Ludlow Castle Pendover Tower, The White Lady & the curse of man


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The curse of man

The curse of man
I bought it off a witch. It’s even worse its native old Welsh.

I shall seize his neck like that of a goose

He shall die from hunger and thirst

He shall have no heir

His years shall be diminished

His lifetime shall not exist on earth

He shall not exist

His estate shall belong to the fire, and his house shall belong to the consuming flame

His relatives shall detest him

He shall be miserable and persecuted

His office shall be taken away before his face and it shall be given to a man who is his enemy

His wife shall be taken away before his face

His face shall be spat at

A donkey shall violate him, a donkey shall violate his wife

His heart shall not be content in life

He shall be cooked together with the condemned

His name shall not exist in the land

The White Lady

Duped then betrayed

Marion de la Bruyere, a ‘Guileless damsel’ of Ludlow Castle, featured in a 13th Century Romance called ‘The Romance of Fulke Fitzwarin.’ The first half of the story is set at Ludlow Castle during the ‘Anarchy’ or  ‘The Nineteen-Year Winter’ of the reign of King Stephen 1135–1154. Ludlow Castle was then owned by Joce de Dinan, a Knight, who was married to Ludlow’s true owner, Sybilla de Lacy.

During the Anarchy, Ludlow was besieged by Gilbert de Lacy, the direct descendant of the original owner of Ludlow Castle, who had been forfeited and exiled several decades earlier. During a battle on Ludford Bridge, Gilbert and his right hand man, Sir Arnold de Lys, were captured by Fulke Fitzwarin and imprisoned at Ludlow Castle. During their imprisonment, Arnold manages to ensnare Marion and convince her that he is in love with her. Duped, she helps him and Gilbert escape.

Arnold promises Marion that he would return to the castle to see her. He kept his word, he returned, and Marion hung a ladder of leather down from the Pendover Tower to help him into the Castle. While they are in another room. Arnold’s Knights and Men at Arms use the ladder of leather to break into the castle and slaughter the Garrison. When Marion discovers that Arnold had betrayed her, she stabs him with his own sword, before jumping to her death from the Pendover Tower on to the rock below. 

Stories vary somewhat regarding the ghost itself. Some say it is this death dive that her ghost re-enacts, and you can hear her scream as she falls to the rocks below. Others say she used to be seen wandering around the base of the tower itself.

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