Ashby St Ledgers, Northamptonshire
Ashby-St.Ledgers, a village and a parish in Northamptonshire, near Watling Street and the Oxford and Grand Junction Canals, 2 milesW of Welton station on the L. & N.W.R., and 4 N of Daventry. There is a post office under Rugby; money order and telegraph office, Kilsby. Acreage of the parish, 1935; population, 293. The distinctive name St Ledgers is taken from the patron saint of the church. Ashby manor house, a substantial old mansion, belonged to the Catesbys, passed to the Jansons, and is now the property of the Senhouse family. A small room in one of its offices was the place where Robert Catesby and his fellow conspirators concocted the Gunpowder Plot. Ashby St Ledgers Lodge is another chief residence. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Peterborough; gross yearly value, £140. The church is an edifice of nave and aisles, with tower and spire; has screen, rood loft, and three piscinas; and contains an altar tomb of William Catesby and his wife, of date 1493. This Catesby was the favourite of Bichard III., fought for him at the battle of Bos-worth, and was captured there and beheaded at Leicester.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Ashby St. Ledger's St. Mary and St. Leodgare|
|Poor Law union||Daventry|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1554.
Ancestry.co.uk, in association with the Northamptonshire Record Office, have images of the Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts for Northamptonshire online.
Church of England
St. Leodegarius (parish church)
The church of St. Leodegarius is a fine edifice of stone, chiefly in the Perpendicular style, with some earlier portions, and consists of chancel with chapel, nave of four bays, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing 4 bells: a very rich rood screen of light and beautiful execution, spreading out into curves of delicate fan tracery and surmounted by an elaborately carved cresting, separates the chancel from the nave, and there are three piscinæ, and an aumbry: within the chancel is a monument to Sir William and Lady Johanna Catesby, and within the communion rails is a very fine canopied brass with effigies in heraldic costume, figures of children and shields of arms, commemorating William Catesby esq. the favourite of Richard III. taken at the battle of Bosworth, Aug. 21 1485, and executed by order of Henry VII., and Margaret (Zouche) his wife, ob. 1494; on the floor of the south aisle there is also a kneeling brass effigy of a knight in armour, over which is a tunic bearing the arms of Catesby; this figure is believed to represent: George, son of the preceding, ob. 1505: a second but plainer canopied brass has effigies of a civilian and his wife, four sons and twelve daughters, and is inscribed to Thomas Stokes esq. ob. 1416, and Elena his wife; one other brass exhibits an effigy of a priest in long loose surplice and hood, and below is an inscription to William Smyght, rector of Oxlhylfe (Oxhill, Warwickshire) and Eldertoft, ob. 1510: on the north wall of the chancel is a marble monument, with kneeling effigies of a gentleman and lady, and underneath are other figures of their 5 sons and 5 daughters; the memorial has an unfinished inscription to Brian I'anson esq. formerly alderman of London and lord of this manor, ob. Nov. 10, 1634: there is another marble monument, with figures symbolical of Justice and Mercy, to John Bentley Ashley esq. 1761, and Jane his wife 1784; on the opposite wall is a memorial, with Latin inscription, to John I'anson esq. ob. Dec. 9, 1657; and there are others to Moses Ashley esq. ob. Dec. 31, 1740, and various members of this family 1703-1833: in the chapel is an alabaster monument, with elaborately carved canopy, supported on columns with figures of the four evangelists, and angels &c. to George Henry Arnold esq. d. Oct. 27, 1844, and Susannah his wife, d. April 25, 1851: the pews and seats throughout the church are of carved oak: the stained east window is a memorial to Sir Joseph Senhouse kt. H.E.I.C.S. d. June 8, 1829, and on the south side of the chancel is one to Mary (Ashley) his wife, d. Oct. 2, 1850: there are 260 sittings.
The Congregational chapel is a neat building of stone, erected in 1885 at a cost of £150, raised by subscription, and will seat 100 persons.
Adjoining Ashby St. Ledgers Lodge is the Catholic chapel, dedicated to St. Paul, erected by Paul Edgar Tichborne Hibbert esq. J.P. in 1883; it is a building of stone, consisting of chancel, nave and a small west gallery, and contains five stained windows; it is seated with chairs for about 70 persons, and is served from Rugby.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Ashby St Ledgers from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Ashby St. Ledger's (St. Mary and St. Leodgare))
- Kelly's Directory of Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, and Northamptonshire, 1914
Land and Property
The Manor House, for many centuries the residence of the Catesby family and now the property of Lord Wimborne, is an ancient and interesting building, the principal front being of the time of Edward III.; the hall is finely panelled; over an old gateway between the church and the manor house is a room where tradition says the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot held some of their meetings. Robert Catesby, one of the leaders in this conspiracy, taking refuge, with others, at Holbeach House, Kingswinford, Staffordshire, was shot in defending the place, November 8, 1605.
Ashby St. Ledgers Lodge was erected in 1722 by G. Arnold esq.; the mansion is pleasantly situated in a well-wooded park of 170 acres, and has been much improved and enlarged at a considerable expense; it contains some very fine old oak carvings; near to the house is a lake of about 25 acres, with a fine plantation in the back-ground; the mansion is approached through an avenue nearly a mile in length.
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Northamptonshire is available to browse.
Online maps of Ashby St Ledgers are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Northamptonshire papers online: