Ashford history

Widely regarded as one of the prettiest villages in the Peak Park - Ashford in the Water has much to offer the visitor...
Ashford was included in the Domesday Book under the name “Aisseford”, meaning “the ford of the ash”.

It is one of the prettiest villages in Derbyshire and nestles on the east bank of the river Wye. The medieval Sheepwash Bridge, where sheep were brought to be cleaned in ancient times, is said to be the most photographed bridge in England.

In 1199, the Manor of Ashford was granted by King John to Griffin, son of Wenunwyn, a Welsh Prince. The village was acquired by the powerful Neville family in 1408. In 1550 the village passed into the ownership of the Cavendish family, now the Dukes of Devonshire. The family still live at nearby Chatsworth. The individual houses were sold in the 1950s to pay death duties.
A Free Grammar School was founded in 1631 which was attended by the village boys; the girl's were educated in a gritstone cottage, nearby.  In 1880, the Church of England School was built on Buxton Road, and was attended by the village boys and girls until its closure in 1988.
Although the village now has no industry, 900 years ago, there was a corn mill and in 1339, a number of woollen mills were built.

In 1748, Henry Watson established a marble mill to manufacture objects made of Ashford Black Marble – a form of highly polished limestone. This business continued until the early 20th century. A memorial to Watson, made of Ashford Marble, can be found in the church.

See more photographs of Ashford-in-the-Water and the Peak District
Ashford pump well