The Info List - Ashby-de-la-Zouch

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(/ˌæʃbɪ dələ ˈzuːʃ/ [2]), often shortened to Ashby, is a small market town and civil parish in North West Leicestershire, England, within the National Forest. It is a sister city with Pithiviers
in north-central France and lies close to the Derbyshire
border. The population of the town according to the 2001 census was 11,410 which increased to 12,370 in the 2011 census.[3] Ashby-de-la-Zouch Castle
Ashby-de-la-Zouch Castle
was of importance from the 15th to the 17th centuries. In the 19th century its main industries were ribbon manufacture, coal mining, and brickmaking. The town was served by the Leicester to Burton upon Trent Line
Leicester to Burton upon Trent Line
of the Midland Railway
Midland Railway
from 1849.[4] The civil parish includes the hamlets of Shellbrook west of the town and Boundary to its north-west. Nearby villages include Lount, Normanton le Heath, Smisby, Packington, Donisthorpe, Oakthorpe, Moira, Measham
and Coleorton. The towns of Swadlincote, Burton-upon-Trent, Melbourne and Coalville
are all within 10 miles (16 km) of Ashby, with the city of Derby
11 1⁄2 miles (19 km) due north. The town is situated at the heart of The National Forest and approximately 24 miles (39 km) due south of the Peak District National Park. It lies on the A42 between Tamworth and Nottingham.


1 History 2 Notable buildings

2.1 Churches 2.2 Ivanhoe
Baths 2.3 Water tower

3 Business 4 Recreation 5 Transport 6 Culture 7 Notable people 8 In popular culture 9 Location 10 References 11 External links



The town was known as Ashby in 1086.[5] This is a word of Anglo-Danish origin, meaning "Ash-tree farm" or "Ash-tree settlement".[6] The Norman French
Norman French
name extension dates from the years after the Norman conquest of England, when Ashby became a possession of the La Zouche family during the reign of Henry III.[7] Ashby-de-la-Zouch Castle
Ashby-de-la-Zouch Castle
was built in the 12th century.[8] The town and castle came into the possession of the Hastings family in 1464 and William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings
William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings
enhanced its fortifications from 1473.[8] In the English Civil War, the town was one of the Cavaliers' chief garrisons under the control of Colonel Henry Hastings, 1st Baron Loughborough
and commander of the North Midlands Army. When the town fell after a long siege in March 1646, it was counted a great relief to the surrounding towns and villages.[9] Main article: Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby de la Zouch
Castle Many of the buildings in Market Street, the town's main thoroughfare, are timber framed. Most of this structure is hidden by later brick facades. The Bull's Head public house retains its original Elizabethan half-timbering, although most of this was plastered over some years ago and can no longer be seen from the street.[10] A short distance further down Market Street is a shop, currently occupied as a LOROS Charity Shop, which retains its original Elizabethan timbers in full street view.[11] Regency buildings are also standing in this street. Bath Street has a row of Classical-style houses called Rawdon Terrace, dating from the time the 1820s, when the town was a spa destination. The local upper school, Ashby School, previously Ashby Grammar School, is a mixed comprehensive school for 14–18-year-olds. It was founded in 1567. The town formerly had two other endowed boys' schools founded in the 18th century. A local high school, Ivanhoe
College, for 11 to 14-year-olds, is named after the historical novel Ivanhoe
by Sir Walter Scott, which he set in the area of the castle. In Scott's novel the town hosts an important archery competition held by Prince John, in which Robin Hood competes and wins. Manor House School is an independent day school in the centre of Ashby for boys and girls aged four to 16. The school is located between St Helen's Church and the ruins of Ashby's historic castle. Pupils travel to the school from a wide geographical area. Notable buildings[edit] Churches[edit]

