On the parish of our Lady of Lourdes, Ashby-de-la-Zouch

The Catholic mission in Ashby began with the Rosminian Fathers (the Institute of Charity), who, working out of Whitwick in 1850, opened a Mass centre at Ashby. This original work was ended in 1870, being run in succession by the Cistercians of Mount Saint Bernard abbey and then the diocesan clergy. It was revived some twenty-three years later by the Countess of Loudounat Willesley Hall, south of Ashby. Her chaplain, Fr. Otty, said Mass at Ashby in December, 1893, and by 1896, a regular Mass was said at Ashby. A series of temporary chapel are noted in the earlyer 1900s, an a dedication to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour by 1911, when a regular Sunday Mass had been arranged. Ashby was erected as a parish in the 1920s, with the first resident priest being Fr. John Wenham, and the parish bruildings maintained through the generosity of the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk, the latter being the daughter of the Countess of Loudoun. It was because of Norfolk's devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes that the parish was given this dedication. The church was designed by Mr. Frederick Walter, in the Norman style, the glass being provided by Hardmans. The foundation stone was laid in August, 1913, and the building in use by 1920. The presbytery was built in 1956. The church was finally consecrated in February, 1998, and the sanctuary modified according to current requirements.

Source: Canon A. P. Dolan, Good News for the East Midlands: an account of the background to, and the story of, the Diocese of Nottingham, Tucann Books, 2018, pp. 46-7.