A pretty Medieval village of fine Chilmark stone houses. In the 13th Century, it was a prosperous centre for country fairs and weekly markets and a lot of the houses were occupied by artisans and craftspeople. However, by 1754, a great fire had broken out which destroyed over 140 houses along the High Street. The village soon recovered and by the mid 18th Century, it had become a popular centre for mail coaches and travellers with a staggering 14 inns and public houses, most of which kept horses and had facilities for stabling.Iits own market, fair, and thirteen public houses.
In 1800, The Lamb Inn was said to have kept 300 horses used for the mail coaches. Today, there are just two Inns remaining, but there remain visible signs of its great coaching history. Can you spot them? The Angel Inn (formerly known as Grosvenors Arms) still bears the words ‘Grosvenors Arms good stall stableing and lock up coach houses’. There are also large arched entrances and cobbled courtyards along the High Street where former pubs have been converted to houses.
Ludwell and Ferne Estate. The name Ludwell is of late Medieval origin. The village was first recorded as Ludewell in 1194. For Centuries, shepherds tended their sheep on the hills around the village and would bring them to the sheepwash at Ludwell which was a great attraction for all the villagers. The 16th Century coaching inn of The Grove Arms is named after the Grove family, wealthy landowners dating back to William the Conqueror. From 1563 to the end of the 19th Century, they owned Ferne Park estate and mansion below Win Green, as well as a fine town house in Shaftesbury. The Grove Arms still carries the family crest as the pub’s logo.