Ashbourne in Derbyshire
Ashbourne is the gateway to Dovedale and the Peak District as well as home to Shrovetide Football
Ashbourne in Derbyshire is known as the gateway to Dovedale, Izaak Walton country, and the Peak District National Park. However, Ashbourne has much to offer the visitor in its own right.
Ashbourne is a market centre for the surrounding for the surrounding area and has been since it was first granted a charter to allow stalls in its market place in 1257 and being made a royal borough in 1276. There were fairs selling sheep and cattle, horse fairs 3 times a year, cheese fairs 4 times a year, and today Ashbourne still has a market in its market place on thursdays and saturdays. Ashbourne market place is used as a car park the rest of the week. On Ashbourne market place there is a statue, erected in 1874, to Francis Wright, a wealthy local indusrialist who owned Butterley Ironworks, and lived at Osmaston Manor.
Shrovetide Football at Ashbourne in 2012
The main place of interest in Ashbourne, and perhaps its glory is Church Street, with its fine Georgian houses, old grammar school, almshouses and St Oswalds Church. The church is one of the glories of Derbyshire, its tower and spire dominating the small town, the spire rising to 212ft. St Oswald was a popular Anglo Saxon saint. He became king of Northumbra(635-642) and brought St Aiden from Iona to Lindisfarne; their efforts were largely responsible for the conversion of that kingdom and the foundation of the Northumbrian church.
The transepts contain 2 chapels dedicated to 2 leading local families, the Bradbournes and the Cockaynes, later the Boothbys. The Boothby chapel is full of monuments, amongst them a memorial to Joan and Edmund Cockayne(1404), Sir Humphrey and Lady Bradbourne(1581) and Sir John and Lady Cockayne(1447), but these are all outshone by the memorial to Penelope Boothby, a six year old who died in 1791. During life, Penelope had been painted by Joshua Reynolds and in death immortalized by Thomas Banks, best known for his memorials to Burgess and Westcott in St Pauls Catherdral. The white currara marble figure of the child is so lifelike that she still appears to be only sleeping. Her epitaph reads `She was in form and intellect exquisite, the unfortunate parents ventured their all on this frail bark, and the wreck was total`.
The church consists of a nave and south aisle, crossing with crossing tower and spire, transepts with aisles as wide as the transepts and a long chancel. A church has stood here, possibly of the same size since Saxon times. A norman crypt was found during excavations in 1913.
It has a 13th century font and there are many fine examples of stained glass to be seen throughout.
Ashbourne`s grammer school, known as the Queen Elizabeth Grammer School, was founded by Sir Thomas Cockayne, whose family`s coat of arms formed the school badge. Building started in 1585 and continued until 1603. The front is symmetrical with 4 small gables in the middle over the school room and 2 larger ones on the sides over the master`s and usher`s houses. There are 2 main doorways.
There have been Cockaynes here, in this region, since the 12th century, at first acquiring a rather dubious reputation as gang leaders who were involved in local warfare with rival families, but by the 16th century they were eminently respectable. Sir Thomas Cockayne (1479-1537) was knighted by Henry the eighth at the siege of Tournai and accompanied the king on the field of the Cloth of Gold, whilst his grandson, also, Thomas(1520-92) was also knighted and served as high sheriff of Derbyshire, 4 times.
Adjacent to the grammer school is Grey House built in the mid 18th century, with its large Doric porch and Venetia windows. This is now used as a girls boarding school. Across the road is 17th century Mansion House where Dr Samuel Johnson, noted lexicographer and traveller, frequently stayed with his friend Dr John Taylor.
There are several blocks of Almshouses. Owfields Almshouses were built around 1640 with an upper storey added in 1840. Adjacent is Peggies Almshouses, built from local sandstone in 1669. Also, there are the Clergy Widows Almshouse, a mid Georgian, 3 storeyed building, around the 3 sides of a courtyard, built in 1733 for `the entertaining of widows of four clergymen of the church of England`. These are all now private flats.
At the town end of church st is Victoria Square, also known as the butchery. Just along the road, crossing the road, is an inn sign for the Green Man and Black Head Hotel. The sign commemorates the amalgamation of 2 coaching inns in 1825.
Behind the Green man is Shaw Croft car park where the `kick-off` takes place for the annual shrove tide football game, played over 2 days, on Shrove tuesday and Ash wednesday. A cork filled leather ball is thrown up by a visiting personality and the 2 sides, the Up`ards and the Down`ards battle it through the streets, through the stream, and across open country between the goals at Sturston and Clifton, which are 3 miles apart. It is pretty much a free for all, with anyone joining in. Shop windows are boarded up, car parks are emptied, and the pubs are filled with visitors and locals alike. More information at Shrovetide Football in Ashbourne
A plaque on the front of a small terraced house in Sturston St, indicates the birthplace of Catherine Booth, wife of the founder member of the Salvation Army, William Booth. A memorial also stands to her in the memorial gardens near the playing fields.
