From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Ashford in the Water

53°13′26.4″ N 1°42′32.4″ W
Pre Domesday

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Ashford in the Water is a small village located on the river Wye, near Bakewell, Derbyshire.

In 926, the village was known as Æscforda and in the Domesday Book of 1086 it was Aisseford and known for refining lead. The addition of 'in-the-Water' occurred in the late 17th century, and reflected the proximity of the village to the River Wye.

The village was owned by the Nevilles family but passed to the Cavendish family in the 16th century. It was sold in the 1950's to pay death duties.

In 1786, Ashford had mills for carving and polishing the local black marble.

The tradition of well-dressing continues in Ashford as in many other villages in the Peak District. Each year slabs of clay are decorated by village volunteers using petals, leaves and other plants to create a picture. The finished designs are then displayed at the six wells around the village and the event is marked by a church service and procession through the village to bless the wells. The event takes place around Trinity Sunday.

The Sheepwash Bridge is a packhorse bridge with an attached stone sheepwash, lambs were placed in the pen on one side of the river and the ewes swam across the river to get to them, while being pushed underwater by the shepherds to clean the fleece before shearing. Large trout inhabit the waters of the Wye around the bridge. It is a Scheduled Monument as well as a listed building.

Ashford's parish church was mostly rebuilt in 1868–70 but has a partly 13th-century tower, a 14th-century north arcade and a recovered Norman tympanum above the south doorway.