Exploring Historic England – Ashby Castle

Hello, goddesses! I hope you’re having a good Thursday, wherever you are in the world!

I wanted to share with you our exploration of an English Heritage site just a few miles from Ravenstone.   Last Sunday we went to see the ruins of Ashby de la Zouch Castle; the moment Jon told me it was nearby, I flipped out and said we HAD to go! I’m a sucker for history and historic places, can you tell?

YAY, MINI HISTORY LESSON!!

Ashby de la Zouch was one of two castles created by Lord Hastings in the 15th century.  After Lord Hastings was executed in 1483, work to both of his castles was interrupted, but Ashby de la Zouch became the principal seat of his descendants.   During the Civil War, this castle was an important base under the command of Lord Loughborough, and two years after it surrendered, its fortifications were demolished.  There were some surviving residential buildings were later incorporated within a new house called Ashby Place, which was demolished in 1830.

So now you can walk the ruins of the castle, feeling stone and walking on grounds once full of people’s everyday lives.  It must have been grand!

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11069872_10152867992718337_2355146466724334636_nInner face of the great tower.

11080955_10152867992373337_5901524444405278799_nThose twin doors led into the great hall.

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There’s an optional path to the kitchen.  It goes underground in a stony, cold tunnel that emerges into a cellar and then into the kitchen.  This is one part of the kitchen.

19830_10152867992608337_5459543999826583546_nOn the right was once a great open fire.  In the middle was a smaller fire with a cauldron, and on the right was an oven.

11071422_10152867993313337_3485172505444926651_nThe chapel.

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11076274_10152867992668337_2390598345690988763_nOne side of the great hall, with Jon in front of the massive fireplace.

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11082656_10152867990403337_3553025096863893925_nOne of the garden towers.

And then we can’t forget the tower climb! Boy did THAT ever kill my knees!

11070189_10152867990838337_8151804571757450957_nSuper steep, narrow steps… yikes!

10405627_10152867990748337_5311438931125092283_nDoves on their eggs in the tower.

The view from the top was really cool!

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DSC_0216This one looked down on what used to be grand gardens, and Ravenstone in the distance.

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We met a lovely family at the top of the tower, and we chatted with them up there and down below as well as we all explored the castle.  The wife was kind enough to take a pic of Jon and I after I took one of her and her family…

11083851_10152867990763337_1110898653478135038_nThose things on orange cords were audio tour guides.  They were informative and hilarious!

We didn’t make it out of the gift shop empty-handed, either.

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😉

 

 

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