SK3616 : Ashby Castle - Kitchen Tower

taken 8 months ago, near to Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, Great Britain

Ashby Castle - Kitchen Tower
Ashby Castle - Kitchen Tower
The Kitchen Tower is impressive in itself, although overshadowed by the adjacent, and even grander, Great Tower. It is an indication of the importance of Ashby Castle that such a structure could be devoted to the preparation of food. There was a cellar under the kitchen used for the storage of barrels. It is also thought that a room above the kitchen was used as a winter parlour - no doubt taking advantage of the warmth from the hearths below.
Ashby-de-la-Zouch Castle

The castle ruins are those of what was effectively a large late medieval manor house, rather than a true castle.

William, Lord Hastings, started his expansion of an earlier manor house by at least 1472-3, if not earlier. He obtained a 'licence to crenellate' (fortify), the result of which was the Hastings tower. His plans for development were incomplete when he fell from power in 1483.

The Hastings family, by now Earls of Huntingdon developed the grounds in the 16th and 17th centuries, but following the defeat of the royalist cause in the Civil War, the Hastings Tower was partially demolished as well as some of the other buildings.

Thereafter the Earls of Huntingdon ceased to use it as their main residence, but parts of the medieval buildings continued as a residence known as Ashby Place.

The estate passed to Francis Rawdon, later Earl of Moira at the end of the 18th century. Interest in the castle was stimulated by the publication of Sir Walter Scott's 'Ivanhoe' in 1819, and Ashby became fashionable, with spa baths.

Various repairs were made to the castle during the 19th century. Ownership was transferred to the state in 1932, then to English Heritage in 1983.

The principal surviving works are the Hastings Tower, the Kitchen Tower and the chapel and the medieval great hall. The chapel is unusually impressive for a domestic development of this period.

The gardens to the south of the buildings are unusually well preserved examples of their period having been developed in the late 16th century. The 2008 report of a major survey can be found here LinkExternal link|Ashby%20de%20la%20Zouch%20Castle,%20Leicestershire:%20A%20Multi-Disciplinary%20Investigation%20of%20the%20Castle%20Garden.

The ruins are Listed Grade I and the whole of the grounds classified as a Scheduled Monument.

For a fuller description of the castle and its history, see the English Heritage pages description LinkExternal link ; - history LinkExternal link

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SK3616, 218 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
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Date Taken
Thursday, 27 May, 2021   (more nearby)
Submitted
Thursday, 27 May, 2021
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Primary Subject of Photo
Castle 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 3607 1665 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:44.7765N 1:28.0264W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 3607 1664
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Tower  Ruin  English Heritage Property 

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