ASHFORD, Derbyshire - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868
1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland
"ASHFORD, a township and chapelry in the parish of Bakewell, hundred of High Peak, in the county of Derby, 2 miles to the N.W. of Bakewell. It is situated in a district of great beauty in the valley of the Wye and was anciently part of the demesnes of the crown. Marble of very fine quality, of black and grey colour, is found in the neighbourhood. It lies in beds of from 3 to 9 inches in thickness, at a depth of about 40 feet below the surface. It is sawn and polished at the works which were established here in 1748, and which were the first of the kind in England. The stocking manufacture is also carried on here, and employs about a hundred frames.
The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Lichfield, value £102, in the patronage of the vicar of Bakewell. The Church has been rebuilt, but an ancient porch is preserved, on which are some curious sculptures, supposed to represent the animals which dwelt in the Peak forest. A castle formerly stood here, in which the earls of Kent, and afterwards the earls of Westmoreland, resided; nothing remains of it but the moat. At Finnhead are remains of a Saxon encampment, or Roman station, and two barrows. There are chapels belonging to the Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists. Also a Unitarian chapel, erected by William Bagshaw, called "the Apostle of the Peak".
Ashford Hall, a fine seat on the banks of the Wye, belonging to the dukes of Devonshire, is at present the seat of the Hon. G. H. Cavendish, M.P. The other residences are Church Dale, a mansion of recent construction; Thornbridge, and the Rookery, situated on the banks of the Wye, in which trout and grayling abound. The Duke of Devonshire is lord of the manor."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin HINSON ©2003]