Ashby-de-la-Zouch Castle :: Shared Description

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
by Alan Murray-Rust
More nearby... Related descriptions Selection is automatic and approximate, it might not always select closely matching descriptions

36 images use this description. Preview sample shown below:

SK3616 : St Helen's Church from Ashby Castle by Stephen McKay
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  fireplace in the great chamber by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  banqueting tower by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle - Garden Tower by Stephen McKay
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  the great hall passage by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  Hastings tower interior by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  the gardens from the Hastings tower by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle - Great Tower by Stephen McKay
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  medieval re-enactment by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle by Stephen McKay
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  the great chamber by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  medieval re-enactment by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle - Underground Passage by Stephen McKay
SK3616 : Ashby Castle - Great Tower by Stephen McKay
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  earthworks in the gardens by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle - Garden Tower by Stephen McKay
SK3616 : Ashby Castle - The Hall by Stephen McKay
SK3616 : Ashby Castle - Garden Tower by Stephen McKay
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  the chapel by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  Hastings tower interior, upper floor by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  well in the Kitchen Tower by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle - the Garden by Stephen McKay
SK3616 : Ashby Castle - Great Tower by Stephen McKay
SK3616 : Ashby Castle  the eastern courtyard by Alan Murray-Rust
SK3616 : Ashby Castle - Kitchen Tower by Stephen McKay

... and 11 more images.

These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Thu, 9 Aug 2018, Updated: Fri, 9 Oct 2020

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2018 Alan Murray-Rust, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.