Holy Trinity parish church

Methodist church

Congregational church

Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes
Roman Catholic church

St Helen's Church is Ashby's original Anglican parish church. It is a late 15th-century Perpendicular Gothic building. The outer aisles were designed by J. P. St. Aubyn and added in 1878.[12] St. Helen's contains notable memorials to various members of the Hastings family and other notables.[8] It also holds a rare 300-year-old finger pillory,[13] which may have been used to punish people misbehaving in church.[citation needed] Holy Trinity Church is a Gothic Revival building designed by H. I. Stevens in the Early English Gothic style and built in 1838–40.[8] It has galleries supported by iron columns.[8] The chancel was added in 1866 and the ironwork chancel screen in 1891.[8] The Roman Catholic Church
Catholic Church
of Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes
was designed by F. A. Walters and built in 1908–15[8] at the expense of the 15th Duke of Norfolk. It is neo-Norman, with three apses and a tower at the southeast corner.[8] The Congregational Church
Congregational Church
was built in 1825 in a neoclassical style with Tuscan columns.[14] The Methodist Church was built in 1867–68 in a Gothic Revival style.[citation needed] There is also a Christadelphian
meeting hall in the town.[15] Ivanhoe

The water tower at Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby de la Zouch
cemetery, prior to its conversion into a dwelling

The Ivanhoe
Baths was an 1822 Neo-Grecian building with a Doric façade 200 feet (61 m) long.[14] Unused, it was derelict by 1960,[14] and was demolished in 1962.[16][17] Mineworkers discovered a copious saline spring when working coal at Moira Colliery, 3 miles (5 km) west of the town, in 1805. Here developers built the Moira Baths, with a large hotel nearby for travellers. After a few years, however, it was decided to convey the water to Ashby, where the Ivanhoe
Baths were built. The Royal Hotel, originally called the Hastings Hotel, was built in 1826 to accommodate visitors to the growing spa.[14] It has a Doric porte-cochère and additional Doric columns in its hall inside.[14] The hotel closed in February 2018. [18] Water tower[edit] The Grade II listed, 19th-century water tower, located in the town's cemetery on Moira Road, has been converted into a dwelling. The conversion was controversial since it involved a number of modern additions to the building.[19] Business[edit] In the 19th century Ashby's main industry was leather working. There was also a cotton textile factory and a glue factory. Ashby was surrounded by coalmines but was never a coal mining town itself. By far the largest employer in the town today is United Biscuits, providing about 2,000 jobs at its distribution centre, which stores its products and transports them nationwide, and its KP Snacks factory in Smisby
Road. Its products include Hula Hoops, Skips, Nik Naks, Space Raiders, and Choc Dips. The firm formerly had a larger presence in Ashby. McVitie's
biscuit factory on Smisby
Road closed in 2004 with the loss of 900 jobs.[20] Other employers in Ashby include Tesco, Ashfield Commercial & Medical Services, Timeline Communications, Eduteq Limited and TAC UK Ltd, a firm of energy consultants. Standard Soap Ltd., a significant industrial employer within Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby de la Zouch
since 1928, closed in early 2012, resulting in the loss of 155 jobs.[21] The city has a concentration of high-tech employers. The video game software house Ultimate Play the Game, was based in Ashby. Now called Rare, it has moved to Manor Park near Twycross. The UK government's swine flu help-line centre for England
was based at Ashby. Recreation[edit] Willesley
Park Golf Course is set in rolling countryside, partly in parkland and partly on heathland, covering 230 acres of gentle undulating countryside. The course was opened for play in April 1921. The first hole is played along an avenue of lime trees which once flanked the old coach road from the old Norman castle in the town to the now demolished Willesley
Hall. Ashby Hastings Cricket Club[22] was founded before 1831. Its ground, the Bath Grounds in the centre of Ashby, hosts Leicestershire
CCC 2nd XI matches each year. The club runs three Saturday League sides, all of which play in the Everard's Leicestershire
County Cricket League. The 1st XI play in the Premier Division, the highest level of club cricket available in Leicestershire, the 2nd XI play in Division 4 and the 3rd XI play in Division 8. The club also run a Midweek XI who play in the Premier Division of the Loughborough
Cricket Association League and a Sunday XI who play friendly cricket. The club's Junior Section includes sides at Under 15, Under 13, Under 11 and Under 10 age groups.[23] A second club, Ashby Town Cricket Club[24] was formed in 1945. Ashby RFC has its grounds in Nottingham
Road. It plays in the League Midland 3 East (North). It also has mini and junior sections for girls and boys from age four, as well as seniors and seconds side and an O2 Touch team for players of all ages and both genders.[25] The town also has a bridge club (Ashby Bridge Club). Transport[edit] The town was to be served by Ashby Canal
Ashby Canal
from 1804 but the canal never reached Ashby, as it was constructed only to the town of Moira. Ashby had a station on the Leicester to Burton upon Trent Line
Leicester to Burton upon Trent Line
of the Midland Railway
Midland Railway
from 1845. After the canal was abandoned in stages between 1944 and 1966, British Railways withdrew the passenger service and closed Ashby de la Zouch railway station
Ashby de la Zouch railway station
in September 1964. The railway remains open for freight. In the 1990s BR planned to restore passenger services between Leicester
and Burton as the second phase of its Ivanhoe
Line project. However, after the privatisation of British Rail
British Rail
in 1995, this phase of the project was shelved. In 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies published a £49 million proposal to restore passenger services to the line, which would include reopening a station at Ashby.[26] The restoration of passenger train services remains part of Leicestershire
County Council's Structure Plan as a project awaiting funding.[citation needed] The nearest railway station is Burton-on-Trent, 8 miles (13 km) away. The fastest train to London in the mornings and evenings is the Virgin Trains service from Tamworth (12 miles from Ashby) to Euston at 1hr 2mins average non-stop at peak hours.

