Monday, 21 September 2015
The Great Tower Ashby de la Zouch Castle, Leicestershire.
On Sunday we took a trip to the one time home of William, Lord Hastings, who was executed on the order of Richard III a short time after a confrontation at the famous council meeting of June 1483.
From the ruins of the tower it is easy to see the four different areas making up the living accommodation. At the top, there are the remains of a wonderfully ornate fireplace, the centre piece of the Great Chamber. No doubt, when winter guests arrived it would be filled with wood, cracking and sparking. I wonder if Hasting was positioned in front of this fire when he plotted (allegedly) against the king.
The second level, with its large arched window, is the parlour.
Level three, with the three arched windows was the kitchen and four would be the basement filled with wood and maybe vats of wine
The room at the top of my second image is what is thought to have been Hastings study. (I didn't get as far as that, there were a number of nesting pigeons who were rather aggressive, and insisted I go no further.)
William Hastings, in 1474, was licensed by Edward IV to fortify two sites in Midlands, this castle he created from an existing manor house, the second, at Kirkby Muxloe he never finished. It was built out of red brick, and much like Tattershall Castle, in Lincolnshire in style.