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THIS compendious account of the present
and former state of Ludlow, is presented to the Public for the purpose of supplying in a cheap and portable form, such particulars as will be found contributary to the amusement and information of the occasional visitant, or the inquisitive inhabitant.
To those to whom the history of the country is familiar, it will be known that this district was formerly the scene of continual warfare, the Belgium of South Britain. When the first inhabitants were by degrees compelled to leave behind them the more fruitful parts, the fields of their inheritance, it was here that they made a bold resistance, and baffled the power of imperial Rome. Through the Saxon and Norman periods also, the Annalist has continually occasion to speak of Ludlow and its Vicinity: the splendor of its court, and the celebrity of the aumerous great men who presided during the æra of its prosperity, are well known.
Of the long series of events succeeding each other in the course of ages, many even of the most important are forgotten; and especially in periods of darkness and barbarism, history preserves little more for our information than dates which mark the lapse of time: hence in seeking materials for a local history, the general sources of information are peculiarly defective.
In the first introductory pages of the work, a compressed account is given of the state of affairs in this district during the Roman and Saxon æras ; with a brief sketch of the history of Mercia, the inhabitants of which, were, as long as they constituted an independent State, engaged in active warfare against the Britons.
From the time of the Norman Conquest distinct historical notices are preserved relative to Ludlow Castle and the public transactions with which it was connected; these have been carefully collected from the old chronicles and other authentic records, the whole forming a regular narrative, which with the history and biography of the Presidency of Wales, brings the account down to a late period; from which to the present time, the massy fabric of Ludlow Castle, has stood, a durable and striking memorial of the activity and power of our ancestors.
The descriptive part is taken from actual surveys, with extracts from, and a constant comparison with former accounts, illustrated by