St lane. A relatively compact museum, for a small fee of £1.10 (under 16s are free), you get a condensed overview of Ludlow’s history, including its natural history and local antiquities. Despite its size, the museum is a lovely space, well laid out, and feels quite spacious across the few rooms it occupies. There are just enough exhibits for kids and adults to consume comfortably with an hour’s browsing and come away feeling knowledgeable. There are displays about prehistoric Ludlow (Bromfield Cemetery – a place of particular interest), its importance as a place of geological interest, medieval Ludlow and religious communities, Ludlow Castle, through wartime and lots more. It’s run mainly by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers and is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hop on its website to learn more or take a virtual tour.
The Jubilee Garden
The curious building that stands next to St Laurence’s Church is known as The Reader’s House. This 17th-century house, according to author Michael Page, is included in the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Historic and Architectural Interest as a Grade 1 listed building. Among its carnations was a medieval school grammar school. Still, it gets its moniker because it was also the residence of the Rector’s assistant, called a reader. Look at Page’s report, which is chockful of fascinating information about the building, its previous use and owners and couches it in Ludlow’s history. While the building is not open to the public, the tiny whimsical garden that is in its shadow is. Built for and by the community, it’s a great spot for contemplating Ludlow’s history or perhaps a place for respite after you’ve tackled St. Laurence Church’s 200 steps?
St Giles Church
Located on the south bank of the river Teme is St Giles Church in the civil parish of Ludford. To get there from the centre of Ludlow, you’ll travel over the grade I listed Ludford Bridge which abuts the charming Charlton Arms. St Giles is in the centre of Ludford Village and is equally as quaint, set above the road and behind a copse of trees. So, therefore difficult to see from the road. However, it’s easily accessible and a great walk from the Buttercross downhill to Lower Broad Street and over the Ludford Bridge, where you can take in the horseshoe weir in the river Teme. Take the first left after the bridge and head to the garden path leading to a well-tended graveyard. The height of the churchyard feels like you’re sitting in a tree house. Take a seat on the bench and enjoy a peaceful, serene setting looking over the roofs of houses on Temeside and beyond.
St Leonard’s Churchyard
A bit further away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre is a burial ground that occupies about an acre of land and that is now left to grow wild, resulting in an atmospheric and romantic idyll. You can enter the graveyard either from the Linney or at the bottom of Corve St. It was once the town’s parish cemetery until 1824 when it became too full. While the gravestones serve as a historical record of the area, it is now a nature reserve and host to species of butterflies and birds like hawfinches and great spotted woodpeckers. Also, the widespread ivy and brambles are doing their bit to encourage more wildlife. There is a path to walk around the site but be prepared for a muddy thoroughfare and wear appropriate footwear. There are benches and tables to relax and enjoy the space or to have an impromptu picnic.