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Ashby de la Zouch

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"Ashby-de-la-Zouch parish which comprises the township of Ashby-de-la-Zouch and a portion of that of Blackfordby, is the head of a Poor Law Union and a County Court district; it is in west Goscote Hundred, and a polling place for the Northern Parliamentary Division of the county. ashby parish is the largest in the whole county, comprising 8097 acres, and in 1871 had 8,028 inhabitants.... The market town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch is pleasantly situated on the banks of one of the sources of the River Mease, on the north-western side of Leicestershir; about 1 1/2 miles from the boundary of Derbyshire, 115 miles N.N.W. of London, 17 1/2 miles W.N.W. of Leicester, 13 miles S. of Derby, 22 miles S.W. of Nottingham, and 9 miles S.E. of Burton on Trent. It is highly salubrious, and is celebrated for its saline baths and the extensive remains of its once formidable and famous baronial castle.... The town is encompassed by rich pastures, and in its hamlets and the surrounding parishes are extensive collieries, which are connected by tramways with the Leicester and Burton Railway, which has a handsome station on the south side of the town, near the Ivanhoe Baths. This line is a branch of the Midland Railway, and was opened March 1, 1849, and connects the town with the great network railways which overspreads the country. The Ashby Canal, which was cut under an Act passed in 1794, and commences at the reservoir on Ashby Wolds, more than three miles west of the town, extends southward to the Coventry Canal, and was sold to the Midland Railway Company, in 1846, for £10,000 "
[White's "History, Gazetteer and Directory of the Counties of Leicester and Rutland." 3rd Edition 1877]

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Cemeteries

  • The cemetery is on the west end of town on Moira Road (B5003), originally covering 4 acres and was enlarged in 1905 to 11 acres. It was managed by the Burial Board of the parish council.
     
  • The Ashby de la Zouch cemetery is located on the Moira Rd (B5003) about half a mile westwards from the centre of the town. It is on the south side of the road and is set back behind houses along the road frontage.
     
  • The Leicestershire & Rutland Family History Society have published details of Ashby burials from 1857 - 1880 on microfiche.
     
  • The Ashby Town Council has Burial Registers for 1857 - 1995 that you can download (MS Word format).
     
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Census

  • The parish was in the Ashby-de-la-Zouch sub-district of the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Registration District.
     
  • The 1851 Census for Leicestershire has been indexed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Family History Society. The whole index is available on microfiche.
     
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
     
Census
Year
Piece No.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2268 through 2270
1871 R.G. 10 / 3247 through 3249
1891 R.G. 12 / 2510 & 2511
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Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Helen and appears to have been built originally in the 14th century. Much of the current fabric is a 1474 structure.
     
  • The church was restored and enlarged in 1878-80.
     
  • The church seats 860.
     
  • This church is Grade I listed with British Heritage.
     
  • St. Helen's has its own website, but nothing of value for family historians.
     
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of St. Helen's Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2008.
     
  • There is a second ecclessiastical parish of Holy Trinity, formed in 1880.
     
  • Holy Trinity church was built in 1838 at the end of the town. The chancel was built in 1866.
     
  • Holy Trinity was renovated in 1885.
     
  • Holy Trinity seats 800.
     
  • There was a Church of England Mission Room in Derby Street in 1881.
     
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Church Records

  • Saint Helen's parish registers date from 1561 and are in very good condition.
     
  • Holy Trinity's registers date from 1859.
     
  • The Society of Genealogists holds copies of records of marriages from 1561 - 1754 and baptisms from 1561 - 1673 which can be studied at their library in London.
     
  • The church is in the rural deanery of West Akely.
     
  • There is a Catholic chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes and Saint Philip. The chapel is in South Street and was enlarged and improved in 1908.
     
  • Oliver MILLS has a photograph of "Our Lady of Lourdes" Church on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2016.
     
  • The Baptist chapel was founded in 1804 in Brook Street.
     
  • Trevor RICKARD has a photograph of the Baptist Church on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2009.
     
  • The Congregationalist chapel was founded in 1662 (originally for the Baptists) and was rebuilt in 1825.
     
  • Trevor RICKARD has a photograph of the Ashby Congregational Church on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2009.
     
  • The Primitive Methodist chapel was built in 1906 in Burton Road to replace an earlier chapel.
     
  • The Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in Kilwardby Street prior to 1881.
     
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Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Ashby-de-la-Zouch sub-district of the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Registration District.
     
  • The Registrar's Office in Ashby de la Zouch closed in 1949. Certificates of birth, death and marriage can now be obtained from the Superintendent Registrar at Coalville.
     
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Description & Travel

Ashby-de-la-Zouch is a market town and a parish. It lies 20 miles north-west of Leicester city, 14 miles south of Derby, 17 miles north of Hinckley and 118 miles north of London. The parish is one of the largest in the county at 8,983 acres, although it has been as small as 3,949 acres in 1911.

For centuries the village consisted primarily of one fine street. If you are planning a visit:

  • Transport by canal is no longer possible on the Ashby Canal.
     
