Canons Ashby Priory was an Augustinian priory founded in 1147. The priory was built in stone in 1253 and the unusual colour of the outside is because of the use of three different types of stone. The addition of the tower in 1350 demonstrates the wealth of the priory; funds for it were largely raised by charging locals for the use of a well on their land.
However the canons of the priory let their wealth, and drink!, go to their heads and they were one of the first churches to be dissolved by Henry VIII in 1536. The church was eventually sold to Sir John Cope and much of the priory was knocked down and used to build Canons Ashby, which Cope would eventually leave to John Dryden. The church remains one of only four privately owned churches in the country.
The church is understandably plain inside
but it does have some lovely monuments.
In the churchyard is this rather impressive Celtic style cross which marks the burial site of Sir Henry Dryden. The cross design was taken from a drawing he did himself and was commissioned after his death by his daughter Alice.
Of note there is also a small museum about the church in a side room. You can find more photos here.