ASHBOURNE, DERBYSHIRE

Ashbourne Town Centre
St. Oswald's, exterior
St. Oswald's, interior

Grid Ref: SK 176 464
21 Sept 2005

Ashbourne spacer Ashbourne Grammar School Plaque
Queen Elizabeth Grammar School      Plaque on School
Mansion House, Ashbourne   Ashbourne, Grey House
The Mansion on Church street   Grey House, Church Street
Dr. John Taylor plaque, Ashbourne   Pegg's Almshouses, Ashbourne
Plaque in Church Street   Pegg's Almshouses of 1669
Owfield's almshouses, Ashbourne   Ashbourne plaque
Owfield's Almshouses, Church Street   Plaque on Owfield's Almshouses
Ashbourne, Derbyshire   George and Dragon, Ashbourne
Entering the Market Square   The George and Dragon
Market Square, Ashbourne   St. John's
Facing the Market Square looking towards St. John's   St. John's, Ashbourne
Town Hall   Ashbourne, Derbyshire
The Town Hall   Part of the Market Square
Gingerbread Shop, Ashbourne   Ashbourne, clock
The Gingerbread Shop, St. John's Street   Ashbourne Clock, St. John's Street

 

St. Oswalds is at the end of Church Street, which Pevsner describes as one of the finest streets in Derbyshire.  Leaving the church one comes first, on the left hand side, to the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School founded in 1585 with building continuing until 1603.  Next to the school is Grey House, dating from the mid 18th century, with a Roman porch and Venetian window.  Almost opposite is the Mansion. This was the house of Dr. John Taylor, visited by the celebrated Staffordshire lexicographer, Samuel Johnson.  The mid-18th century brick facade including a portico and a Venetian window were added to an existing 17th century house by Dr. Taylor in 1764-5. At the back are wings dating from 1685.

Further along the south side of the street, are Owfield's Almshouses of 1614-30.  Running perpendicular to Church Street are Pegg's Almshouses of 1669.  There are other fine properties in Church Street and at the end one comes to the Market Place and Victoria Square.   The overall geography of the area suggests that the Market Square was formerly larger and encroachments from temporary stalls to permanent premises resulted in the current arrangment. The Town Hall, overlooking the square, was built in 1861. Not shown because it was in deep shade when I visited, is the Green Man and Black's Head Hotel, which was noted by Samuel Johnson's biographer, James Boswell.

Sources:

1. St. Oswald's Church, Ashbourne, A guide and short history, produced by The Friends of St. Oswald's Church and printed by J. M. Tatler and Son Ltd. Derby. This excellent booklet is available in the church at £2 in 2003.

2. Derbyshire Parish Churches from the eighth to eighteenth centuries, by John Leonard, Breedon Books, Derby, 1993, ISBN 1-873626-36-3.

3. The Buildings of England, Derbyshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner, revised by Elizabeth Williamson, Yale University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-300-09591-0

Links:

The Ashbourne village site has a more extensive set of pictures and additional description.

 

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© Craig Thornber, Cheshire, England, UK. Main Site Address: http://www.thornber.net/

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