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Ludgershall, Wiltshire

Historical Description

Ludgershall, a village and a parish in Wiltshire. The village stands near an affluent of the river Avon, with a station on the Midland and South-Westem Joint railway, 74 miles from London, and 15 NE by N of Salisbury, and a post, money order, and telegraph office under Andover. It was formerly called Lurgeshall and Ludgashall; is supposed to have been a residence of some of the Saxon kings; made a considerable figure in the Norman times; appears to have been for centuries a place of considerable size; was a borougli by prescription, sending two members to Parliament till disfranchised by the Act of 1832; was long also a market-town; retains vestiges of a great ancient castle and the stump of a rudely sculptured ancient cross; is now a scattered village chiefly of thatched cottages, built of red brick and flint; and has a fair on 25 July. The castle was the seat of noble families from the time of the Conquest till that of Edward I.; gave shelter to the Empress Maud in her flight from Winchester to Devizes; belonged in the time of King John to Geoffrey Fitzpiers, Earl of Essex and Chief Justice of England; is supposed to have been destroyed by Edward I.; is now represented by little more than a fragment of the keep, showing traces of Norman architecture,' and encompassed by an earthen rampart and two deep ditches; and commands a pleasant view to the N, over Collingbourne Wood. The church is Early English; has a pinnacled tower; was restored in 1873-74; and contains the Jacobean tomb of Sir Richard Brydges, and several other old monuments. An ancient cross is in the churchyard, and the Great Seal of England, used in the time of Stephen, was found about 1790 in the neighbourhood. The manor passed from Fitzpiers to the Cliffords, the Molins, and others. Biddesden House, erected by General Webb, and afterwards occupied by the Duke of Ohandos, is the chief residence. The parish contains some tumuli, and is a resort of sportsmen. Acreage, 1789; population, 476. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury; net value, £287. There is a Baptist chapel.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyWiltshire 
Ecclesiastical parishLudgershall St. James 
Poor Law unionAndover 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The registers date from the year 1609, and are in Latin till the year 1620.

Findmypast, in association with the Wiltshire Record Office, have the following parish records online for Ludgershall:



Church of England

St. James (parish church)

The church of St. James is an ancient edifice of flint and stone in the Norman and Early English styles, consisting of chancel, nave, transept, south porch, and an embattled western tower, with four pinnacles, containing a clock and 6 bells; in 1908 the bells were rehung and a sixth added, at a cost of £200, by Mrs. and Miss Awdry, in memory of the Rev. E. S. Best M.A. rector 1899-1908: the tower was built in 1871 in memory of Richard Thomas Everett, by his widow: in a window on the south side of the chancel are the arms of Henry Chicheley, Archbishop of Canterbury 1414-43: near the south porch is a recess containing a tomb with shields of arms and two recumbent effigies, erected in 1558, to Sir Richard and Lady Brydges, ancestors of the Dukes of Chandos: the chancel was restored in 1873 and the nave reseated in 1874: in 1900 a reredos and memorial windows were erected to the Rev. W. H. Awdry M.A. rector here 1872-99, and the church now affords 300 sittings.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Ludgershall from the following:


Online maps of Ludgershall are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Wiltshire papers online:

RegionSouth West
Postal districtSP11
Post TownAndover