Sunday 16 June 2024

A weekend away

On Friday John and I packed the car and headed to our favourite hotel in Somerset for a quiet, relaxing and rejuvenating weekend. These weekends leave me feeling calm and refreshed and the added advantage is that my favourite quilting shop is not far away from the hotel. On Sunday I will be visiting the shop and making a few purchases. We try to do something on the way to our hotel and we decided to visit Ludgershall Castle. This castle is a ruin but it was interesting to visit and we didn't need to go out of our way to visit it.

Ludgershall was probably built in the late 11th century by Edward of Salisbury, Sheriff of Wiltshire. By the early 12th century it was owned by the Crown. It was situated on the edge of a medieval forest, and so it was often used as a royal hunting lodge. King John and his son Henry III made improvements in the 13th century but it fell into ruin by the 16th century.

The castle was set within two adjacent enclosures, surrounded by earthwork banks and ditches.  The outline of these enclosures can still be seen but a farm now occupies the middle of the castle. Most of the castle buildings were made of timber but some of them were made of stone. All that remains today are the flint aspect of the walls as the original facings of the walls were robbed for other buildings. The 12th century tower remains but is currently fenced off due to the risk of falling stone work.

The 12th century tower of Ludgershall castle taken by English Heritage.

The visit to the castle was interesting and we enjoyed a walk around the surviving earthworks. There were notice boards explaining the layout of the castle.


It was Henry III who made Ludgershall a comfortable place to live and visit.



In the middle of the ruins were two lone red poppies.



The sycamore tree was loaded with its helicopter seeds. I used to love playing with these seed pods when I was a child.


The banks surrounding the castle were full of wild flowers, especially buttercups and black eye daisies.


and Hogweed


We also saw several pyramidal orchids. They are very pretty.


Once at our hotel we enjoyed a rest before dinner. The food was delicious. We both read for a while before retiring to bed early as it had been a tiring day.

Today we visited Stourhead House and Gardens. We had a fabulous day. I'll tell you more about our visit tomorrow.

Take care