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Help and advice for Ashbourne

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it.



Archives and Libraries

The Ashbourne Library Local Studies section is a valuable resource for family historians. The Library, at Compton off the A515, is normally open six days a week.



  • PORTER, Lyndsey - The Spirit of Asbourne: 2. Landmark Publishing Ltd., 2002. ISBN 1-84306-065-5.


  • The parish was in the Ashbourne sub-district of the Ashbourne Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1851 H.O. 107 / 2150
1861 R.G. 9 / 2519 thru 2521
1891 R.G. 12 / 2753


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Ashbourne area or see them printed on a map.


Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Oswald.
  • Most of the church was originally constructed in 1241, replacing an earlier Saxon and Norman structure.
  • King Charles attended devine services in this church in 1645.
  • The church was repewed and renovated in 1840.
  • The church was restored in 1845.
  • The church tower was thoroughly restored in 1891-94 and raised to its original height.
  • The church is Grade I listed with British Heritage.
  • David HALLAM-JONES has a photograph of St. Oswald's Church on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2013.
  • The church has its own website.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish registers exist from 1538, but some early pages are fragmentary.
  • We have a pop-up window of an extract of Ashbourne burials in a text file for your review. Your additions are welcomed.
  • Rosemary LOCKIE has a web page of Monument Inscriptions that should prove useful.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Ashbourne.
  • The Catholic Church, Bellevue, was dedicated to All Saints and was built in 1887.
  • The Sion Independent Chapel on Derby Road was built in 1801. The chapel had been founded in 1787.
  • The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Compton was built in 1822.
  • The Primitive Methodist Chapel on Union Street was built in 1846.
  • Bill BOADEN has a photograph of the Methodist Church on Mayfield Road on Geo-graph.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Ashbourne sub-district of the Ashbourne Registration District.

Correctional Institutions

  • The New Prison, or Lock-up, was built in Union Street in 1844. It only had 4 cells.
  • It is not known to the web-page author if any records remain for this facility.

Description and Travel

"ASHBOURN is a market town in the parish of its name, which is partly in the hundred of Appletree, and partly in that of Wirksworth; 139 miles N.N.W. from London, 46 S.E. from Manchester, 13 N.W. from Derby, and 9 S.W. from Wirksworth. The town is situate in an interesting part of the country, rather hilly, and well wooded - interspersed with rich valleys, productive meadows, and clear streams - amongst the latter is Compton brook, famous for its trout, and as having contributed to the sport of the poetical anglers, Walton and Cotton."

[Description from Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835]

The parish is 147 miles north of London and covers 10,167 acres. Visit Ashbourne Town on the Internet for current events.

The Railway station closed in 1963.

You can see pictures of Ashbourne which are provided by:





Ask for a calculation of the distance from Ashbourne to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Ashbourne has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



  • In the 1086 Domesday Book this place is listed as "Esseburn".
  • The town received its Market Charter in 1257.
  • Ronnie LEASK has a photograph of an historic plaque on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2007.
  • A large part of the land was used for grazing in the 19th century and cheesemaking was a major industry in the area.
  • The Gas Works on Machester Road were built in 1840 and expanded in 1852.
  • Ashbourn County Court started operation on 15 March, 1847 and held its sessions at the Green Man Inn each month.

Medical Records

The Victoria Memorial Cottage Hospital opened in 1899. A hospital was not required to archive patient records, but financial records and board minutes can be found in the Archives office. See Ashbourne Hospitals for photographs and a brief history.


Military History

  • Ashbourne was a site where a number of "paroled" prisoners of war from the Napoleonic Wars were housed. There were 172 French POW's held between 1803 and 1814.
  • In 1895, C Company of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion Sherwood Foresters was here. Captain Walter Hudson MATTHEWS, commanding; Surgeon-Lieut. Hugh McCLAIN, Medical officer; Color-Sergt. Henry Charles ECCLES, drill instructor.
  • In 1912, C Company of the 6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters maned the Armoury in the Town Hall buildings. Captain V. H. LANGFORD, commanding; Color-Sergt. G. WAIN, drill instructor.
  • During World War One, there was a VAD Red Cross Hospital here.
  • Chris BUET has a photograph of the War Memorial Arch on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2010.

Military Records

Inside St. Oswald's Church is a monument to Edmund COKAYNE who died at Shrewsbury in 1403.

Inside St. Oswald's Church is a monument to Lieut.-Col. BAINBRIGGE, killed at the battle of Egmont-Op-Zee in 1799.

Also in St. Oswald's Church is a monument to Lieut. Edward BAINBRIGGE, killed in the trenches before Sebastopol in 1855.

There are two Commonwealth War Graves in St. Oswald's churchyard for World War I and one for WWII:

  1. J. LEE, priv., 1st Btn. Sherwood Foresters, age 34, died 11 March 1918.
  2. H. WIBBERLEY, priv., Machine Gun Corps. age 22, died 7 Aug. 1921. Son of Mrs. C. WIBBERLEY, Ashbourne.


  1. Richard Hill JELF, 2nd liet., Royal Armoured Corps, age 30, died 10 July 1940. Son of Colonel Wilfrid Wykeham JELF.


The Ashbourne News Telegraph still serves the parish and surrounding area.


Politics and Government

  • This place was an ancient township and parish in Derby county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • This place formed an Urban District Council in 1894 and parts of Clifton, Compton, Offcote and Underwood were added to Ashbourne parish.
  • This parish was partly in the ancient Wirksworth Hundred (or Wapentake).
  • You may contact the Ashbourne Town Council regarding civic or political matters, but they are Not staffed to help you with family history searches.
  • District governance is provided by the Derbyshire Dales District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Owfield's almshouses were were deeded to the town in 1630 and were to hold eight poor people.
  • Eirian EVANS has a photograph of Owfield's almshouses on Geograph, taken in October, 2007.
  • Christopher PEGG bequesathed six almshouses in 1669.
  • Nicholas SPALDEN bequesathed land to build ten almshouses in 1710.
  • David HALLAM-JONES has a photograph of Spladen's almshouses on Geograph, taken in August, 2013.
  • Bastardy cases were heard at the Petty Session Hearings at the Green Man Inn every Saturday.
  • With the passage of the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became the center of the Ashbourn Poorlaw Union.


  • A grammar school on Church Street at Ashbourne was founded in 1585 under the will of Sir Thomas COCKAYNE, with William BRADBURN and others; now known as Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School.
  • "It is also probable that a school - perhaps (a) chantry school - had also been founded prior to the Reformation at Ashbourne."
    (Ref: A History of Derbyshire, Gladwyn Turbutt, 1999).
  • There was also another Free School on Church Street endowed in 1710 by Nicholas SPALDIN.
  • A National School existed here in 1857 just north of the church.
  • A large Infant School existed here in 1857 on Back Lane. It held about 100 children.