The oldest part of the Feathers, including
the world-famous timber façade, was built in 1619 (during the
reign of King James I) by Rees Jones, a successful attorney in
the town, who had frequently appeared before the Council of the
Marches, which from 1536 until 1689 was situated in Ludlow, making
the town in effect the capital of Wales.
The name of the hotel springs from the motifs of ostrich feathers
forming part of the timber framed façade. They can still be seen
by the discerning eye on the collars of the three street gables,
although now weathered by the centuries. Ostrich feathers (traditionally
the badge of the Prince of Wales) were still very much in vogue
in the town at the time that the timber façade was being constructed
following celebrations in 1616 for the investiture of Charles
(the future King Charles I) as Prince of Wales.
Ludlow was a town with Royalist sympathies and remained loyal
throughout the English Civil War, during which it is thought
that Royalist soldiers were billeted at the Feathers. Indeed
Rees Jones' son Thomas Jones fought as a Captain in the King's
Army and well after the Civil War he converted the Feathers to
an inn, around 1670.
The Feathers remained an inn for the next 200 years during which
time, as well as providing sleeping accommodation, food and much
beer, the inn was occasionally used as a venue for cock-fighting
and prize-fighting. It was also at the centre of politics in
the town when candidates for parliamentary elections would make
speeches from the hotel balcony then invite voters inside for
a drink to help secure their votes.
From 1863 the Feathers became known as a hotel and since then
has gradually evolved and expanded through the acquisition of
properties on either side of the original house to become established
as Ludlow's leading hotel with a fine international reputation.
Now back in private ownership the Feathers
Hotel has been sympathetically refurbished throughout to further
improve the fabric yet retaining the character of this historic