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Ludgershall Castle

Visited April 2014

Location Ludgershall, Wiltshire
Entrance Fee No
Railway Station Nearby No
Parking Yes
Facilities None






Ludgershall is a small castle, built within the remains of an iron age fortification.  The first castle on the site was probably the work of Edward of Salisbury, the Sheriff of Wiltshire in the 11th century.  It was extended under King John, who made it a comfortable base for his visits to the nearby hunting grounds.  John's son Henry III built a great hall and improved the royal apartments.


The remains of the hall and apartments can still be seen, but they are severely reduced in height. As the castle fell into disuse the site was incorporated into the garden of the nearby house, and gradually levelled. The great tower survived as it was kept as a garden feature.






The castle seems to have had a pretty uneventful life and never really saw any military action. It was in a ruinous state by the time of the civil war so did not get re-fortified at that time either. It was certainly very peaceful the day we visited, despite it being free access there seemed to be very few visitors.


There are some interesting features, the remains of the tower being the most noticeable. There is also the remains of a small hearth, and the walls of the aforementioned great hall. The castle is made of attractive local flint, which makes it similar to Old Sarum , also in Wiltshire.







In addition to the stonework there are some interesting earthworks and ditches around the site, these can be easily explored. There are no facilities at all at the castle, although there are some shops on the main street at Ludgershall. This is where you will also find the remains of the medieval cross, it is just a few minutes away from the castle so is worth a quick stroll. If like us, you arrive and find the castle car park to be full (even though there were no other visitors there at the time) you will probably end up parking in the village and walking past the cross to get to the castle.


The castle is about 10 miles from Stonehenge so the two sites can easily be combined in one trip. We found the castle to be a very welcome and peaceful stop away from the mania of the mass tourism at Stonehenge. In contrast, it does not cost anything to get in and at the castle you can actually touch the stones!





More info: English Heritage Ludgershall Castle

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