Ludgershall Castle (located in Wiltshire, south England) was built in the late 1100s as a fortress surrounded by two rings of earthwork ditches. The location was used earlier for other forts, but the castle itself was constructed primarily of stone and consisted of a great hall, kitchen, apartments, and stables. King John updated the castle in the early 1200s to bring it up to date to use as a hunting lodge. The land around was used for hunting and games, and a viewing platform in front of the castle looked onto the fields. The castle is built inside the rings of earthworks, and a small farm and house is located next to the castle today. Although there is a road to walk up to the castle from the small parking area, we opted to walk through the earthworks.
A path has been mown into the grasses, so walking and finding our way to the castle was easy. The site is maintained by English Heritage. We started on the left side where the path was located in the ditch.
We had rain overnight, so the grass was still a little damp. We saw several snails and slugs climbing around.
Nearer to the castle we had the choice to use the path in the ditch or on top of the earthworks. We opted for the high ground. Soo, the castle was in front of us.
We stood in the location where the viewpoint over the fields was located. The information boards suggested that the land was not extensive enough for proper hunting, but rabbits could be hunted here and deer could also be kept. The land passed between different royal families. By the 1540s, the buildings were levelled so that the nearby house could have a garden with the romantic castle tower ruin kept as a feature point of the garden.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the ruins were escavated to dertermine their use and possible appearance. Maps on the information boards marked out the kitchen, chapels, rooms, great hall and latrines and the approximate years that these buildings were constructed.
We had a wander around the tower, although there's not a lot to see. Children from the house next door were playing around the ruins when we were visiting. Having a castle in your own garden/land growing up must be amazing. Other than the children, we had the castle to ourselves.
After we had looked around the castle, we found the path through the earthworks in the opposite direction that we came from. This is the shorter route, and we noticed a lot of animal poo on the path, and I noticed that the wet grass had been trampled recently. As we were trying to guess the animal (I thought it was goat because the poo looked too 'big' for sheep), a load of rams came into view.
Our visit to Ludgershall Castle was a quick one. I believe we spent about fifteen to thirty minutes here. The castle is free to visit and open during reasonable daylight hours.