Ashmansworth

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Ashmansworth
St James Church Ashmansworth.jpg
St James Church
Ashmansworth is located in Hampshire
Ashmansworth
Ashmansworth
Ashmansworth shown within Hampshire
Population 216 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid reference SU4157
Civil parish
  • Ashmansworth
District
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NEWBURY
Postcode district RG20
Dialling code 01635
Police Hampshire
Fire Hampshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Hampshire
51°18′58″N 1°24′11″W / 51.316°N 1.403°W / 51.316; -1.403Coordinates: 51°18′58″N 1°24′11″W / 51.316°N 1.403°W / 51.316; -1.403
The Plough (former public house), photographed in 2005

Ashmansworth is a village and civil parish in the Basingstoke and Deane district of the English county of Hampshire.[2][3]

Geography[edit]

The village is about 7.5 miles (12.1 km) south west of Newbury in Berkshire, and 9 miles (14 km) north east from Andover in Hampshire, just south west of the top of a ridge line running south. The ridge overlooks Highclere Castle and Newbury, with views over large areas of Berkshire and North Hampshire. With heights between 235 and 240 metres above sea-level, Ashmansworth is the highest village in Hampshire and a spot height of 242 metres (794 ft) is at the top of the ridge on the north east side of the village makes it one of the highest points in Hampshire.[4] It lies within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and the area is popular with walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

The village is at the junction of five minor roads about 1 km west of the A343 between Newbury and Andover. Access has not always been as good as today. For instance Blacks Guide, published in 1871, described the village as being “among the least trodden districts and most secluded angles of the country, noteworthy only for its early English church”.

History[edit]

In 1901 a spokesman for the Archaeological Society described Ashmansworth as “a long scattered village, neglected and deserted in its aspect, with a rapidly decreasing population”. At this time the church had fallen into disrepair, probably as a result of it being subordinate to the East Woodhay parish.

An independent Parish Council for Ashmansworth was founded in 1894. One of the first issues it addressed was the water supply. Throughout its history Ashmansworth experienced difficulties in maintaining an adequate supply of drinking water. Before the installation of piped water in the late 1930s, the only sources of drinking water for many villagers were Mere Pool and the 100 metres deep well at Church Farm.

Over the course of the 20th century the character of Ashmansworth changed rapidly, largely as a result of the intensive farming practices adopted after the Second World War.

The modern village has a central core, concentrated around the main thoroughfare where the village hall, village green, war memorial, former Plough Inn, former chapel and old school house are all located.

There are many key buildings in the village including eight listed buildings, some dating from the 18th century such as Plough cottage and Pheasant cottage.

Demography[edit]

According to the 2001 census, it had a population of 215.[5]

Amenities[edit]

The village church is dedicated to Saint James the Great and dates from the 12th century. The village was served for many years by the local public house, The Plough, which ceased trading in 2008.[6]

Notable residents[edit]

The composer Gerald Finzi lived in Ashmansworth.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 174 Newbury & Wantage (Hungerford & Didcot) (Map). Ordnance Survey. 2014. ISBN 9780319228739. 
  3. ^ "Ordnance Survey: 1:50,000 Scale Gazetteer" (csv (download)). www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk. Ordnance Survey. 1 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. "Conservation Area Appraisal Ashmansworth" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 31, 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. "New homes for your area? Community fact pack for the north west of the borough" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 31, 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  6. ^ Jane Meredith (9 October 2008). "Ashmansworth loses its only pub". Newbury Weekly News. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 

External links[edit]

  • Ashmansworth Parish Council. Parish website containing information on the Parish Council and other aspects of the village.
  • Hampshire Treasures: Volume 2 (Basingstoke and Deane) Pages 001, 003, 004, 005, and 006