Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Loudoun Memorial (Ashby-de-la-Zouch)

[An image showing Loudoun Memorial]The Loudoun Memorial is an outstanding feature of the North West Leicestershire market town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

It stands at the junction of Bath Street and South Street, near the entrance to the Bath Grounds.

The memorial is to Edith, Lady Maud Hastings, Countess of Loudoun, a member of the ancient Hastings family who had been important in this area for centuries. As a sort of "lady of the manor" she was much loved by the townspeople, and died at Ventnor on the Isle of Wight in 1874.

It was one of the last designs by the eminent architect Gilbert Scott, and completed in 1879, the year after his death.

The design is based on the Eleanor Crosses, set up by Edward I as memorials to his Queen, Eleanor of Castile, at places where her body rested on its way to London. Only three of these remain - at Geddington and Hardingstone in Northamptonshire and at Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, just outside the Essex town of Waltham Abbey.

The inscription on the memorial is by Benjamin Disraeli.

The Loudoun Memorial stands on the site of Gawbey's Hole, a water pump where much gossiping was wont to take place.

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