Who were the Mortimers?

Warlike, ambitious and powerful, the Mortimers bestrode the medieval stage. Inextricably linked with the great events of their time, their story is the tale of a turbulent England racked with dissension, rebellion and open warfare at home and abroad. To read more about this amazing family click here

Forthcoming Events

Thursday 23rd February - HTMA Coach Outing to Leicester
Organised by Hereford and The Marches Association, this excursion to see the visitor centre and tomb of Richard III is open to all. The coach will pick up at Leominster, Hereford and Ledbury. For full details and booking form click here

Thursday 2nd March - The Mortimers - our most famous local family
A talk by by Philip Hume organised by the Tenbury Wells History Society. 7.30 in the Pump Rpoom, Teme St. Tenbury WV15 8BA. Non-members £2.

Saturday 11th March 2017 - MHS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
To be held at the new Herefordshire Archives and Records Centre (HARC) at Rotherwas just south of Hereford. After the AGM, MHS Member Barbara Wright will speak about her extensive research into  the Mortimer Cartularies including The Black Book of Wigmore of the 14th century. We will also have the opportunity to tour the Centre and inspect some of its documents. For more about Barbara Wright and the Black Book of Wigmore click here
09.30 for 10.00. Everyone welcome - no charge. Finishes about 13.00. HARC is on Fir Tree Lane, Rotherwas, HR2 6LA

Tuesday 14th March 2017 - Sir Henry Sidney and the Ludlow Castle Heraldic Roll
A talk in the Ludlow Lectures series by MHS members Rosalind Caird and Hugh Wood
Ludlow Assembly Rooms between 10.00 and 12.00. £5 on the door.
Commissioned around 1576 by Sir Henry Sidney, Lord President of the Council of Wales and the Marches, the roll displays the coats of arms of 42 people associated with the castle including Mortimers and Yorkists. In her lecture Rosalind will talk about the roll and about the colourful person who commissioned it. Hugh's contribution will concentrate on the heraldry. MHS members are very much involved in raising money to secure this important document and make full use of it. A facsimile of the roll will be used to enhance our existing programme in primary schools. To learn all about it, what we plan to do with it and whose coats of arms are displayed click here

Tuesday 14th March 2017 - Public Display of the newly-discovered Ludlow Castle Heraldic Roll
See above. At Oscars in Ludlow Assembly Rooms between 12.30 and 3.00. No charge. All welcome.

9.30 for 10.00 in the Auditorium at Ludlow Assembly Rooms, Mill Street, Ludlow.
Members £27.50 non-members £32.50 including a 3-course buffet lunch. Lectures on...
    The Development of the Welsh Marcher Lordships from 1066 to the Edwardian settlement 
    The Unique Powers of the Marcher Lords
    Case Studies of Marcher Lords
    The Welsh Perspective on the Marcher Lordships
    The Marcher Lords and the Politics of the English State
    The Marcher Lordships in decline?: Politics and Power in the century to 1536
For full details and booking information click here

This promises to be a most interesting talk by Professor Matthew Strickland of Glasgow University.
At Grange Court, Leominster. More details later.

Saturday 7th October 2017 - MHS AUTUMN SYMPOSIUM
A whole-day event held in the Assembly Rooms in Ludlow. Note the date. More later.

The Results of the 2016 Essay Prize

Lady We were delighted to receive 9 entries in the first year of the competition and the judges commented on the high standard. 

Miraculous Marches: The Cult of Thomas de Cantilupe and the Mortimers
by Ian Bass
Legal Culture in a medieval marcher lordship: a comparative analysis of the Dyffryn Clwyd court rolls
by Angharad Jones

Heartless, Witless, Graceless, Thriftless: Roger Mortimer and the Scots 1326-1328
by Ethan Gould
How to make an Entrance: an overlooked aspect of native Welsh masonry castle design
by Craig Jones
Networking through the March: a history of Hereford and its Region from the 11th through 13th centuries
by Matthew Lampitt
To read abstracts of these essays and biographies of the writers CLICK HERE

MHS Schools Local History Experience Day

On 9th June 2016 classes from eight local primary schools went to Ludlow Castle for a day of historical experience. This was the highlight of a programme of local history organised by the Mortimer History Society. The groups rotated around six different locations where they met a variety of "medieval" people who introduced them to a wide range of subjects relating to life in the Middle Ages and gave them the opportunity to learn some dances that were popular at the time. During the lunch break, a mounted knight arrived demanding the release of Sir Hugh Mortimer who had been imprisoned in the castle.

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The publication by Logaston Press of On the Trail of the Mortimers has been a major event in the development of our Society. It is a guide to 17 sites with strong Mortimer connections in North Herefordshire, South Shropshire and Eastern Wales. Written by our Secretary, Philip Hume, it links each of the sites to the fascinating history of the family. Following the launch of the book in May, Philip has started an extensive tour of lectures and field visits throughout the region. The interest being generated in the Mortimers is way beyond our expectations. The book is selling extremely well and, encouraged also by Philip's lectures and visits, we are seeing an upsurge in applications for membership of the Society. For more information about the book click here

A Recent Mortimer Trail Field Trip

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                                        The group at Aston Tump                                    The 12th century tympanum
                                                                                                                      at Pipe Aston church

On 16th July, 23 people enjoyed a field trip to explore some of the locations featured in 'On the Trail of the Mortimers'. The group met at Richard's Castle Village Hall and Philip Hume gave a short introductory talk that highlighted the importance of the Mortimer family and the wealth of Mortimer-related sites still existing in the local area. Philip then took the group on a tour of some of the less well-known places. These included:  
1 the castle and medieval church at Richard's Castle; this is one of the oldest castles in the country - one of only 4 built before 1066;
the fascinating church of St George's, Orleton, which contains examples of the work of the Herefordshire School of Renaissance Sculptors and also intriguing stone-carved heads dating from the early 1330s;
3 the motte and bailey castle at Shobdon, the Shobdon Arches, and the extravagance of the rococo church;
4 the day finished at Pipe Aston where the group were captivated by the enchanting small church of St Giles with its amazing tympanum and beautiful medieval floral decoration and then visited the site of the motte and bailey castle - the Aston Tump - which stands as a symbol of the violence and feuding of the anarchy of the mid 12th century in this now peaceful area.


Detailed reports on the conference will be included in the next newsletter sent to all members and will then be available on this website for members to access.

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Prof. David Crouch speaking on the                        Dr Emma Cavell speaking about                   Tim Hoverd gave a fascinating talk
the tourneying society of the Middle Ages          Intelligence and Intrigue in the Marches                  on Herefordshire deer parks

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          Dance in the time of the Mortimers led by                                                                    Stanton's Bookstall
                       Passamezzo Early Dance

Moccas600                                                                   The expedition to Moccas Deer Park led by Tim Hoverd