A511 Ashby bypass

The A50 Leicester
to Stoke-on-Trent
road and the A453 Birmingham
to Nottingham
road used to pass through the town centre. The heavy traffic, which previously travelled through the town, has been greatly relieved by the A42 and A511 bypasses, which replace the A453 and A50, respectively. Bus routes provide an hourly direct service to Coalville
and Burton-upon-Trent
( Arriva Midlands 3, 9/9A & 16). The National Express coach network is available in Leicester, which has a daily direct service to London. East Midlands
East Midlands
Airport is 9 miles (14 km) north-east of Ashby. It provides flights to and from other parts of the UK and Europe. For International travellers Birmingham
Airport is 26 miles away (approx 30 mins) and provides international connections to the world with many via Schiphol via KLM/Air France/Lufthansa. Culture[edit] Every May, Ashby holds an arts festival sponsored by the district council.[27] This features local artists, musicians, songwriters, poets, performers, and story tellers. The multiple sites around the town host exhibitions, musical performances, workshops and talks, and the town centre is decorated with flags and an outdoor gallery. Ashby Statutes, a travelling funfair, is held every September. Instituted by Royal Statute, it was originally a hiring fair, where domestic servants and farmworkers would be hired for the year. During the fair in the 21st century, Market Street, the main road through the town (the former A50 trunk road), is closed for nearly a week. The traffic is diverted along narrower roads either side of Market Street. Locals call this event "The Statutes". A song " Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby de la Zouch
(Castle Abbey)", written by Al Hoffman, Milton Drake and Jerry Livingston, was recorded by the Merry Macs in 1946 on Decca No. 18811. It includes the lines "If you wanna smooch and be happy as a pooch, go to Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby de la Zouch
by the sea."[28] ( Ashby-de-la-Zouch
is close to the centre of England, almost as far from the sea as is possible.)[29] In April 1946 the American jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
recorded a tune called "Ashby de la Zouch" with his band. The title or choice of song could have been an acknowledgement of guitarist Irving Ashby, who took part in the recording.[citation needed] Notable people[edit] See also: Category:People from Ashby-de-la-Zouch

