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Ashford-in-the-Water shown within Derbyshire
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
Ashford-in-the-Water is a village in the Derbyshire Peak District, England, and on the River Wye. It is known for the quarrying of Ashford Black Marble (a form of limestone), and for the maidens' garlands made to mark the deaths of virgins in the village until 1801. Some of these are preserved in the parish church which itself dates back to the 13th century. In the churchyard lies the base and stump of the market cross, which may date from the fifteenth century.
The tradition of well-dressing continues in Ashford as in many other villages in the Peak District. Each year slabs of clay are decorated by village volunteers using petals, leaves and other plants to create a picture. The finished designs are then displayed at the six wells around the village and the event is marked by a church service and precession through the village to bless the wells. The event takes place around Trinity Sunday.
It was mentioned as a Royal Manor in Domesday Book. The village passed to the Cavendish family in the 16th century (from the Nevilles) and finally sold off in the 1950s to pay death duties.
The Sheepwash Bridge is a packhorse bridge with an attached stone sheepwash: lambs were placed in the pen on one side of the river and the ewes swam across the river to get to them, while being pushed underwater by the shepherds to clean the fleece before shearing. Large trout inhabit the waters of the Wye around the bridge.
- Neville T. Sharpe, Crosses of the Peak District (Landmark Collectors Library, 2002)