Ashby de la Zouch Castle (English Heritage)
Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby Castle forms the backdrop to the famous jousting scenes in Sir Walter Scott's classic novel of 1819, Ivanhoe. Now a ruin, the castle began as a manor house in the twelfth century. It only achieved castle status in the fifteenth century, by which time the hall and buttery had been enlarged, with a solar to the east and a large integral kitchen added to the west.
Between 1474 and his execution by Richard III in 1483, Edward IV's Chamberlain, Lord Hastings, added the chapel and the impressive keep-like Hastings Tower - a castle within a castle. Visitors can now climb the 24 metre (78 feet) tower, which offers fine views. Later, the castle hosted many royal visitors, including Henry VII, Mary, Queen of Scots, James I and Charles I.
A Royalist stronghold during the Civil War, the castle finally fell to Parliament in 1646, and was then made unusable. An underground passage from the kitchen to the tower, probably created during this war, can still be explored today. In 2006 archaeologists investigated the mysterious castle garden, famous for its elaborately shaped sunken features.
Museum, Heritage site, Castle or defences, Archaeological site, Garden, parklands or rural site
1-31 Oct Thu-Mon 10am-5pm, 1 Nov-12 Feb Sat-Sun 10am-4pm, 13-17 Feb Mon, Thu, Fri 10am-4pm, 18 Feb-31 Mar Sat-Sun 10am-4pm, Closed 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan
- English Heritage
Come and see medieval knights fighting for their honour in the castle grounds with awesome combat displays! Plus, for the kids there is a chance to take part in a special knights drill.
- Any age
The Wind in the Willows
Join Badger, Ratty, Mole and Toad for a perfect summer of adventure. Bring your chairs, picnics and friends to Ashby de la Zouch Castle to enjoy fun and frolics aplenty with this glorious new adaptation of the classic novel.
- Any age
Medieval Realms Discovery Visit
Join our costumed medieval guide and take full part in exploring the feudal system, Ashby Castle, life in the army and the fury of battle.
Duration: 1 ½ hours
Key Stage: 2,3 History
How to obtain
Call 01604 735440 to arrange a date. Discovery Visits are award-winning and expert-led interactive charged sessions. Visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/nav.10797 for more information about and current prices for this Discovery Visit. Pre-booked education groups are able to visit our sites for free and can be booked online at http://www.english-heritage.org.uk
Medieval Life Discovery Visit
An interactive and fun tour that will increase your understanding of the complex history of this beautiful ruin.
How to obtain
Call 01604 735440 to arrange. Discovery Visits are award-winning and expert-led interactive charged sessions, see http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/nav.10797 for more information about and current prices for this Discovery Visit. Pre-booked education groups are able to visit our sites for free and can book online at http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/education