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Leicestershire Mobile Exhibition

Past Work

Client:- Leicestershire county council

Project:- A series of reconstruction illustrations/vignettes of various artefacts for a mobile exhibition travelling around Leicestershire

Ashby de la Zouch

The town was known as Ashby in 1086. This is a word of AngloDanish origin, meaning “Ash-tree farm” or “Ash-tree settlement”. The Norman French name extension dates from the years after the Norman conquest of England, when Ashby became a possession of the La Zouche family during the reign of Henry III.

Ashby de la Zouch Castle was built in the 12th century. The town and castle came into the possession of the Hastings family in 1464 and William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings enhanced its fortifications from 1473. In the English Civil War, the town was one of the Cavaliers‘ chief garrisons under the control of Colonel Henry Hastings, 1st Baron Loughborough and commander of the North Midlands Army. When the town fell after a long siege in March 1646, it was counted a great relief to the surrounding towns and villages.


The Roman occupation of the site, in the hinterland of the major Roman centre at Leicester (Ratae Corieltauvorum), was associated with the Fosse Way which passed close by, not far from its crossing with the Watling Street. It was centred upon a Roman villa with mosaic pavements and bath house, occupied continuously during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. Related sites in the district were at Mancetter, Barwell and Hinckley.[4]

The continuous occupation of the existing settlement had its origins in the Anglo-Saxon period, and lay within that province of the Middle Angles, centred in Leicestershire, the rule of which was granted by Penda of Mercia to his son Peada in AD 653. At that time Christian missionaries, led by Diuma, came into Peada’s kingdom from Northumbria.A 7th-century gold necklace pendant enclosing a large shield-shaped garnet, found at Sapcote in 2003, belonged to a person of social importance of that time. Sapcote took its name before the Norman Conquest, and was mentioned in the Domesday Book, as Scepecote. This represented the Anglo-Saxon Scēapcot = “shed or enclosure for sheep