Castle Donington (pronounced Dunington) is a small town in a projecting corner of Leicestershire, which lies between the counties of Derby and Nottingham. It is nine miles southeast of the town Derby and about the same northwest of Loughborough. It is situated on a hill above the Trent River, and has a fine church with a conspicuous spire. The population is chiefly agricultural and in 1886 had a population of 2,662 persons. The castle from which Castle Donington takes its name is now merely a mound on the northern edge of the village. It was built to command the crossing points of the River Trent in the eleventh or twelfth century, demolished in 1216 and rebuilt later that century. The castle was erected in the typical motte and bailey style of the times. It passed to the Hasting family in 1461 but fell into decay, as they lived mostly at Ashby-de-la- Zouch, and was finally demolished in 1595. Francis Rawdon Hastings, second Earl of Moira, built Donington Hall west of the village in 1790.
Brian Robey taken in 2008.
The church at Castle Donington bears the unusual dedication to the St Edward, King and Martyr, and its fine spire is a landmark for miles around. The Domesday Book mentions a priest at Castle Donington, but makes no reference to a church. This however is by no means unusual and cannot necessarily be taken to indicate that no church was in existence at that time, i.e. 1086. The fact that the present church, which dates from c. 1200, is dedicated to a Saxon saint, suggests it had a predecessor of that period, as it is doubtful if a new foundation would be so dedicated comparatively soon after the Norman Conquest. There is documentary evidence that a church was in existence here in 1133.
The oldest part of the church dates back to 1200. Work on widening the south aisle started with the Chapel in about 1275. In 1300 work started to add the north aisle, this work took about twelve years. A little later the tower was reconstructed and the spire added.
Pictures were taken by Brian Robey.
In the principal street there is an old black and white timbered frame house, an old English Tudor, with an inscription over the door, T.R."1656" and on a projecting gable hangs a key with the date 1595. The key is said to have long hung there. The house was the property and residence of Thomas Roby(later the "e" was added by the family), who married Mary Abbott. The initials are probably those of his father, who married Ellen Cheribough. The house had descended to the ownership of Rev. William Roby Burgin in 1888.
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