The town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, now famous for its ruined 15th-c. castle, was a popluar Victorian spa town during the 19th-c. A row of fine Classical-style houses, in Bath Street, date back to this era.

Ashby-de-la-Zouch viewed from the wall of its ruined castle

Ashby-de-la-Zouch viewed from its castle ruins © TAB

Several buildings in the town's main street, are timber framed, although the timbers are now hidden behind later brick facades. One building that still retains its original Elizabethan timbering is the 'Bull's Head' pub.

The Norman suffix which distinguishes Ashby from other towns of the same name comes from the La Souche family, lords of the manor from about 1160. They built a stone hall that was extended into a castle in the 15th-c. by the 1st Lord Hastings.

The National Forest lies to the east of town. A large and easily accessible recreational area of woodland that provides a wide range of environmental and social benefits for current and future generations.

Content by Steve B

Places of interest to visit in Ashby-de-la-Zouch

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Castle

Ashby Castle

The honey coloured stone built castle, now a forlorn ruin, has had a very turbulent past. During the 17th century Royalist forces were besieged there by Parliamentarian troops for over a year, which caused the majority of destruction seen here today. Despite its extensive damage, visitors can still climb to the top of the part ruined tower, and take-in the very impressive views across the nearby town and countryside.

Sir Walter Scott cast Ashby Castle in his famous novel 'Ivanhoe'. It was here that Ivanhoe took part in a tournament with the Black Knight.

The castle is run by English Heritage and open to the public. Audio tours are available.

Opening times: Apr~Jun & Sep~Oct, Thu-Mon 10am - 5pm; Jul~Aug, daily 10am - 6pm; Nov~Mar, Thu-Mon 10am - 4pm Admission Charge
Location: South Street, Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire LE65 1BR - Website

Map of Ashby-de-la-Zouch

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