Ashby St Ledgers

Ashby St Ledgers

infobox UK place
country = England

static_image_caption=The manor house where the Gunpowder plot was plotted
latitude= 52.30
official_name =Ashby St Ledgers
population =
shire_county= Northamptonshire
metropolitan_county =
region=East Midlands
postcode_district =
os_grid_reference= SP5768

Ashby St Ledgers is a village in the Daventry district of the county of Northamptonshire in England.

In 2005 the Queen bought the Ashby St Ledgers estate so it became part of the Crown estate. [ Queen buys estate - BBC] ] The manor house is said to be where, in 1605, the Gunpowder Plot was plotted. [ [ History of Ashby St Ledgers - The Gunpowder Plot Society] ] The estate will continue to be run as an agricultural business, but run by the Rural directorate of the Crown estate.

The village pub is called the Olde Coach House Inn. The village church is dedicated to Saint Mary.


Ashby St Ledgers was first mentioned in the Domesday Book, which gave the place name as Ascebi ("ash tree settlement"). In Norman times, a church was erected on the site, dedicated to Saint Leodegarius, from whom the modern-day name is derived. The manor was given as a gift to Hugh de Grandmesnil by William the Conqueror and passed to various other occupants until 1375 when it passed into the Catesby family, and became their principal residence.

The manor was briefly confiscated after the attainder and execution of William Catesby, one of Richard III's counsellors, after losing the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, but was later returned to his son, George. It passed down the male line to Robert Catesby's father, Sir William Catesby, who managed to hold on to the property in spite of massive debts caused by recusancy fines and years of imprisonment for his stubborn adherence to the Roman Catholic faith.The manor's central location was also more convenient to the houses of the Catesby's many friends and relations. It is this central location that made Ashby St Ledgers a type of 'Command Centre' during the planning of the Gunpowder Plot. It was here, in the room above the Gatehouse, with its privacy from the main house and clear view of the surrounding area, that Robert Catesby, his servant Thomas Bates and the other conspirators planned a great deal of the Gunpowder Plot. Catesby was killed at Holbeche House whereas his servant was executed in the following January. Following the plots failure the property passed to Sir William Irving.

Today the manor house is suffering from decay and neglect, and is in need of restoration. The former owner, Lord Wimborne, estimates it will take about £10 million to save it for future generations.


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