Ludlow: The Beast Market

We are now reaching the Bull Ring which was a Beast Market in the 17th century and used for cattle sales rather than bull-baiting. Here you find the Tolsey which was built in 1420 as a medieval toll-booth with a court room over an open ground floor.Tolls were collected on the ground floor for the market.

It was the seat of the Court, also known as Piepowder (from the French pieds poudrés meaning dusty feet – the dusty feet of travellers and vagabonds who would visit the market) for instant fines. Trials at these courts were short and informal – punishments typically included fines, being held in a pillory or being drawn in a Tumbrel to humiliate the offender. Today it houses a fine fishmonger where you can buy fresh fish and shellfish as well as sit down to a pleasant tasting experience complete with a glass of fine white or rosé wine. And appropriately there is still a solicitor’s office on the upper floor.

Heading back towards Castle Square and the market is King Street, a narrow lane with a double row of buildings facing back to back – one facing King Street, the other south on to Pepper Lane. This is the original Southern limit of the market area. Again there are some interesting timber framed buildings along here, some with deep jetties supporting the upper floors. Ye Olde Bullring Tavern has its roots in the 14th century though the current building dates from the 17th century. Take care not to walk into the road here as it can be quite crowded.

Back at the Buttercross, an 18th century covered market with its clock tower, you can take one of the three parallel cross streets that lead back into the square, or head to a tearoom for a piece of cake and a cuppa as I don’t know about you, but I’m totally exhausted now!

This alternative walk through the streets of Ludlow starts at Castle Square.

And if you want to walk alongside the river go to my Teme Walk.

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I live in the UK, but when I was younger I spent several years travelling the world followed by a period living in South Africa. I look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

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