Ludlow (derivation: OE; hill by the noisy stream) is a town in Shropshire near Herefordshire about 40 km (25 miles) south of Shrewsbury. Its easily defendable situation and its position close to the Welsh border made the Norman castle built there extremely important as a marcher stronghold during the Middle Ages. It was home to the powerful Mortimer family. It became a royal palace for nearly a century from the ascension of Edward IV in 1461, and his son, the unfortunate Edward V was being brought up there. Prince Arthur the older brother of the future Henry VIII died there.
These days the town is the “exception that proves the rule” as a centre of provincial gastronomic excellence. Its literary fame is assured with the ashes of the “Shropshire lad”, the poet A.E. Housman, buried there in the grounds of St Laurence’s Church...
- The lads in their hundreds to Ludlow come in for the fair,
- There's men from the barn and the forge and the mill and the fold,
- The lads for the girls and the lads for the liquor are there,
- And there with the rest are the lads that will never be old.
- There's chaps from the town and the field and the till and the cart,
- And many to count are the stalwart, and many the brave,
- And many the handsome of face and the handsome of heart,
- And few that will carry their looks or their truth to the grave.
- I wish one could know them, I wish there were tokens to tell
- The fortunate fellows that now you can never discern;
- And then one could talk with them friendly and wish them farewell
- And watch them depart on the way that they will not return.
- But now you may stare as you like and there's nothing to scan;
- And brushing your elbow unguessed-at and not to be told
- They carry back bright to the coiner the mintage of man,
- The lads that will die in their glory and never be old.
References: “Brewer’s Britain and Ireland” “A Shropshire Lad” A.E. Housman