Mortimer Country, Mortimer Cider; Mortimer Forest – we are all familiar with the use of the Mortimer name. But, who were the Mortimers and why were they so important not just in this area but also in the whole country?
In 2014, Philip Hume relocated to live outside Ludlow in the heart of ‘Mortimer Country’. This has been an ideal location to combine his enthusiasm for medieval history and researching the lives and events that shaped the area, with exploring new places to find the buildings and artefacts that connect us to our past. Philip has written ‘On the Trail of the Mortimers’ (published in April 2016 by Logaston Press, price £7.50), which describes the history of the medieval Mortimer family that dominated first this area, then the whole of the Welsh Marches, and ultimately the whole country. The book interweaves the history of the Mortimers with local locations, 17 castles, 15 churches and a range of artefacts that connect us to the Mortimers’ domination of the area. Philip is the secretary of the Mortimer History Society.
There are two events associated with the Mortimer Trail. On Tuesday 1 August at 3.00pm, Philip will give a talk on the topic in St Laurence’s Parish Hall and on Monday 7 August, he will conduct a coach tour of sites important to the story of this Shropshire family.
The talk explores how, over 4 centuries, the Mortimer family established themselves at Wigmore following the Norman Conquest of 1066, then rose to be one of the most powerful families in the country with a great empire of estates in England, Wales and Ireland. One Mortimer deposed the king and ruled the country for 4 years; later generations became close heirs to the throne, and a Mortimer grandson, Edward IV, seized the throne following the battle of Mortimers Cross.
The talk is illustrated with photos of the locations, castles, churches, battle sites, and artefacts in the local area that are closely associated with the Mortimer family.
The tour will visit the main sites around Wigmore which are important in tracking down the Mortimer saga (Mortimer’s Cross, Presteigne, Shobdon, Leintwardine, Orleton, Richard’s Castle and Pipe Aston amongst others).
The coach will leave at 12.30pm from the Methodist Church and be back at 6.00pm. It will cost £16 including tea and cakes at the Boot Inn at Orleton. Philip will accompany us and give a running commentary.