Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

The Present Past: Ludgershall Castle

Ludgershall Castle

Ludgershall Castle is thought to have been built in the 1100s. It was both a residence (royal as well as civilian) and a hunting lodge. It stands today on land surrounded by dwellings and the earthworks of an Iron Age fort.

I agree, the name is a mouthful. We pronounced it ‘luggershawl’ and hoped for the best. Ludgershall Castle is one of those buildings where little remains but there was little to begin with so you can visit it without much sadness at what has been lost – what you see isn’t far off from what you’d have got in the past. As a small residence and later hunting lodge, there was no need for fortification, and even though the mote (quite likely as dry then as it is now) and bridge suggests grandeur, it was likely more for effect.

Ludgershall Castle

What stands today are the remains of the almost miniature keep and the first few layers of the walls of the rest of the castle. The bridge is obvious and intact enough to see where the joists would have been, but really the attraction is the location – due to the mote and the landscape in general it’s hard to believe there wasn’t a photographer involved in the construction as the hill makes for the perfect view. But then the view was likely the point and a possible reason there wasn’t substantial fortification.

You can walk amongst the walls and admission is free. The earthworks appear to be on private land but they are so hilly you get a good view from the outside, and they’re overgrown enough that you’d likely gain little but insect bites anyway.

Ludgershall Castle

The Great Hall is the first room from the (modern) entrance gate – the castle is on public land, basically in a field – and then there is the chapel and various bedrooms and kitchens. One assumes there were a few floors to the buildings.

Indeed it is so small a castle that when my boyfriend said “this is Prince Edward’s chamber”, I didn’t believe him. Edward’s chamber is barely the size of half a tennis court, and even if he was a baby at the time, it is a very small room for a royal. The drawings by English Heritage suggest that there were indeed a couple of floors. Either that or the builder had a longing for rural life a la Marie Antoinette and her shepherdess roles.

Ludgershall Castle

The keep looks bigger than it is. The remains are enough to show that it was barely big enough for a staircase, and it’s more likely it was used for storage or just as a vantage point. It’s infinitely preferable to walk through it and admire it from the outside.

There isn’t much to see at Ludgershall but that makes it a relaxing option for a day out, full of picnic possibility. It was the perfect choice for this castle lover and her tired-of-castles-now boyfriend. And the views were amazing.

Ludgershall Castle

Just be careful of the insects flying about and hiding in the grass. Maybe that’s why there was little fortification and a dry mote. Water’s got nothing on a swarm of insects.

The rest of my photos. If you want to see them full size, right click and open them in a new window/tab.



August 22, 2014, 7:08 am

I love castles

Tracy Terry

August 22, 2014, 1:30 pm

Such great pictures. I always find castles, even ruins, so romantic.


August 22, 2014, 2:12 pm

I’ve not heard of this castle before. Looks like a really pretty spot for a look round and a picnic. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos. While on my recent holiday I got to see and visit some stunning castles and chateaus.

Jenny @ Reading the End

August 23, 2014, 5:00 pm

That is fantastically cool. And I don’t think not being able to see the earthworks is a huge loss. I am much more a ruins girl than an earthworks girl. Earthworks just overwhelmingly look like fields to me. Maybe if I were in a helicopter to view them I would feel differently.


August 24, 2014, 6:40 pm

I’ve not heard of this place before, but I love castles and it looks beautiful :)


August 25, 2014, 11:29 am

I’ve not heard of this castle before, you always introduce me to somewhere new I want to visit :D

Literary Feline

August 26, 2014, 9:25 pm

Beautiful photographs, Charlie! I enjoyed your narrative about the ruins. I could just imagine being there myself. (Wish I was, actually!)


September 9, 2014, 6:43 pm

I know I’m so late (what else is new) but I couldn’t help but telling you how much I love these series that you post. It’s so amazing to imagine what once was.



Comments closed