Ashby St Ledgers Ashby St Ledgers

The parish church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Leodegarius dates from 1100, but is mostly an C14-C15 construction. Saint Leodegarius was a French Benedictine Bishop who became abbot of St. Maxentius in 653.

The gabled south porch and most of the pews in the nave are early 14th century.

The crucifix above the rood screen was designed and made by Liz Holden from Long Buckby in 1995. The rood screen itself dates from 1500 and was installed by George Catesby as a thanks offering for the return of the Estate to the family two years earlier in 1498. The estate had been confiscated in 1485 following the execution of William Catesby, a principle councilor to Richard III, who had been captured by Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth (22 August 1485).

The Catesby’s next came to prominence when Robert Catesby (1573 – November 8, 1605), became the originator of the plot to blow up James I and Parliament in 1605.

Nave, Ashby St Ledgers ashby st ledgers 48 (by Walwyn) ashby st ledgers 12 (by Walwyn)

The triple level Jacobean pulpit and box pews behind it are early 17th century. The pews in front are medieval, the lower level rests were for elbows, as the congregation would not have had books. The clerk would sit in the lower part of the pulpit, whilst the vicar conducted the service from the middle tier and the preacher at the top. The chancel was extensively remodeled during the C18 and C19.

ashby st ledgers 37 (by Walwyn) ashby st ledgers 25 (by Walwyn) ashby st ledgers 27 (by Walwyn)

The south wall contains a fresco of 1325 depicting the flagellation of St. Margaret. The west wall has a 16th century fresco commemorating the Black Death. The figure of Death holds a spade and pick. The north wall has a large 15th century fresco of St. Christopher.

ashby st ledgers 53 (by Walwyn) ashby st ledgers 50 (by Walwyn)

Above the chancel arch are medieval wall paintings depicting "The Passion" these frescos are 14th and 15th century. They were uncovered during restoration work in 1927 and are the most extensive cycles in the UK. The section on the south wall depicts the crucifixion and the Marys at the tomb, that on the north wall the entry into Jerusalem.

ashby st ledgers 24 (by Walwyn) ashby st ledgers 14 (by Walwyn) ashby st ledgers 33 (by Walwyn)

The plain font is Norman with a medieval wooden cover. The C19 chancel window has scenes showing the nativity, Risen Christ, and three Mary’s at the tomb. In the north aisle is a full length brass figure of Sir Richard Catesby 1553, wearing tabard with Catesby Arms.

ashby st ledgers 65 (by Walwyn) ashby st ledgers 57 (by Walwyn)

The rood screen has 4 traceried openings, coving with fan vaulting, and dado with blind tracery and original painted decoration.

Sculpture of St Leger at Chartres Cathedral.

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