Ashbourne has seen many art galleries come and go over the last couple of decades but its reputation as an arts town has grown considerably through the the annual Arts Festival which has grown from a 10 day event in 2000 to an event which now embraces more than 40 events and exhibitions over 17 days which include poetry, drama, open air opera, jazz and classical concerts, workshops in writing and much more.
In 2004 a new leisure centre was opened offering more amenities for both young and old. Though the Nestle factory closed in 2003 with a loss of over 100 jobs, many new industries have been created largely located within the old airfield on the outskirts of the town.
For information on places to eat and drink in Ashbourne see Ashbourne Food and Drink
Events for 2013
Ashbourne Christmas Light switch-on – Saturday 16 November 2013 5:00 pm
Events for 2014
Ashbourne Shrovetide Football will take place on Shrove Tuesday 4th and Ash Wednesday 5th March 2014
Ashbourne Show - The date for 2014 will be Saturday 16 August 2014.
Ashbourne photographs Ashbourne Photographs
Shrovetide photographs Shrovetide Football Photographs 2005 - 2013
Ashbourne Tourist Information
Ashbourne Tourist Information Centre
13 Market Place, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 1EU Tel 01335 343666
How to get to Ashbourne
From Derby follow the A52 north 10 miles to roundabout then turn right along Derby Road into Ashbourne town centre.
From Buxton follow the A515 south. From further afield easy access from M1 and M6.
No rail station in Ashbourne. Nearest railway stations are at
Derby 17 miles,
Uttoxeter 12 miles,
Belper 12 miles,
Buxton 20 miles
Plenty of local buses run between Ashbourne , Derby , Buxton, Chesterfield, Belper, Matlock and other local towns and villages some more frequently than others. Hourly service from Derby. For bus information please see www.derbysbus.info
Car Parking in Ashbourne
Shaw Croft – 198 spaces
Shaw Croft Overflow
Leisure Centre – 95 spaces
Sainsburys -198 spaces 2hrs only
Market Place- 47 spaces
Bus Station – 44 spaces
Cokayne Avenue – 119 spaces
Cattle Market – 47 Spaces
Doctors in Ashbourne
Ashbourne Health Centre , Clifton Rd, Ashbourne
01335 300 588
Ashbourne Medical Centre ,Clifton Road, Ashbourne
Hospitals in Ashbourne
St Oswald's Hospital on
Tel 01335 230000
NB There is NO A&E service at St Oswalds
Dentists in Ashbourne
Asbourne Dental Practice
Town Head House, 58 The Green Rd, Ashbourne Tel 01335345645
Messrs Winfield & Rose - Dental Surgeons
7 Church St Tel 01335 342509
Shopping in Ashbourne
Ashbourne has several supermarkets including a Waitrose and a Sainsburys. Ashbourne is well known for the high quality of its independent shops, antique shops, and speciality food shops. Many are clustered around the historic market place and along the main streets of the town offering a delightful shopping experience.
For more Peak District information try Peak District Holiday Guide
Accommodation in Ashbourne
Sandybrook Country Park offers luxury self-catering Pinelodges (ETC 4 star) to sleep 2 to 8 people. Each lodge is beautifully furnished and fully equipped with fitted kitchen, microwave, CD player, satellite TV, DVD player, verandah with outdoor furniture.
More information at Sandybrook Country Park
Sleeping 2 people, Alstonefield Cottage is a traditional, comfortably furnished, semi detached stone Derbyshire holiday cottage located in the heart of the village and provides a cosy retreat for a couple wanting to get away from it all for a break.
Dovedale is about 10 minutes walk down the lane and there are so many wonderful and varied circular walks from the door you could quite happily abandon your car for the week upon arrival. The holiday cottage is about 200 yards from ‘The George’ which is a popular pub with walkers and is now establishing itself as a fine dining venue as well, so again, no need to wander too far! Read more at Alstonefield Cottage
Yeldersley Old Hall Farm b&b and Cottages offer first class accommodation for the tourist and business visitor alike. Stay in one of our three self-catering cottages, or enjoy bed and breakfast in our Grade II Listed 17th century farmhouse. Yeldersley Old Hall Farm and Cottages are listed as buildings of historical interest.
The Farm and Cottages are situated in the quiet and peaceful countryside, just outside the village of Bradley and three miles from the market town of Ashbourne.
