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The Chancel

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The Church of St James

The Present church was founded in the twelfth century; the Prioress of Amesbury had the gift of the living. In early times Ludgershall was of some importance, with a weekly market on Wednesdays, an annual fair on the 25 July, and being the site of a royal castle. It returned two Members of Parliament until the Reform Act of 1832. The church contains two reminders of its past glory, the tombs of General John Webb and Sir Richard Brydges - the latter a former governor of the castle. The Church is a simple structure of stone, brick and flint in the Norman and Early English style. It has a nave, transepts and chancel, and a squat tower at the west end.

The Tower contains a clock and six bells. It was last heightened in 1871 in memory of the Revd. R. T. Everett by his widow, and there is an inscription on the top edge of the north face to this effect. An inscription on the south side of the tower reads 'Samuel Woodward 1675', and the letters 'F.E.P.M.C.T.M.' which have been identified as standing for Francis Evans, Peter Munday, Charles Newman and Thomas Mackarell - builders of the tower in 1675. At the time if the 1871 restoration, the corners were ornamented with pinnacles. On Entering the Church the main entrance is by way of the south porch into the nave. If you pause and look round back and to the left, on the south wall by the door is an embedded stone used by the builders at an early restoration. It is believed to be part of an Anglo Saxon crucifix, and is by the oldest identifiable part of the structure. At the West end of the nave stands a lead- lined octagonal stone font which is about seven hundred years old. Behind it is the lower chamber of the tower. The upper part of the tower may be reached by climbing an ancient timber ladder whose uprights are half- trunks of oak.

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