Ashby de la Launde
|Ashby de la Launde|
St Hybald's church
Ashby de la Launde shown within Lincolnshire
|OS grid reference|
|- London||105 mi (169 km) S|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Sleaford and North Hykeham|
The village is located just west of Digby, and east of the A15 and B1191 roads. The suffix reflects the family de la Launde, which held the Lordship of the Manor here after the marriage of Cecily, sister and heiress of Jordan de Ashby with William de la Launde (died 1345).
In Domesday Book the village is called "Ashebi", comprising two manors, in the possession of Ralph Paynel and Kolsveinn of Lincoln. A later lord, William becoame a Knight Templar and gifted lands to create the Temple Bruer preceptory, which in time became the second wealthiest in Britain, funding the Crusades from sheep rearing and wool exports to Europe. The marriage between the Asherbie (Ashby) family and Laundes from Laceby created the Anglicised Ashby de la Launde title for the settlement.
Ashby Hall was built in 1595 by Edward King. It remained in the King family until the late 19th century when it passed through the female line to Colonel William Vere Reeve King-Fane. Between the years 1814 and 1835 it was let to a Mrs Gardner as a girls' school.
The hall was home to Colonel Edward King (c 1606 - 1681) Member of Parliament for Great Grimsby as was his father-in-law Sir Edward Ayscough. Colonel King was a strong supporter of Oliver Cromwell, serving as a Captain in the Parliamentary army and as Governor of Boston during the Commonwealth. Despite his strong republican and nonconformist beliefs, he is credited as being the first Member of Parliament to call for the restoration of Charles II.
In 1841 the Hall and estate passed to John William King who was also the parson of Ashby. Now squire and parson he took over the stables and stud and set about breeding racehorses. In 1874 his filly Apology won the Triple Crown of the Thousand Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger. His activities came to the notice of Bishop Wordsworth of Lincoln who demanded his resignation from his church positions. King resigned a year later and died shortly afterwards.
The Hall was sold in 1925 by Colonel William Vere Reeve King-Fane of Fulbeck to George Canning, Baron Garvagh who had sold his Irish estates in Garvagh near Londonderry and moved his family to Ashby Hall. Lord Garvagh rebuilt and modernised parts of the Hall, and during the Great Depression, to keep his staff employed, he built a large wooden indoor Badminton court which in later years became the present Village Hall; it has been relocated today in the centre of the village. Lord Garvagh moved to Keswick at the beginning of World War 2, and by 1942 various fighter squadrons at RAF Digby had taken over Ashby Hall as their officer's mess. One of the most notable was 609 Squadron (White Rose). By the end of the war the house became derelict and stood empty until the estate were broken up in the late 1950s. The park was cleared of its magnificent oak trees, the walled garden and surrounding farms sold separately, leaving the Hall itself to become the Lake Rendezvous Club, featuring many famous acts in its cabaret including Diana Dors, Bob Monkhouse and Ken Dodd. The Hall and Club was purchased by the Ward family in the late 1960s under the new name Ashby Country Club, eventually closing in 1992. The Hall was then purchased by Eran Bauer and became the international headquarters of the defence and security manufacturing company Civil Defence Supply, who continue ownership to this day.