Read more at Yeldersley Old Hall Farm B&B and self catering cottages
Cotterill Farm Holiday Cottages - At Cotterill Farm we have five non-smoking and pet-free holiday cottages for rental as self-catering (vacation rental) accommodation in a glorious but not remote country location. Three cottages are for four person occupancy, one, a new barn conversion all on the ground floor is for three person occupancy and one, a particularly spacious one is for two person occupancy. One of the four person cottages has two double bedrooms, making it particularly suited for two couples.
Read more at Cotterill Farm Cottages
Hartington Cottages - Three non-smoking and pet free stone self-catering (vacation rental) cottages, situated in my private courtyard in the picturesque market square of the highly regarded and superbly located Peak District village of Hartington, Derbyshire .
One 6 person holiday cottage, over 500 years old sleeps six in three bedrooms (each having its own en suite!) and the other two self catering cottages are one bedroomed sleeping 2/3.
Read more at Hartington Cottages
Uppermoor Farm Holiday Cottages -
Luxurious, Peak District holiday Farmhouse & cottage complex for large family-groups seeking self-catering accommodation. Peaceful, with far reaching views, near to Ashbourne, Bakewell & Chatsworth House. A perfect welcoming retreat.
The 18th Century stone Farmhouse and Holiday Cottages stand in a unique, elevated courtyard setting in the White Peak part of the Derbyshire Peak District. Located near to the Domesday village of Parwich. Uppermoor Farm and Holiday Cottages have landscaped gardens and are surrounded by its own 70 acres of 'walkers paradise', in the midst of the rolling Derbyshire Dales with the striking, Peak District stone walling making their own patchwork quilt boundaries accross the open countryside. Sleeps 22 in three cottages
Read more at Uppermoor Farm Holiday Cottages
The Crown Inn - The Crown Inn is situated in the quiet village of Marston Montgomery, on the edge of the Peak District National Park. Just 4 miles from Alton Towers theme park, a 10-minute drive from Ashbourne and Uttoxeter Racecourse is just a 15-minute drive away.
The elegant bedrooms are traditionally decorated, and some have original features or a seating area. All rooms have a private modern bathroom, work desk and tea/coffee facilities.
Guests can enjoy fresh, seasonal cuisine and full English breakfasts in the restaurant. The bar features open fires and comfortable seating, and offers a range of real ales and world wines. Our seven comfortable bedrooms, excellent food and cosy bar provide a great welcome to groups such as walkers, school reunions, shooting parties, clay shooting and race goers
Read more at The Crown Inn
Offcote Grange Holiday Cottages - Offcote Grange Cottage Holidays consists of Billy's Bothy and Hillside Croft, two exceptional 5 STAR detached self catering holiday cottages located at the edge of the Peak District and Derbyshire. Each of the self catering holiday cottages has its own beautiful gardens and orchards within peaceful rural locations that are a pleasure to relax and unwind in.
Billys Bothy is located at the rear of Offcote Grange and within our 10 acre curtilage. A former workers cottage and bothy it has been restored and converted to provide an exceptional 5 star cottage of character and charm. Built of hand made red bricks it has pretty arched windows and a host of exposed beams and features. All rooms are en suite and there are wonderful feature brass and cast iron beds throughout.
Our sauna is now available for your use and relaxation. We also offer pampering by arrangement or a special meal to ensure a holiday to remember. Sleeps 10 + 4 + 2 cots
Extra Twin Room available by request.
Hillside Croft is our second luxurious 5 star self catering holiday cottage. A detached 5 bedroomed character cottage dated 1709, set in 6 acres of private landscaped gardens and pastureland. It is built of mellow sandstone with pretty leaded glass windows set in quaint stone mullions. Hillside Croft has oak beamed ceilings throughout and a mix of stone and part timbered walls. Pretty inglenook fireplaces with cosy log burning stoves add warmth and charm to this pretty cottage. Located 4 miles from Offcote Grange in a quiet and peaceful rural setting. Sleeps 10+4 + 2 cots.
Pamper yourself with some of our relaxation therapies or enjoy a delicious meal prepared especially for you.
Corporate Accommodation and Venue
Bed and Breakfast
Meals by Arrangement
Pampering by Arrangement
Local Team Building Activities
Walking Holiday Package
Read more at Offcote Grange Holiday Cottages
For more accommodation see
Derbyshire and Peak District Accommodation
Guest Houses with B&B in Derbyshire and Peak District
Holiday Cottages in Derbyshire and Peak District
Hotels in Derbyshire and Peak District
Peak District Holiday Guide
Peak District Accommodation
Derbyshire Holiday Cottages
For more local information on Ashbourne, visit Ashbourne Town
Green Man pubsign
St Oswald's Church
Penelope Boothby Monument