The village of Ashford, the Aisseford of the Domesday Survey, is situated on the banks of the Wye, about two miles from Bakewell. The manor, which was parcel of the ancient demesnes of the crown, was granted by King John in the first year of his reign, to Wenunwen, Lord of Powisland, whose son Griffin, had a grant of free-warren in this manor in the year 1250. King Edward the Second granted it in 1319, to his brother Edmund Plantagenet, Earl of Kent. This manor having descended to the posterity of Joan his daughter, (and eventually heiress) by her second husband Sir Thomas Holland, passed, on the death of Edmund Holland Earl of Kent, in 1408, to Elizabeth his sister and co-heiress, married to John Lord Neville. Henry Neville Earl of Westmorland sold it in 1549 or 1550 to Sir William Cavendish, ancestor of the Duke of Devonshire, who is the present proprietor.
Near Ashford is a good house, the property and residence of the late Thomas Barker, Esq, and now in the occupaton of his widow; it was built by Mr. Barker's father.
The manor of Brushfield, a township of this chapelry, anciently written Brightrithfiled, appears to have been at an early period in moieties, one of which was given by Robert, son of Waltheof, to the Abbey of Rufford; the other moiety was successively in the families of Monjoye and Blount. The moiety which had belonged to Rufford Abbey, was granted by King Henry VIII to George, Earl of Shrewsbury. In 1628, it was conveyed by the co-heiresses of Gilbert Earl of Shrewsbury, to Sir Willaim Armine and his lady. In 1658, Lady Armine sold it to the Bradshaws, of whom it was purchased in 1662 by the Earl of Devonshire. It is now the property of his descendant, the Duke of Devonshire.
In the chapel at Ashford is a tablet in memory of Mr. Henry Watson of Bakewell, who died in 1786, aed 72. It appears by his epitaph, that he estblished the marble works near this place, and was the first who formed into ornaments the fluors and other fossils of this county. There are memorials also for William Fynney of Little Longston, Gent., 1748; William Bullock of Ashford, M.D. 1784, and the Rev. John Bullock 1789.
The vicar of Bakewell nominates the minister of this chapel. A chantry was funded at Ashford by Griffin, son of Wenunwyn, in the year 1257.
William Bagshaw the non-conformist divine, who was called the Apostle of the Peak, established a meeting house at this place, which was supplied by a mininster from Hucklow. It is still in existence, and has of late been occupied by various sects,.
Near the village is a meeting house of the General Baptists. In the year 1631 Mr. William Harris gave 50 pounds towards the building of a school, and endowed it with 6 pounds 13 shillings 4d per annum. Sir John Coke, Secretary of State to King Charles I, gave the close in which it stands, and Thomas Goodwin, in 1758, one pound per annum.