Genius Loci: Ashby de la Zouch

February 28, 2016

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Ashby de la Zouch is bursting with character. 

If the place were a novel - the principal chapters would reveal a richly dramatic storyline. The drama lies along the principal axis (Market Street) where medieval structures have been upstaged by Georgian and Regency frontages.

The main dramatic personae are the pinnacled towers of the ancient St. Helen's church and the early C20th Our Lady of Lourdes - adorned with herringbone sheet lead roof.

Fallen on hard times - the stately Royal Hotel of 1827 - stands proudly beyond the main townscape but scarred by changing fortunes.

Along Kilwardby Street - A striking scene of Victorian prosperity interspersed by a shockingly modern looking parapeted Georgian frontage. This type, surely a source for later modernist architecture.

And there are wonderfully subtle sub-plots to the main storybook that is Ashby.

The plan and form of the burgage plots still remains beyond Market Street with snakingly elongated buildings of industrial character.

The survival of the industrial works or 'courts' also still apparent in the typology.

The organic and layered growth of the town and its raw beauty still apparent.

The final denouement sees the ravaged Castle survive a sophoclean storyline.

All this wonderful mix of style, texture, colour and plan I've tried to capture in the Genius Loci: Ashby de la Zouch print.

I'd love to know what you think - you can see all editions of the print here.

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