John Bainbridge (1582–1643), astronomer and physician, was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Chris Bart-Williams
Chris Bart-Williams
(born 1974), footballer, lived in Ashby when he was playing for Nottingham
Forest. Mark Chadbourn
Mark Chadbourn
(born 1960), author and screenwriter, was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch
Cottage Hospital and still lives in the area. Frederick Bailey Deeming
Frederick Bailey Deeming
(1853–1892), British serial killer and Jack The Ripper suspect Anthony Gilby (c. 1510–1585), Puritan sage James Green (born 1944), crime and non-fiction author lived in the area in the 1970s and 1980s. Joseph Hall (1574–1656), renowned satirist and bishop, was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Rosemary Harris
Rosemary Harris
(born 1927), actress who played Aunt May
Aunt May
in the Spider-Man
movies Frank Abney Hastings
Frank Abney Hastings
(1794–1828), British naval officer and Philhellene Russell Hoult (born 1972), footballer, was born in Ashby and still lives locally (at Coleorton). Lara Jones (1975–2010), children's author, was born in Ashby. Grant Kirkhope
Grant Kirkhope
(born 1962), video game music composer and musician Niall Mackenzie
Niall Mackenzie
(born 1961), Grand Prix motorcycle racer, is now retired in Ashby. James Martin (1933–2013), an IT consultant and author, was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch Dan Petrescu
Dan Petrescu
(born 1967), Romanian footballer and manager, lived in Ashby when playing for Sheffield Wednesday F.C. Dolly Shepherd
Dolly Shepherd
(1887–1983), notable aviator, made her return to parachuting from balloons in a display at Ashby, after recovering from a near-fatal accident. Paul Taylor (born 1964), England
cricketer, was born in the town. Roger Williamson
Roger Williamson
(1948–1973), Formula One
Formula One
driver, born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch Alastair Yates (living), former presenter on BBC News and BBC World News, went to Manor House School, Ashby; his farming family still live in the town. The Young Knives, band formed in Ashby Tim and Chris Stamper (living), brothers who were video game programmers, known for founding the Rareware
company Daniel Rosson Town Planner, professional poker player.

Kevin Tiger Hayes - library stalwart in limerick Ireland. In popular culture[edit]

Adrian Mole, a fictional diarist created by writer Sue Townsend, was from Leicester
and moved to Ashby-de-la-Zouch
during his lifetime. His girlfriend Pandora Braithwaite later becomes MP for the town. Townsend was invited to open the new English building at Ashby School
Ashby School
in 2007.[citation needed]


Places adjacent to Ashby-de-la-Zouch

Woodville Swadlincote Burton-upon-Trent Smisby Ticknall Derby Lount Melbourne Nottingham

Moira Overseal


Thringstone Shepshed Loughborough

Donisthorpe Lichfield Packington Measham Newton Burgoland Coalville Whitwick Leicester


^ "Area selected: North West Leicestershire
(Non-Metropolitan District)". Neighbourhood Statistics: Full Dataset View. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 July 2011.  ^ Wells, John (3 Apr 2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. Pearson Longman. p. 47. ISBN 1405881186.  ^ "Town population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 June 2016.  ^ Scott, W (1907). The Story of Ashby de la Zouch. London and New York: White Lion Publishers. p. 245.  ^ http://domesdaymap.co.uk/place/SK3616/ashby-de-la-zouch/ Open Domesday: Ashby-de-la-Zouche ^ Watts, Victor; Insley, John; Gelling, Margaret, eds. (2004). The Cambridge Dictionary of Place Names. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. not cited. ISBN 0-521-36209-1.  ^ [1] ^ a b c d e f g h Pevsner, 1960, page 51 ^ "The Ashby Garrison In The Civil War". www.localhistories.org. Retrieved 5 April 2018.  ^ "Modern photograph of The Bulls Head". Ashby Museum website. Ashby Museum. Retrieved 13 July 2012.  ^ "Photograph of 51 Market Street, Ashby de la Zouch". Ashby Museum website. Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby de la Zouch
Museum. Retrieved 13 July 2012.  ^ Pevsner, 1960, page 50 ^ Nikolaus Pevsner, Elizabeth Williamson and Geoffrey K. Brandwood Leicestershire
and Rutland, p. 79, at Google Books ^ a b c d e Pevsner, 1960, page 54 ^ "The Church in The Heart of Ashby". Ashby Christadelphians.  ^ Nikolaus Pevsner, Elizabeth Williamson and Geoffrey K. Brandwood Leicestershire
and Rutland, p. 84, at Google Books ^ Kate Noble The Game and the Governess, p. 420, at Google Books ^ Pegden, Tom (2018-03-18). "Why historic county hotel has closed". leicestermercury. Retrieved 2018-03-18.  ^ KATIE BOWLER (29 November 2012). "Thumbs-up for water tower housing plan". Burton Mail.  ^ Annual and Transition Report, Foreign Private Issuer", SEC, 06 April 2005. Quote: "During 2003, we announced a proposal to close our biscuit factory at Ashby-de-la-Zouch
by the end of 2004 to improve our factory utilization and enable us to effectively support growth in our priority brands. We transferred approximately one-third of production to other sites and completed the first phase of the redundancy program...During 2004...[we also completed the closure of our biscuit facility at Ashby-de-la-Zouch." ^ "Jobs lost as Standard Soap factory closes". BBC News. Retrieved 10 July 2016.  ^ "Ashby Hastings Cricket Club". ahcc.co.uk. Retrieved 5 April 2018.  ^ "AHCC Web Site". ahcc.co.uk. Retrieved 5 April 2018.  ^ "Ashby Town Cricket Club". ashbycricket.co.uk. Retrieved 5 April 2018.  ^ Club site [www.pitchero.com/clubs/ashbyrugbyfootballclub/ Retrieved 10 July 2016.] ^ "Connecting Communities - expanding access to the rail network" (PDF). London: Association of Train Operating Companies. June 2009. p. 19. Archived from the original (pdf) on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2015.  ^ "Ashby Arts Festival". www.ashbyartsfestival.co.uk. Retrieved 10 July 2016.  ^ ScrambledEggs1969 (4 October 2012). "The Merry Macs - Ashby de la Zouch By The Sea (Castle Abbey) 1946 Zooch". Retrieved 5 April 2018 – via YouTube.  ^ "Notes & Queries: Which British town is furthest from the sea?". the Guardian. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2016. 

