A LANDMARK building in Ludlow town centre is likely to have a new lease of life in 2020 when it is due to open as a hotel with a difference.

But the work involved can only start after planning permission has been given to turn Castle Lodge into a hotel.

Standing on the corner of Dinham and Mill Street, the building has had a mixed history.

Most recently it was a museum of curiosities with much of what visitors saw having been brought in from antique sales and other buildings.

But Castle Lodge now needs work to bring it up to modern standards and meet fire regulations.

That will begin once planning permission is obtained to convert the building into a boutique hotel, according to Andy Boddington, Shropshire councillor for Ludlow North.

He believes that the scheme will be good for the town.

Records suggest there had been tenement buildings on the site since at least 1270.

The origins of the current building, which replaced the tenements, are likely to lie in the 14th to 15th century. It was the home of Catherine of Aragon, for a time when she was the wife and then widow of Prince Arthur, the elder brother of Henry VII who died in Ludlow Castle before he could become King.

Castle Lodge has late 16th and early 17th century additions.

As well as Catherine of Aragon there is also reputed to be a resident ghost.

“No doubt Ben Tagg, the new owner, will make play of these historical nuggets when he markets his 10-bedroom hotel,” said Mr Boddington.

“He hopes to open later in the year. That strikes me as a bit optimistic for converting a historic building. But if Ben and his team can hit that deadline, all the better.”

It is not the first time that there have been plans to turn Castle Lodge into a hotel.

Thirty years ago, permission was given for hotel use but it was never implemented and expired.