The history of Ashby Folville

The history of Ashby Folville

The village dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was called Ascebi (Danish for the place of the ash tree) when the village was described as being in the ownership of Countess Judith, a relative of William the Conqueror. The village contained two slaves and 24 villagers with a priest; there were few other villages in the district having a resident priest and presumably there was a church at that time. It must have been a fairly important centre as it was valued at four pounds; Gaddesby was only valued at five shillings and Brooksby at four shillings.

The ‘Folville’ was added circa 1200 when the family of that name settled in the village and were Lords of the Manor. It passed through marriage to the Woodford family who held it until the 19th century.

In 1890 the village was purchased by Herbert Smith-Carington, the son of a successful Worcester nurseryman.  Trained as a mechanical engineer, Herbert joined the Manchester firm founded by Sir Joseph Whitworth, best known for the whitworth standard thread which ensured that all nuts and bolts fitted throughout the British Empire.  Herbert rose to become Managing Director and finally Chairman of the amalgamated firm of Armstorng Whitworth.

His grandson,Wing Commander John Smith-Carington inherited the Ashby Folville Estate, which extends to approx 1200 acres, just after the Second World War. After the Wing Commander’s recent death, the responsibility of running the Estate is now in the hands of his grandson, Alex Stroud.

Have a look at this video which shows parts of Ashby Folville circa 1953. It is especially interesting to see the huts in the grounds of the Manor House which was used as a Polish Resettlement Camp.

Click here to view video (Opens in a new window)

Also, check out Terry Jones’ programme including the notorious Folville brothers at