The Friends of Ludlow Museum              Castle from Whitcliffe

             Projects: Acquisitions

The Friends of Ludlow Museum have and continue to assist in the purchase of artefacts and funding professional conservation of the collections.

The gold ring in the photograph below is an example of such an acquisition, assisted by the Friends.

gold ring
This ring, some 30 mm across, dates from the period AD 410 to 750.

It was discovered in 2012 by a metal detectorist in South Shropshire. We are not sure what the ring was used for; it is too large to be worn on the finger. Instead it might have been used as a toggle on clothing or possibly a pommel of a sword.

The ring has been described by experts as “the only prestige piece of Britonnic Dark Age metalwork to have been found in the county”.

The old mill at the bottom of Old Street, Ludlow.
Mill at bottom of Old Street

Image ©SHRMS-2017-00005
This charming painting of the old mill at the bottom of Old Street, Ludlow, close to the junction with Temeside, is dated Nov 1813 (on a stone, bottom left).  The Friends of Ludlow Museum have purchased it for the Collection and plans are for it to go on display in an exhibition of paintings owned by the Museum Service.  There is a Thomas Telford plan showing the mill, which confirms its location.

The painting shows a yard, pigsty, stable and the mill.  The river is to the right, behind the willow trees.

Unfortunately, the artist is not currently known but further research is being undertaken.

The Ludlow Castle Heraldic Roll of 1576.
Heraldic Roll
In the late 16th Century Sir Henry Sidney, Lord President of the Council of Wales and the Marches, set up a collection of the coats of arms of a number of people of significance associated with the castle. They were displayed in the chapel of St Mary Magdalene in the inner bailey. As well as including all the current members of the Council, he included the arms of past owners from Walter de Lacy in the 11th Century down to Queen Elizabeth I.

The Council had been set up originally by Edward IV to support his young son Edward who was Prince of Wales. Sir Henry included the arms of all the previous Lord Presidents down to his own time.

A few years later, Sir Henry decided to create a permanent record of these shields. They were copied onto a long roll, made of pieces of parchment, and each one was labelled. Although the original shields are long gone, the roll has survived. The Friends first became aware of the existence of this important document in 2015 and learnt that it was for sale privately. A committee was formed to secure it for Ludlow and to make arrangements for its display and future use. Early in 2017, the Friends of Ludlow Museum agreed to become official owners of the roll and to take responsibility for its future.

The roll is 15 feet long but just 4 inches wide. Although it is faded in places and rodents have damaged it, it is still in remarkably good condition with bright colours and readable text. Because it is quite fragile, it can't be displayed permanently in Ludlow, so the plan is to create high-quality facsimiles.

The Ludlow Castle Heraldic Roll Appeal has been launched to raise funds to purchase the roll, create the facsimiles, display a copy permanently in Ludlow and use another for educational work.  The Mortimer History Society is already running a summer programme in local primary schools which involves a history day at Ludlow castle. The roll will fit neatly into the heraldry section of that programme.

Early 2020 has seen an exhibition of the Heraldic Role in the foyer of the Shropshire Museums Collections Centre, below the entrance to the Library in Ludlow. Click here for the details.

We are also keen to undertake conservation work on the roll and to create a series of booklets suitable for a range of age and interest levels. Our target is £20,000 and we'll be grateful for your support. Please send contributions to our treasurer, Tony Mahalski, 9 Mill Street, Ludlow SY8 1AZ. Details of how to do this are here, along with links to documents explaining how the aims of the project will be achieved and giving details of the various coats of arms that are portrayed.

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