In front of you is Corve Street, a wide ancient road running North to South and the logical route over the hill (the ‘low’ or tumulus) to the ford crossing the river Teme (the ‘Lud’ or loud waters). It marks the Eastern boundary of the Norman town and was burgaged all down its length. After the leather trades Corve Street was the centre for malting as evidenced by the Ludlow Brewery on your left.
On your right is the St Leonard’s burial ground which is a lovely spot for a breather and for some interesting facts, not least that the site has a history going back to the 14th century when in 1349 Laurence de Ludelow founded a Carmelite friary that remained until its dissolution in 1538 by Henry VIII. The churchyard is now designated as a wildlife reserve and is a peaceful ‘people place’ as well as a sanctuary. The listed gateway has an inscription which commemorates the gift to the parish of the burial ground by the Clive family 1824. There are five listed war graves in the churchyard, all of which are now accessible to view.
There are many independent shops along Corve Street, which are one of the attractions of this small town, as well as many eateries including ‘La Becasse’ for fine dining. Towards the top of the street where another of the main gates would have been is the world-famous timber façade of the Feathers Hotel built during the reign of James I. The ostrich feather motifs can still be seen on the collars of the three street gables, although now weathered over the centuries. It only became an inn in 1670.
Opposite is the Bull Inn, a Georgian coaching inn, though behind the building are parts dating back to 1350. The Bull and the Feathers hold an annual traditional tug-of-war competition on Boxing Day. Don’t miss other interesting buildings along here such as the HSBC building (a rather good example of Mock Tudor) and Emporos a lovely toy and gift shop (with a nice little tea-room to be found down Attorney’s Walk too).
For my other walk in Ludlow, around the River Teme, please click here.
Now we are at the top of the hill, pause for breath before we head into the Bull Ring.