Dating from around 1576, this colourful and important roll lists and displays the coats of arms of 11owners of Ludlow castle, 9 Lord Presidents of the Council of Wales and the Marches and all 22 members of the Council appointed in 1570. The roll appears to have been produced as a record of coats of arms placed in the chapel in Ludlow Castle by Sir Henry Sidney, Lord President of the Council of Wales and the Marches, in 1574.

A more detailed description giving the names of the people whose arms are on the roll is given in a separate document. To see this click here

Geoffrey Blythe
Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield
The Heraldic Roll Project 

The Project has raised money to purchase the Roll, produce replicas and conserve it, and we are very grateful to all who have contributed to this important initiative. The project has been run under the auspices of the Friends of Ludlow Museum in association with the Mortimer History Society (MHS). The active members of the Roll Group are all members of MHS.

A replica is being used as a centrepiece for educational work in local schools. An educational programme has been created which includes the opportunity for children to be involved in a local study. North Herefordshire and South Shropshire is "Mortimer Country" with the Mortimers of Wigmore being important Marcher Lords and owning the great castles at Wigmore and Ludlow. MHS already had a programme running in 8 local primary schools and more schools are joining. This involves learning about the Mortimers, visiting local sites and a visit from an expert on medieval weapons and armour. Also included is a session on heraldry and a big History Experience Day at Ludlow castle. 

The roll is directly relevant to this programme. Relating, as it does, to 500 years of Ludlow's history, it contains coats of arms of the Mortimer Earls of March and their descendants, including Yorkist and Tudor monarchs. Taking the 15 foot long facsimile into schools has caused great interest and helps the students to relate to the period. It will fit neatly into the existing MHS programme, enhancing the heraldry component and allowing us to develop new work on Ludlow Castle and the Council of the Marches. We have produced a colourful booklet about the roll that is given free to every child on the programme. For more about the MHS Schools Programme click here

Further Objectives 
 BpHooper245 1. To research the people listed on the roll, explore the heraldry and produce literature suitable for different levels of interest. Many of the people recorded on the roll are from important families resident for centuries in the Welsh Marches. We want to find out more about them and to make contact, where possible, with their present-day descendants. This research is being led by Rosalind Caird, formerly Archivist at Hereford Cathedral. Alongside that research we want to record and research the coats of arms and this will be undertaken largely by Hugh Wood. We plan to produce literature suitable for a range of interest levels. 

2. To attempt to identify the painter of the arms on the roll. We know that the roll was probably not painted by one of the main London painters so it may have been created locally. We want to consult Tudor handwriting experts to see what we can find out about the painter. 
3. To research the materials used to create the roll. We would like to find out about the materials used in creating the roll - not only the parchment itself, but in particular an analysis of the different pigments used and how this may increase understanding of the production of the roll.

4. A suitable final objective is to create in physical, or virtual form, a sense of what the chapel looked like at the time when these shields were displayed there. We intend to discuss our plans with national organisations (eg English Heritage, CADW), who have experience of using digital technology in this way.