[Illustration: LUDGERSHALL CHURCH.]
The valley goes on to Cholderton, Shipton Bellinger and Tidworth, where are situated the head-quarters of the Southern Military Command. The Collingbournes—Ducis and Kingston—are much farther on, right at the head of the valley, and eighteen miles from Salisbury. If the explorer has penetrated as far as Tidworth a train can be taken three miles across the Down to Ludgershall, a very ancient place near the Hampshire border. It would seem to have been of some importance in earlier days. “The castell stoode in a parke now clene doun. There is of late times a pratie lodge made by the ruines of it and longgethe to the king” (Leland). To this castle came the Empress Maud and not far away the seal of her champion, Milo of Hereford, was found some years since. All that is left to show that Leland’s “clene doun” was a slight exaggeration is a portion of the wall of the keep built into a farm at the farther end of the little town. The twelfth-century church is interesting. Here may be seen the effigy of Sir Richard Brydges, the first owner of the Manor House (or “pratie lodge”) which succeeded the castle. The picturesque appearance of the main street is enhanced by the old Market Cross which bears carved representations of the Crucifixion and other scenes from the New Testament.
STONEHENGE AND THE PLAIN