After the Norman Conquest the estates at Ashby, or Aschebie as it is called in the Domesday Book, was owned by the Earls of Leicester. There was no castle here at that time, just an unpretentious fortified manor house. Sometime in the late 12th century the estate at Ashby was granted to the le Zouch family in exchange for military service to the Earls. We know almost nothing of the Zouch family manor house, which may have stood where the castle great hall is now. The Zouch line died out in 1399 and legal wrangling ensued over who should inherit. The disputes raged on until 1462 when William, Lord Hastings was granted possession, along with enormous estates elsewhere in the Midlands.