Curtis, John (1831). A Topographical History of the County of Leicester. Ashby-de-la-Zouch: W. Hextall. pp. 4–6.  Pevsner, Nikolaus (1960). Leicestershire
and Rutland. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 50–55.  'A Little Bit About Ashby de la Zouch' (includes words of the song Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby de la Zouch
by the sea)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

AshbyTown.org Community website for Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby de la Zouch
helping to promote the town and its businesses AshbyOnline.co.uk The Online Guide to Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby de la Zouch
and Surrounding Area A tongue in cheek guide to Ashby de la Zouch The Ashby Churches Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby de la Zouch
Museum website History of Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby de la Zouch
Methodist Church Ashby [-de-la-Zouch] in the Domesday Book

v t e

Ceremonial county of Leicestershire


Unitary authorities


Boroughs or districts

Blaby Charnwood Harborough Hinckley
and Bosworth Melton North West Leicestershire Oadby
and Wigston

Major settlements

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Braunstone Town Castle Donington Coalville Earl Shilton Enderby Hinckley Leicester
( Leicester
Urban Area) Loughborough Lutterworth Market Bosworth Market Harborough Melton Mowbray Oadby Shepshed Syston Wigston Magna See also: List of civil parishes in Leicestershire


Birds Museums Parliamentary constituencies Places Population of major settlements SSSIs Schools Country Houses Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings Windmills Monastic houses History Lord Lieutenants High Sheriffs

v t e

Towns and villages of North West Leicestershire


Ashby de la Zouch Coalville Castle Donington

Large villages

Hugglescote Ibstock Kegworth Measham Whitwick

Small villages

Appleby Magna Bardon Belton Blackfordby Breedon on the Hill Charley Chilcote Coleorton Diseworth Donisthorpe Ellistown Heather Hemington Isley Walton Lockington Long Whatton Moira Normanton le Heath Oakthorpe Osgathorpe Packington Ravenstone Snarestone Snibston Staunton Harold Stretton en le Field Swannington Swepstone Thringstone Willesley Worthington


Acresford Albert Village Appleby Parva Battram Boothorpe Boundary Church Town Copt Oak Donington le Heath Farm Town Griffydam Little Packington Little Wigston Lount New Swannington Newbold Coleorton Newton Burgoland Norris Hill Oaks in Charnwood Peggs Green Shellbrook Spring Co