  • Passenger rail service was terminated in September, 1964. Freight trains still run.
     
  • Oliver MILLS has a photograph of the Train Station on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2016. The station has been converted into a retail establishment.
     
  • The East Midlands airport is 9 miles to the north.
     
You can see pictures of Ashby de la Zouch which are provided by:

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Gazetteers

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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Ashby de la Zouch has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

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History

  • The castle which used to stand here was built by Sir William Hastings in the reign of Edward IV (12th century). Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned there for a while. The castle was dismantled in 1648, although some parts of the structure still remain.
     
  • Oliver MILLS has a photograph of the remains of Ashby Castle on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2015.
     
  • The Market Hall was erected in 1857.
     
  • The Burton and Ashby Light Railway was opened here in July, 1906.
     
  • The statute fair for hiring servants was held on the first Tuesday after September 21st.
     
  • A Queen Eleanor Cross was unveiled here in July, 1879, at Bath and Station streets.
     
  • The parish contained several working coal mines in the 1800s.
     
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Maps

  • See our Maps page for additional resources.
     

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK357167 (Lat/Lon: 52.746748, -1.472582), Ashby de la Zouch which are provided by:

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Medical Records

  • The Cottage Hospital was established in March, 1894 in South Street, but moved by 1912 to Leicester Road. It was built in honour of the Diamond Jubilee for Queen Victoria. It was a small hospital with only 5 beds. It is not reported that any patient records remain.
     
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Military History

  • In 1881, No. 1 (Hastings) Company of the 1st Leicestershire Rifle Volunteers were headquartered here with their armory on Church Street. Joseph HATCHETT, captain; William A. MUSSON, lieutenant.
     
  • Thomas Edward JESSON, a native son of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, of the 1st Volunteer Battalion, the Leicester Regiment, was promoted to Second Lieutenant on 13 June 1903. He would eventually be elevated to the rank of Major.
     
  • In 1912, A Company of the 5th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment had its armory on Rifle Range Road. Captain Thomas Edward JESSON, commanding; Color Sergt. George Lewis CRANE was the drill instructor.
     
  • John M. has a photograph of the 1914 drill hall on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2015.
     
  • In the churchyard there is a War Memorial from World War I. It is a red brick octagonal plinth with stone plinth above. It has a polygonal shaft that terminates in gabled bas relief of the Crucifixion. It was dedicated in November, 1919.
     
  • Chris DOWNER has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2013. This memorial is on Market Street and is dedicated to World War One and Two. it is made of Swithland and Darley Dale stone (from Leicestershire and Derbyshire) with an arch containing a cross and a tiled hood. it has a railed front wall with gate and side lamps on stone plinths and metal columns. Entrance includes words "Lest we forget". Unveiled by Lady Hood on 8 June 1922. It was rededicated in 1966.
     
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Periodicals

You may want to pickup (or read online) a copy of "Ashby Life magazine".

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Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Leicester county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
     
  • The parish was in the ancient West Goscote Hundred in the Western division of the county.
     
  • In March, 1884, the parish was reduced in size by ceding Alton Grange to Ravenstone Civil parish.
     
  • In December, 1894, the parish was reduced in size to create Ashby Woulds Civil parish.
     
  • The town has been governed by a Borough Council set up under the "Local Government Act" of 1894.
     
  • The parish was formally reconstituted and established also under the "Local Government Act" of 1894.
     
  • In April, 1936, the parish gained 8 acres from Ashby Woulds Civil parish, but gave a 2 acre parcel to that parish.
     
  • In April, 1936, Blackfordby Civil parish was abolished and 775 acres were merged with this Civil Parish. Packington Civil Parish also ceded 487 acres to this Civil Parish. And Willesley Civil Parish (Derbyshire) was abolished and 796 acres were gained by this Civil Parish.
     
  • You may contact the Town Council regarding civic or political issues, but they will NOT do family history lookups for you.
     
  • District governance is provided by the North West Leicestershire Council.
     
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Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Ashby-de-la-Zouch petty session hearings.
     
  • The Ashby-de-la-Zouch Union comprised of 30 parishes some of which are in Derbyshire. The workhouse, on the Derby Road, was purchased by the Union in 1836 and subsequently enlarged. It could accomodate 300 paupers.
     
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Population

 Year Inhabitants
1801 2,917
1811 3,403
1831 4,727
1841 5,652
1871 7,302
1881 7,465
1891 7,710
1901 4,726
1911 4,927
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Schools

  • The Free Grammar School was at one time held in the chancel of Saint Helen's Church. It was refounded by the Earl of Huntingdon in 1567. New buildings, near the west end of the parish church, were opened in September, 1880, and could hold 100 boys. This is now Ashby School.
     
  • In 1881 there were also the Blue & Green Coat Schools, a National School and an Infant School. Langley's Charity School was for girls only.
     
  • Ashby Church of England Primary School now serves the needs of many students.
     
  • Manor House School, near the old castle site, is an independent school.