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Wednesday, 16 June 2004
Ashby Castle

Ashby Castle

Ashby-de-la-Zouch has a castle or rather the ruins of a castle, once a medieval manor house.

At the time of the Doomsday survey (11 Century), Ashby formed part of the estates of one Hugh de Grentmaisnel. Later it was owned by a Robert Beaumeis, from whom it passed via a female descendant to the La Zouch family (from whom the de-la-Zouch portion of the name comes).

Lord Hastings built the castle in the 15th Century, and it is here that Mary Queen of Scots was detained in 1569 by the Earls Huntingdon and Shrewsiry. During the civil war the castle was a Royalist stronghold, and was fortified by Colonel Henry Hastings. It was besieged, and fell. At the end of the war it was dismantled by order of Parliament.  The castle has a role in Sir Walter Scott’s book, Ivanhoe and a number of local businesses seem to have adopted the name.

According to the website castle la zouche:

Modern authors give the interpretation of the French “Souche” as the stump of a tree, probably referring to a place in Brittainy so identified. However, another version from a book published c1880, History Of Ashby de la Zouche has this to say:-

‘Geoffrey settled in England during the reign of Henry II, and founded another family. He was called Geoffrey de la Zouch.’

The French “Souche” means stock ( of a tree) and implies that he was the first of another stock.

This version seems to be rather more plausible than the modern version and could be the right one in view of the two names Parrhoet and Zouch or Zouche.

There is an introduction to Ashby and the castle, for visitors, at About Britain, UK Betts, and Local Web.  The last two sites point out the origins of “Ashby”, meaning a homestead where Ash trees grow.

Posted by bigblue on 16/06/2004 at 12:20 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

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