Ashby-de-la-Zouch is a historic market town in the heart of The National Forest.
The town’s rich history is set against a backdrop of people and events shaping this country over the last 1000 years. The name Ashby is said to be derived from the Danish ‘Aski’ (personal name) and ‘bi’ or ‘by’, a settlement. The unusual ending ‘de la Zouch’ was added after 1160 when a Norman nobleman, Alain de Parrhoet la Zouch inherited his position as Lord of the Manor by marriage. During Norman times Ashby was recorded in the Domesday Book as a settlement of about 100 people.
The town is overlooked by the ruins of Ashby Castle. Originally a Norman manor house, it was converted into a self-contained fortress by Lord Hastings in the 15th century. After the Civil War the castle was partly destroyed and largely forgotten until it was used as the location for the fictional tournament in the classical historical romance 'Ivanhoe' by Sir Walter Scott who stayed in the area.
The Ashby Grammar School was founded in 1567.
The Bath Grounds in the town get their name from the Ivanhoe Baths, a neo-Grecian spa designed by Robert Chaplin in 1822. The name was was also inspired by the locally-set Sir Walter Scott novel, Ivanhoe.
Ashby was made famous in 1946 by the Merry Macs from USA song - "Ashby de la Zouch By The Sea (Castle Abbey)". Older maps of Leicestershire showed Ashby-de-la-Zouch town was located next to the letter "C" as in the county of leiCestershire printed diagonally accross the map of the Midlands, so that's what gave birth to this little ditty !!! Ashby is 100 miles from the nearest sea.
Schools, Recreation & Travel
Ashby-de-la-Zouch is at the heart of the UK. Travel to major places of work is easy. Birmingham 29 Miles (approx. 35mins) - Nottingham 23 Miles (approx 35mins) - Leicester 20 Miles (approx. 40mins) - Derby 15 Miles (approx 30mins)
It is well connected with East Midlands Airport and Birmingham International Airport close, together with good rail links; London from Tamworth Station (13 miles) 1hr 2mins direct to London Euston or East Midlands Parkway is under 16 miles away.
With endless recreation activities, Ashby is at the heart of the 200 square mile National Forest stretching across three counties; with ample walking, off-road cycling and horse riding. Nearby there is also Twycross Zoo and Donington Park Race Circuit.
Ashby is well served by highly regarded local schools including the local Willesley Primary School, Ashby Ivanhoe College, Ashby School (formerly Ashby Grammar) and Repton School, Twycross House School, Twycross Preparatory School, Dixie Grammar School, GraceDieu Manor School and Loughborough Grammar.
National Space Centre, Leicester: www.spacecentre.co.uk
Twycross Zoo: www.twycrosszoo.org
Cadbury's World in Birmingham: www.cadburyworld.co.uk
Drayton Manor Park and Zoo, Tamworth: www.draytonmanor.co.uk
Bosworth Battlefield: www.battlefield-line-railway.co.uk
Conkers, National Forestry Centre, Moira: www.visitconkers.com
National Forestry Centre, Rosliston: www.roslistonforestrycentre.co.uk
Canal Boat Day Hire: www.ashbyboats.com
National Arboretum: www.memorialtreesuk.org.uk
Snow Boarding and Skiing and Swimming, Snowdome, Tamworth: www.snowdome.co.uk
Paint Balling, 4x4 driving, Archery and many more activities at Garlands Leisure: www.garlandsleisure.co.uk
Swimming: Indoor & Outdoor Pools: www.nwleics.gov.uk/pages/outdoor_pool
Health Spas - Champney Springs: www.champneys.com/spa-resorts/champneys-springs/
National Trust - Calke Abbey: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/calke-abbey