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Name:Ashby Hall, park and gardens, Ashby de la Launde
HER Number:64076
Type of record:Monument


Ashby Hall, park and gardens, Ashby de la Launde

Grid Reference:TF 053 552
Map Sheet:TF05NE

Full description

PRN 64076
Around 1220 the Norman knight William de Ashebie had taken residence in the village and had built some form of manorial ‘Hall’. The original Norman Ashby Hall was a rectangular two-storeyed semi-fortified manor similar to Boothby Pagnall Manor with first floor external stair access. The Aschebi (Ashby) families passed through a number of generations until the marriage of Cecilia to William de la Launde in about 1345 to create the new Lordship of Ashby de la Launde. His son William became one of the Kesteven Commissioners of Array in defence of the kingdom in King Edward III’s absence. During the Wars of the Roses Richard de la Launde, a Lancastrian leader, was executed after the Battle of Losecoat Field near Stamford in 1470. From 1360 there were a series of well documented land disputes between the de la Laundes and the Knights Hospitaller. By the 1500s the de la Laundes had lost their lands to others. Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the monasteries finally ended the de la Laundes tenure. In 1543 Henry VIII granted the estates to John Bellow and Robert Brocklesby. By 1555 this was transferred to John Bussey. In 1564 the estates were bought by Thomas York, who died 1574 and succeeded by his son George. Ashby Hall was rebuilt by Edward King in 1595 in period style using the original Norman manor as the foundations of a new Elizabethan house.{1}
In 1580, Edward King, son of John King of Long Melford, Suffolk, bought two manors in Ashby from George Yorke. He rebuilt the house in 1595 (PRN 62806). He added to his estate by buying land at Rowston, and in 1608 was brought before the Star Chamber, charged with causing depopulation there because he had converted arable land to pasture and decayed houses. His descendant, Edward King, was M.P. for Lincoln. In a later generation Neville King of Ashby married, in 1717, Mary daughter of Richard Middlemore, of Somerby Hall, Grantham. Her mother had been the grand-daughter of Bishop Sanderson of Lincoln, and some of the personal possessions of the bishop were thus brought into the family. No doubt the King family had been there since 1595, and after 300 years were glad to emphasise this.
Between the late 1820s and early 1840s, several outbuildings were constructed, including a walled garden and an icehouse. In 1841 the property was heavily encumbered with mortgages and between 1814 and 1835 the Hall was let as a girls’ school. The Revd John King, who inherited Ashby in 1841, was a colourful Lincolnshire character. He was well known as a successful breeder of race horses, and in his time a large stable block was added to the hall (PRN 63910). Colonel King Fane sold the estate in 1925 for £42,000 to the 4th Baron Garvagh. Baron Garvagh built a new library wing and made many internal changes within Ashby Hall, including the Oak Room library, Oak Corridor and the Billiard Room. He also built a new lakeside boat house and an indoor badminton court. The badminton court later became the village hall, which is now sited off Main Street. In 1942 the Hall was taken over by the RAF as officer’s accommodation for RAF Digby. During the Second World War the house suffered considerably from the occupation of the armed forces. By the late 1950s the estate had been sold by Lord Garvagh to Messrs. Wallhead Bros., of Ruskington. The house stood derelict for some seventeen years, until in 1961 it was opened as a country club. During this period, the house and grounds were much altered. A large dance hall was built on the east elevation facing the lake. The main ballroom was constructed alongside the Oak Room. Doors were formed by demolishing Garvagh’s fine mock-Tudor bay windows overlooking the lake. The entire centre section of Ashby Hall was filled with service facilities, stores, toilets and a large kitchen. The country club closed in the 1990s and the hall is now in private ownership.{1}{2}
The house of 1595 has survived, although much altered in appearance and plan. The exterior was recased in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. On the west front of the house it is still possible to see the original conception of projecting gabled wings, and a two storied porch with crockets and obelisks. The entrance has Doric columns and the date 1595. To the east of the 19th century south front is a late 18th century bow window, and this lights a room in which there is a fine moulded plaster ceiling. There is, as befits the house of a famous stud, a good range of stables (PRN 63910) and coach houses, and an icehouse (PRN 63911), although ruinous, has survived at the rear of the house. The grounds also contains an ornamental lake, complete with boat-house, and a hexagonal walled garden (PRN 63912).{3}

<1> Bauer, E., Aug 2006, Ashby de la Launde Historical PowerPoint Presentation, - (Digital Archive). SLI10929.

<2> Thorold, Henry, 1999, Lincolnshire Houses, pp 111-112 (Bibliographic Reference). SLI6929.

<3> Terence R. Leach, 1991, Lincolnshire Country Houses and Their Families - Part Two, pp 81-82 (Bibliographic Reference). SLI6936.

Monument Types

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1595 AD to 2050 AD)
  • LANDSCAPE PARK (Post Medieval to Modern - 1800 AD to 2050 AD)
  • ORNAMENTAL POND (Post Medieval to Modern - 1800 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • PARK (Post Medieval to Modern - 1800 AD to 2050 AD)
  • ESTATE COTTAGE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1841 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • OFFICERS QUARTERS (Modern - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • COUNTRY CLUB (Modern - 1961 AD to 2002 AD)

Associated Events

  • Aerial photograph of Ashby Hall, Ashby de la Launde and Bloxholm

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

<1>Digital Archive: Bauer, E.. Aug 2006. Ashby de la Launde Historical PowerPoint Presentation. -.
<2>Bibliographic Reference: Thorold, Henry. 1999. Lincolnshire Houses. pp 111-112.
<3>Bibliographic Reference: Terence R. Leach. 1991. Lincolnshire Country Houses and Their Families - Part Two. pp 81-82.

Related records

62806Related to: Ashby Hall, Ashby de la Launde and Bloxholm (Building)
63912Related to: Hexagonal Walled Garden, Ashby Hall, Ashby de la Launde (Monument)
63911Related to: Icehouse to the north of Ashby Hall, Ashby de la Launde (Building)
64086Related to: Lodge to Ashby Hall, Ashby de la Launde (Building)
63916Related to: Nos. 2 and 4 Main Street, Ashby de la Launde (Building)
63915Related to: Nos. 22 and 24 Main Street, Ashby de la Launde (Building)
63910Related to: Stable Block to the north of Ashby Hall, Ashby de la Launde (Building)