St Mary the Virgin parish church
Ashbury shown within Oxfordshire
|Population||506 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|District||Vale of White Horse|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|Website||Ashbury Parish News|
Ashbury is a village and civil parish in the Vale of White Horse. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire. The village is about 7 miles (11 km) east of Swindon in neighbouring Wiltshire. The parish includes the hamlets of Idstone and Kingstone Winslow. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 506.
The earliest known record of Ashbury is from AD 840, when King Æthelwulf of Wessex granted land at Aisshedoune to his minister Duda. In subsequent charters the toponym evolved as Æcesbyrig in AD 856, Aysshedoune in AD 947, Æcesburuh in AD 953 and 960 and Eissesberie in the 11th century.
After AD 953 the manor of Ashbury was granted to Glastonbury Abbey, which then held it until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. A deer park was established for the Abbey in the south of the parish. It is bounded by an ancient embankment enclosing a rounded area characteristic of Medieval parks. It may equate to the Aysshen Wood recorded in a terrier of the parish in 1519 as covering 415 acres (168 ha). The former deer park is now the Upper Wood of Ashdown Park.
Ashbury Manor House was built in the 15th century. The brick upper storey of its porch was added in 1697, which is also the likely date that the chimneys were added. The house is a Grade II* listed building.
The first free school in the United Kingdom was founded in Ashbury by the curate Thomas Stock in 1777 in collaboration with his colleague Robert Raikes. There are monuments to Thomas Stock in St Mary’s Church.
Church of England
The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary was originally Norman but was rebuilt in the 13th century. In the 20th century the artist Martin Travers converted the north transept into a chapel of Saint Hubert in memory of Evelyn, Countess Craven who had lived at Ashdown House in the parish. The church is a Grade I listed building.
The west tower has a ring of six bells. Henry III Bagley of Chacombe, Northamptonshire cast the second, third and fourth bells in 1733. W&J Taylor cast the fifth and tenor bells in 1845, probably at the bell-foundry they had in Oxford at the time. Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the treble bell in 1873. The church has also a Sanctus bell that James Wells of Aldbourne, Wiltshire cast in 1800.
The Church of England primary school in Ashbury serves both Ashbury and Compton Beauchamp. The present school was built in the latter part of the 20th century. The previous school building is now the village hall.
Ashbury has a cricket club.
- "Area: Ashbury (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Page & Ditchfield 1924, pp. 503–512.
- Ford, David Nash (2004). "Ashbury". Royal Berkshire History. David Nash Ford. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- Rackham 1976, p. 144.
- Pevsner 1966, p. 71.
- Historic England. "The Manor House (Grade II*) (1368375)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Historic England. "Ashdown House (Grade I) (1048765)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Pevsner 1966, pp. 70-71.
- Historic England. "Church of St Mary (Grade I) (1048770)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Dawson, George (23 March 2009). "Ashbury S Mary V". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Archbishops' Council (2015). "Benefice of Shrivenham and Ashbury". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Bunce, Suzanne (2009). "Ashbury Evangelical Free Church". Ashbury. Ashbury Parish Council. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- Rose & Crown Inn
- "The Rose and Crown Hotel, Ashbury". Our Pubs. Arkell's Brewery.
- Welcome to Ashbury with Compton Beauchamp CE(A) Primary School website
- Ashbury Cricket Club
- Page, W.H.; Ditchfield, P.H., eds. (1924). A History of the County of Berkshire. Victoria County History 4. assisted by John Hautenville Cope. London: The St Katherine Press. pp. 503–512.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1966). Berkshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 70–72.
- Rackham, Oliver (1976). Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape. Archaeology in the Field Series. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd. p. 144. ISBN 0-460-04183-5.
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