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Wiltshire Community History

Church of St. James, Ludgershall

As the Saxon settlement here was very small it is unlikely that there was a church here before the 12th century and it is likely that the first church post dates the castle. It was certainly built in the 12th century and part of the present nave is of this date. The church was granted to Amesbury Priory in 1228 and, also in the early 13th century, the chancel was rebuilt, doubtless at the instigation of the Priory. In the 14th century two more windows were inserted in the nave and the north chapel, dedicated to St. Mary in 1365, was built. This has a piscina, was later known as the Biddesden Chapel, as it was occupied by the family from Biddesden House, and is now mostly occupied by the organ. From 1446 the church was united with Biddesden Church and the combined rectory was called Ludgershall Rectory. In the 15th century the east window in the chancel was altered., while in the early 16th century the south chapel was built. Before 1662 all, or part, or the tower fell down. It was rebuilt or extensively repaired in 1675.

A gallery was built in the western end of the nave in 1727 but if this was to accommodate an increasing congregation it would seem to have become redundant by the end of the century. The Rev. John Selwyn, vicar from 1777 to 1823, wrote much about his parish and recorded that although the population of the village was about 470 the largest number of communicants at a service between 1777 and 1783 was 23. The church is fortunate to have had a good restoration in the Victorian period, under J.L. Pearson in the 1870s. The gallery was removed and the porch and top stage of the tower rebuilt. Two new windows were inserted in the nave and the 13th century appearance of the east window of the chancel restored. All the roofs were renewed and the flat roof of the south chapel replaced with a pitched roof. The interior that was created in 1874 remains largely unchanged today.

In 1925 the lych gate was built as a memorial to a well respected local physician, Dr James E. Jones. In 1969 the Rev. Peter Chesters obtained grants to restore the chest tomb of Sir Richard and Lady Jane Brydges in the south chapel, which had been the Brydges family chapel. In 1979 the benefice became the Ludgershall and Faberstown Rectory and in 1986 it was united with Tidworth Rectory. There is an octagonal, lead lined, Norman font and the registers, dating from 1609, are still in the church. Microfiche copies of these are available at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre at Chippenham.

Church Search Results

There were 10 items found.

Church of St. James, Ludgershall
Church of St. James, Ludgershall

Image Date: c.1903
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. James, Ludgershall
Church of St. James, Ludgershall

Image Date: c.1908
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. James, Ludgershall
Church of St. James, Ludgershall

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. James, Ludgershall
Church of St. James, Ludgershall

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. James, Ludgershall
Church of St. James, Ludgershall

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. James, Ludgershall
Church of St. James, Ludgershall

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. James, Ludgershall
Church of St. James, Ludgershall

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. James, Ludgershall
Church of St. James, Ludgershall

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. James, Ludgershall
Church of St. James, Ludgershall

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. James, Ludgershall
Church of St. James, Ludgershall

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


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